Friday, March 21, 2014

Let That Be A Lesson To You

Jerry's sister Linda, to all appearances, is goodness personified.  She's kind. She's sweet. She's generous to a fault. She has never done drugs, has a glass of wine every now and again. She's always there for friends and neighbors... And family. She doesn't swear. Ever. She raised two exceptional sons who are both married to two exceptional women. She has three exceptional grandchildren. She loves them and dotes on them all.

It's heartwarming sometimes to observe Linda's husband Tom as he observes her. After more than 41 years of marriage, it's obvious he still adores her. Understandably.

ONE CHRISTMAS LONG AGO:  LINDA AS THE VIRGIN MARY, OF COURSE.

Linda seems to have the patience of a saint. Unlike her brother, whose nickname "San Geraldo" is simply ironic.

An example of Linda's patience: She taught 2nd grade for 34 years. And she loved it.

However — come on, you had to realize there would be a "however" — all is not as it seems.

I won't tell you how Linda cheats at cards, because she'll just yell at me and say, "I do not!" But I will share a couple of other stories.

LINDA THE GOOD(?) AND SAN GERALDO.
(NOTE THE DOLLAR BILL IN HER HAND. SHE WAS PAID TO BE GOOD THAT DAY.)

Rescue
When Linda and Jerry were young, they were playing Cowboys and Indians with a bunch of friends. (Shamefully, that's what our generation of Caucasian Americans grew up doing.) I don't know whether he was a Cowboy or an Indian on that particular day, but Jerry was captured and tied up in the middle of the neighbor's barn. His ankles were tied together. His hands were tied behind his back. And there was a rope wrapped around his waist and tied to a post.

Linda ran into the barn to rescue her big brother. She untied him and started to run back outside. But Jerry didn't follow. So, she turned around and gave him a shove in the back while yelling, "Come on! Run!!!" 

Linda had only untied the rope around Jerry's waist. His hands were still tied behind his back. His ankles were still tied together. When Linda pushed, Jerry went forward — like a plank — hitting the barn's wooden floor face-first. Well, really nose-first... and it broke (his nose, not the floor).

An accident. Or so Linda says.

"THAT'S SAN GERALDO TO YOU, PARDNER."
(BEFORE THE BROKEN NOSE.)

Recess
Years later, Teacher Linda was leading the kids back into the building after recess. One little boy wasn't moving quickly enough. So, she gave him a gentle nudge in the back. The little boy fell over. Being a very kind and caring teacher (and person), Linda helped the little boy up. But he just stood there staring at the open door. Linda said, "Well, come on," and again gave him a gentle nudge. And again he fell over.

Linda— still patient, kind, and caring — helped the boy back to his feet. But he still just stood staring at the open door. "Well come on. Get going," she said sweetly. She gave him another little shove and he fell over a third time.

At this point, all the other children waiting behind Linda and their classmate, were staring bug-eyed with mouths agape.

As Linda helped the little boy to stand one more time, she noticed that she was standing with her foot firmly planted on his untied shoelace.

Linda moved her foot off the shoelace and nudged the boy through the door. Turning to the remaining group of students, she said, "Let that be a lesson to you all. That's what happens when you don't tie your shoes!"

LINDA (RIGHT) AND A FRIEND ABOUT TO GIVE
LITTLE SISTER LEANN A LESSON IN HULA HOOP.

22 comments:

  1. Two saints in one family! There parents must have been Archangels!!lol
    I love to hear 'family stories'....out of school, so to speak.
    Great photo of Jerry and Linda all dressed up and that one of cowboy Jerry! Look at those eyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Well, given my life for these last 32 years, you're right about their parents. I have other "out of school" stories to tell, but Linda and Tom might not let me live to tell another one!

      Delete
  2. Oh, no, REALLY... you must stop with these hilarious stories. I'm sick! I'm coughing! And now, I can hardly breathe for laughing so hard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy:
      This family has REALLY taught me how to laugh... and at myself, too.

      Delete
  3. I think she might not be so nice to you the next time she visits :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheapchick:
      Oh, she's put up with me for 32 years. She knows I love her... as much as I know she cheats at cards.

      Delete
  4. You are so fortunate to have all the family photos... AND the stories that go along with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon:
      We both are very lucky to have the photos. There are so many more.

      Delete
  5. I had a good laugh at the shoelace story. Poor kid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew:
      And Linda was one of the best teachers you could find. Just imagine!

      Delete
  6. Well, even Jesus lost his temper, so Linda's in good company. Great pictures. The one of her and San Geraldo with the dollar in her hand is priceless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      Linda doesn't lose her cool often... I know I'm in trouble when she looks at me and says "You jerk."

      Delete
  7. "...two exceptional sons who are both married to two exceptional women." Is bigamy big in the Dakotas? Knock me over with a feather. Or just have Linda nudge me. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Ha! I didn't catch that... obviously. I might go back and fix it... But, come to think of it...

      Delete
  8. Card sharks don't take kindly to being outed.
    i know from experience, and it's just one more reason i can never go back to Vegas, or Atlantic City ... or Monaco.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob:
      I will definitely tell a "cheating at cards" story. But I think I'll wait for Linda and Tom to go back to South Dakota. She can't hit me from there.

      Delete
  9. She sounds wonderful, cheating n'all!
    Di
    X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Di:
      She's a wonderful cheater... ("I don't cheat!!!")

      Delete
  10. SO the lesson is DON'T MESS WITH LINDA. I won't!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maria:
      My pleasure. I have so much more to share... at Linda AND Tom's expense.

      Delete

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