My Mother is the most determined and strong willed person I have ever known; not the smartest, but the most determined and strong willed. I mean that if she tells you to put a round peg into a square hole and you can’t make it fit, she’ll knock you out of the way, grab a hammer and say to the peg, “Bless Patty, peg you’re going in there and I mean now!! Hold that peg still, Boy, and stop whining about your hand or I’ll use this hammer on your hard head! You watch this and learn!!”
Funny thing is, the peg seems to always go in and is seemingly none the worse for the manner in which it was persuaded to so do. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that determination coupled with a strong will is a much greater asset than smarts alone. Smarts, unless coupled with determination and will, are of little use.
It is a good thing Momma taught me by example from birth, for my will and determination was sorely tested this past deer season. I lost 38 pounds over two months while trying to win a bet as to who could lose the most weight. If I won I got my deer stand back from the Preacher. Some people will do anything to hold on to a honey hole and the Preacher sabotaged my efforts early on by his involvement in a banana nut bread conspiracy (I confessed to him that I had a weakness for it and he had his wife make me three of them). After being called down on this conspiracy, he feigned innocence and magnanimously extended our bet from Christmas until January 15, but events conspired against me again.
I told you before that the Preacher had the Lord on his side. This time it was my Momma’s cooking that stopped my weight loss dead in its tracks. I stopped by her house and there sat a partially eaten hoecake of cornbread and I broke off a piece. Oh mercy was it ever good! I ate the whole thing.
The next day, I stopped by her home again and she started force-feeding me the fruitcake she baked last year and aged in the fridge. I am the only one of her young’uns that likes it. Fine by me, for Momma’s fruitcake is one of the best things this side of heaven. Of course, I had to tell her the truth and tell her how good it all was and since she doesn’t have much to do these days, this little bit of bragging on her was all it took to get her fired up and off to town for another hundred pounds of sugar and a barrel of flour. Within minutes of her return she had two mixers running and the oven hot. “Here, darling; try some of these rum Danish wedding cookies Momma baked just for you, and here, while we are waiting on the dried peach cookies to come out of the oven, try some of these sausage balls you love so well.”
“You win, Preacher! I quit”, I said to myself.
“Pass the sausage balls and, yes ma’am, you can pour me another glass of cold milk! Is that the oven timer I hear dinging?”
Wedding cookies, sausage balls, fruitcake, and hot peach cookies; if you have to lose a bet this is the way to do it.
Note: I am glad my ‘Preacher’, Reverend Curtis Mears, is a good sport. He and his wife, Bonnie, are trusted friends. He is also a fine Teacher and dedicated Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
P.S. Just after I finished the article above and was beginning to feel charitable toward the Preacher, my doorbell rang. It was him, grinning like a mule eating briers and offering a basketful of fruitcake cookies. He asked if he could borrow my gun again, saying, “I feel lucky.”
It’s hard to say ‘Jackleg’ with your mouth full of fruitcake cookies.