Learning to laugh at ourselves is such an important thing. In our family, we learn to laugh at ourselves from birth. I remember my brother getting his feelings hurt when he was little and we would laugh at him . Mom would tell him, “If you don’t want us to laugh at you, don’t be funny!” It wasn’t that we were making fun of him and laughing at him so much as he was a clown and we were entertained.
I come from a long line of crazy on both sides of my family. My Mom’s mom, Granny, was always a rich source of funny experiences. Once, when I was about 10 years old, Granny was staying with us while Mom and Dad were out of town for a few days. JR had a soccer game early on Saturday morning. We headed off to the soccer field, but it was a lot cooler than we expected. So Granny dropped JR off with the coach for his game and ran me back to the farm to get some sweatshirts.
When we got there, I dashed in the house, got the clothes we needed and bounced back out to the car. I told Granny I was going to walk up the driveway and check the mail. She said she’d turn the car around and pick me up at the mailbox. So I started up the driveway. I was about halfway there when I heard tires squealing behind me. I dashed behind the nearest tree and peered out expecting to see Granny go squealing past me only to realize she had never turned the car around.
Granny had burned rubber in the driveway, plowed down the 10 foot tall persimmon tree by the back porch, and was lurching and bouncing across the backyard toward the playground where she darted between the ladder and the tire swing, careened around the slide and headed into the garden. I held my position as she barreled through what would be rows of corn in the coming months and headed back across the yard toward the house. She finally came to a complete stop right in the middle of the back yard. I waited to be certain she was finished before cautiously approaching the car. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d never seen anything like that in my life. It was better than the Dukes of Hazzard. I’ll never forget walking up to her window and, from what I deemed a safe distance, asking her if she was ok? She just laughed and said, “Yes, honey. I thought I had my foot on the brake and the harder I pressed the faster I went!”
Still stunned by what I just witnessed, I looked at her car and Y’ALL!!! IT WAS COVERED WITH SPLATTERED PERSIMMONS!!!! There must have been nine thousand persimmons on that tree! I laughed. Oh my goodness did I laugh. I probably even guffawed a time or two. I know there were tears streaming down my cheeks and then when we tried to clean the windows…those persimmons were like glue!
She swore JR and I to secrecy. We were not to say a word to my parents. I couldn’t even think about it without cracking up, so that was going to be a challenge. As soon as Mom and Dad sat down in her living room, they asked about our weekend. I’m sure my eyebrows shot up about three inches as I tried to force the grin from my lips. Granny very calmly and very politely started off the weekend recap by asking them, “Well, how attached WERE you to that persimmon tree?”
Needless to say Mom and Dad were just grateful that no one was hurt and when the spring plants arrived Granny bought them a beautiful Magnolia tree but, until her dying day, all someone had to do was mention persimmons and we would erupt into joyous soul healing laughter. Even Granny.
*The story of what led up to the laughter in these pictures and how Scott Burgess will never be the same are another story for another day!