Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lickety-Split

My dad’s mom was a fiery little Englishwoman. Standing four feet tall and spanning four feet from hip to hip, Grandma could barely fit on the piano bench with her dog, Buster.

Through an odd twist of fate, her immense bottom was complemented with an itty-bitty turned-up nose that fit her humpty-dumpty face like a raisin in the center of a crop circle. She was blessed with bright blue eyes, a milky white complexion, and grandmotherly pearly white hair.

Grandma was peculiar. To compensate for weightiness, or perhaps a lack of sense, she developed quirky behavior to match her quirky features.

The minute we’d come to visit, she would whine a hypocritical story: Jesus saved this and Jesus did that and those rotten neighbors should be…(you can imagine). Then she’d run into the living room of her ancient little farmhouse with high ceilings and start playing “Bringing in the Sheaves,” Buster at her side, howling while she sang.

Even in her later years, Grandma and Buster would entertain elders at the nursing home where she eventually lived, acting like the only child among those her own age. People loved it. She was funny, perpetually grinning, and lively, moving her shoulders left to right as she performed.

She lived a few miles from town where the nursing home and her church were. The Assembly of God was Grandma’s second home, so she could almost do the drive in her sleep. She’d open the car door, jump up on her pillow in the driver’s seat so she could see out the windshield, and go “lickety-split,” as she’d say, into town and back.

Yep lickety-split was the way she did a lot of things. She was a quick one. And dramatic.

On her way home from church one Wednesday night, she jumped up on her pillow and headed for home. Halfway there, she looked into her rearview mirror and saw a car tailing hers. Scared, she sped up.

The more she stepped on the gas, the faster her pursuer drove. It almost looked as if the car had red flashing lights on it, which made her panic. She probably thought Satan had sent one of his angels to thank her for saying bad things about the neighbors. She kicked it up another notch. Lickety-split, she drove like greased lightning.

Finally, she swerved into her driveway, stopped the car, and was ready to run into her house and lock the door, when a policeman walked beside her car.

“Officer!” cried Grandma. “Someone was chasing me, so I drove home as fast as I could!”

“Mm-hmm.” As the policeman wrote out her speeding ticket, Grandma acted as if she were having a heart attack. He politely walked her into her house—and handed her the lickety-ticket, quick.

(Puzzle piece number 38 of 38.)

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1 comment:

  1. I can almost picture you playing the piano and signing when you get to be nursing home age!

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