Desperate for Attention, Getting No Props Acting Like a Fool

I showed off for wife, Carole, on our walk last night. On an impulse at the age of 59 and feeling like I was 18, I demonstrated how strong I could run around the track as she watched (“Hey, honey, look at me!”). Returning to her all full of myself, she said to me, “Boy, I bet there are not many 90-year-old grandmothers who could do that!”

That is not the first time I ever showed-off for the girls. I have a history of it beginning when I was a kid, piling up fall leaves on the lawn near the road at my dad’s pastorate, then running the length of the lawn to jump into the pile hoping the girls were watching.

That must have been about the same age when I looked up from the school playground to see the two prettiest girls in the third-grade looking out the window. I got excited and began to run around like a young colt, maybe a squirrel, glancing up occasionally to check if they were impressed yet. They were giggling, but it may have been because the leather sole on my right shoe had separated and was now flapping loudly in rhythm with my running. As it turned out, they were looking at heart-throb Michael Bowman who was minding his own business and acting like he had good sense when I came up on him standing where I was running, knocking him to the ground and breaking his glasses which were in his back pocket.

Carole follows my lead on our walks. I do pretty good not to aggravate her, although I can’t resist sometimes at a fork in the path along the trail to turn one way but walk backwards the other, just to watch how far she will walk before she misses me.

On our walk last night she followed me down a hill on a thick layer of pine straw. I slipped first, “wup wupping” out of control down to the bottom of the hill ahead of her just in time to catch her screaming self right behind me. Brushing herself off, she reminded me of our last bike ride when she followed me off the bike trail onto a hiking trail for about a mile, then to push/carry our bikes about a half mile through the woods, thicket, poison ivy, and snakes for a short cut back to the bike trail. I told her I was sorry for putting her life at risk, and reminded her that I could be a knucklehead sometimes. She said it was okay, not to worry, that she wasn’t dead yet.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 8E23