“You need to change your ways!”
I’ve heard that statement many times.
Like the words to an old song,
they keep going ‘round in my mind.
One of my life changing events was in early spring of 1989, as I recall.
A few years before,
my husband and I
had decided to raise sheep.
One day, I suggested we should get a lamb..
After all, we have this little farm.
Our grandkids lived next door,
it would be fun.
It wasn’t long
before my husband came home
he’d found a lamb.
In fact, he’d found two, a male and a female.
They were orphans.
They needed people to love and care for them.
That would be our family.
I don’t remember the exact time frame
as the events began to unfold.
It wasn’t long after the arrival of the lambs,
I casually suggested to my husband, we should start
“We have “Bo” and “Betsy” and the grandkids love them.”
We also had this old barn
with nothing in it but nothing.
It was then we began our search for mature ewes.
We would use them to build our flock.
We had Bo.
who wasn’t what you’d call a breeder at this young age.
He would be in a year or so
when he was no longer a “lamb.”
The plan to become shepherds
was quickly put into action.
We were proud and excited about our new, proposed lifestyle.
My husband was in the retail hardware business.
I owned and operated a Hallmark shop.
This would be fun.
A little something extra to give us something to do in our spare time.
One day a gentleman came to call
who was interested in looking at our lambing operation.
I was more than happy
to show him
our nearly 100 year old barn,
and our new flock of sheep.
Now, this is the point where I veer away from the sheep
and explain some of my habits to you.
I wouldn’t even be telling you this
if it wasn’t that I had recently seen posts on Facebook
who had observed the same event
that I experienced
on my journey to the barn that day.
Without getting too personal,
I’m going to reveal my lifetime habit
of getting ready for bed at night.
Included in my habit,
was the removing of my jeans and underwear
together in one swift motion.
Unfortunately this has, on occasion,
caused a slight “public” embarrassment.
That’s odd, I said I would be
getting ready for bed “at night”.)
How could that possibly affect my actions in the daytime? Hmm…
Back to the fine gentleman
who had come to look at our flock.
We were walking to the barn
when he turned around,
looked quickly back toward the driveway,
“Oh! You’ve dropped your hanky.”
Intuitively, as I turned, I knew what I was about to see.
The clump of white lying in the driveway
was instantly recognizable to me.
It was definitely not my hanky.
It was my underwear,
which had been clinging,
(with the help of static electricity from the dryer, )
to the inside of my jeans.
The undergarment had chosen that moment
to release itself from the fabric of my jeans,
and to embrace the ground
in the driveway.
“I’ll get it”, he said,
turning around and taking a step
toward the object.
“No”, I said,
“I’ll get it”.
We were immediately in competition
to get to “the hanky”first .
I outran him by seconds,
scooped up ‘the hanky’
and shoved ‘it’
into my jacket pocket.
Bless his heart.
He seemed totally unaware ,
of the rapid beating of my heart,
which was not caused
from the exertion of running
to the area of the driveway
You might think
the experience would have been a lesson
forever etched in my mind. It was definitely time to renew my habits.
However, that was not to be.
One quiet morning in summer
I had opened my Hallmark Shop at nine a.m.
allowing my employees to come in later.
A pleasant fellow was the first to stop by.
He stood just inside the front door,
where we visited for twenty minutes or so.
As he turned to leave, he said,
“You may want to check the leg of your slacks
near your right shoe”.
With that, he went upon his way.
Looking down at my shoe,
in full view
was a visible display of one of my nylons,
which was making its way
past the static electricity in my slacks
to heaven knows where.
Can you imagine
what the nice fellow must have been thinking
as we stood there and talked?
He apparently had decided
he would tell me
just as he went out the door,
without looking back.
He must have envisioned the expression he would surely see on my face when I found the scene he’d described.
I don’t know if men are prone to giggling.
But I’ll bet this fellow was giggling as he made his way to the car.
At this moment,
it’s important for me to tell you
I’ve never had either of these experiences again.
I really have changed my habits,
about certain things.
My friends and family would tell you it is rare for me to change my mind about anything, and I still have some mind changing to do.
At Christmas that year,
my family gave
me a bottle of fabric softener
and a pair of nylons
with lace edged suspenders sewn on them.
One of the changes I have yet to make
is not to share with anyone
the embarrassing things
that happen to me.
I really do need to change my ways.
Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck