By Dawn Dillard

I was picking up a few groceries in my local grocery store the first part of this week and noticed a few more restrictions in place than were there the week before. Of course, masks are now state mandated but there was a 4 can limit on canned goods, a one-package limit on toilet paper and a few others.

These hadn’t been in place the last few times I was in the same store. Not sure if this is precautionary or what. I know that no one seems to know all the answers on the coronavirus, but when asked to wear a mask, wear one. When asked to limit social gatherings, please do so. I’m a schoolteacher and I’m ready to see my students and get back to the brick and mortar education. Safety first, however, so we will see how things play out for the fall semester. My dad has always contended that he “started school after Labor Day and got out before Memorial Day, and we were pretty smart.” Something to think about, perhaps.

Are you proud to be a Texan? I know I am. Have you ever noticed how Texans get stereotyped in movies and on television? According to them, we all ride horses, wear cowboy hats and boots and talk with a drawl so strong you can barely understand what we’re saying. In my case, I don’t ride horses, never owned boots or a hat and I understand myself speaking just fine. I saw this and thought it was funny, yet on point in a lot of ways. “Things you should never say to a Texan: 1. I’ve never heard of George Strait. 2. We are out of Dr. Pepper. 3. I’m not that big of a football fan. 4. I bet you can’t.” (This was found on txhumor.com)

Ever notice how Southerners have sayings that, when you stop and really dissect them, they make perfect sense? One of my favorite teachers at Elysian Fields High School was Mr. Spears. He taught history and he loved me and the feeling was mutual. There would be times when, for whatever reason, someone would come up with an excuse for not having done their homework, being late for class, etc. Some of the excuses were, in my opinion, REALLY good, but Mr. Spears always knew fact from fiction. One of his sayings that I now use in my classroom was “I’m too old of a cat to be fooled by a kitten.” Think of some other sayings we Southerners use: “Lord have mercy!” (Is that a form of exasperation or an actual prayer? Depends on the situation, I suppose) “Worn slap out” (Is that the same as being “dead dog tired”?)“Yall act like you got some sense” (I guess it’s ok to not actually HAVE sense; just act like it). I could go on and on. I love the Southern culture and all it’s anecdotes and traditions.

If you haven’t gotten your summer peaches yet, you need to hurry and do so. Peaches are delicious to eat now but they seem to taste even better when it’s cold outside and you can reach in the freezer, pull out a bag of frozen peaches from the summer harvest and make a hot peach cobbler. My mom makes the best peach cobbler I’ve ever eaten. It’s one of those things that I never have made because mom always does. I need to learn how, however. For as long as I can remember, my mom’s mom (Mamaw) made dressing for Thanksgiving every year.

She did not want a chicken; she demanded a hen. “Sister, I want a hen so that I can use that fat after I boil it”. I can hear her now. Anyway, a few years before she passed away, at age 102, she told my mom “Sister, you better learn to make this dressing because I’m not always going to be around.” My mom’s first dressing was, shall we say, a little “sage-y” but now…my mom’s dressing is the best. She’s also an incredible seamstress and so many other things. I don’t sew; I don’t make peach cobbler and I don’t make dressing. Perhaps I’ll learn how to do two of the three (and sewing isn’t one of them).

“Life is a game, play it; Life is a challenge, Meet it; Life is an opportunity, Capture it. “ Unknown