Editor’s note: From time to time I open my inbox and find some more of J. L. Strickland’s musings. He is a retired textile mill worker from Alabama’s Valley region (Chambers County and surrounding areas) who certainly has a way with words. Enjoy his most recent:
“I haven’t been doing much of anything since I got really sick off a new drug they started me on for the Parkinson’s. The damn stuff almost killed me. For two days I thought I would die, and by the third day I was hoping I would.
But my son’s wife is a nurse/practitioner. She quickly realized what was happening to me and told me to stop taking the new drug at once. I did and have gradually, gradually returned to nearly normal. Or what passes for normal these days.
(These days, my normal is barely being able to walk, but still possessing the ability to talk the horns off a billy goat. If anyone has a billy goat that needs dehorning, send it my way.)
Related to the barely walking situation, a while back I came across some walking sticks online that were made in Ukraine. I liked the way they looked and ordered two of them. It took about a month for them to arrive from Russia, but they finally got to Huguley.
(The Russian girl, Tatiana, who handles the Ukrainians’ American sales, and I corresponded several times. In each of her emails, she quoted verses from “Sweet Home Alabama” in closing. I’ve noticed that, while most furriners hate Americans, they sho’ ‘nuff do like our music and our money.)
Anyway, let me get to the point of this story:
When I went to the hospital for some tests yesterday, I was hobbling about with one of my new Ukrainian walking sticks. I couldn’t believe that three different women – two hospital employees and one stranger I met in the hall– complimented me on how nice my walking stick looked. Two of them actually picked it up and examined it more closely.
After I got home, and thinking about the attention brought on by the walking stick, it occurred to me that I had reached a milestone of sorts. A Plateau of Pitifulness and Inevitability.
You know a fella has passed the point of no return when the only attention and compliments he gets are for his handsome walking stick.
Wouldn’t you agree?
The final words spoken by my late wife on her death bed came to mind. After being comatose for two days, Yvonne suddenly opened her eyes and, to no one in particular, exclaimed, “Golden Years, my ass!”
And my darling brown-eyed girl went to her reward with those insightful words hanging in the air.
Can’t say I don’t agree with her assessment of the situation. I have no doubt she had given it a lot of thought. Unlike me, she was never one to jump to a conclusion.”