Aunt Daisy sent me an email to tell me what happened after Monty, her dog, swiped his tail against the jars of chutneys she was making and they exploded against her kitchen wall. She was sweeping up the mess, when Wesley, the naysayer, picked that very moment to call on her.
Sylvia, Honey –Monty’s tail outa control and a visit from Wesley at the same time. I needed that like squattin’ down and sittin’ on my spurs.
Wesley slammed his truck’s door shut and came clumpin’ up the porch steps.
“Grandma Daisy!,” he yelled from the porch door. “You in?”
Monty’s tail outa control and a visit from Wesley at the same time. I needed that like squattin’ down and sittin’ on my spurs.
I prickled at ‘Grandma.’ ‘Jammin’ with Grandma Daisy’ is the name of my company. I may be 84 but I still had my vanity. When people call me ‘Aunt’ Daisy, it don’t seem as ancient. When men call me Daisy, it sounds like possibilities. Not that I was thinkin’ in romantic terms about Wesley. Gracious, no! I didn’t need a wet blanket coverin’ my bed.
Mama raised me to be polite and have good manners. Even in the mood I was in, I managed to call back, “In the kitchen, Wesley. And it’s ‘Aunt’ Daisy not ‘Grandma Daisy.’
He sauntered in, took his hat off, and looked at the wall. “Ooooooo … eeeeeee! You been practicin’ in here with your gun?”
“Monty had a bitty accident,” I said, sweepin’ away and tryin’ to make light of it. Sure didn’t want Wesley to know how mad I was. “What can I do for you?” I hoped it wasn’t much.
He sat down on a counter stool and leaned forward on his elbows. “You get that mutt his shots?” he asked.
I remembered Mama’s teachings and forced a smile. “He had ‘em,” I said. I stood the broom against the wall and folded my arms in front of me. “Anything else you wanna know?”
He took a small plastic bag o’ dog biscuits outa his jacket pocket and laid it on the counter. “Just wanted to give these to the mutt.” He turned kinda red as if doin’ somethin’ nice was embarrassin.’
I softened a bit. “Right kind o’ you,” I said, lowerin’ my arms. “And my dog’s name is Monty.”
Wesley looked around. “Where’s Monty at?”
“He’s in the dog house at the moment, in more ways than one.” Be polite Daisy, just like Mama taught ya.” “Would you like a glass o’ iced tea?”
“Right nice o’ you, Aunt Daisy.”
“Set yourself on the porch and I’ll be with you.”
I carried 2 glasses out to the porch, handed him one and sat on the swing next to Wesley. We sat and sipped.
“Lovely sunset,” I said, lookin’ out to the west where the sky had turned gold and purple.
He said, pointin,’ “See that smudge o’ grey clouds? Rain likely tomorrow.”
I ignored this and kept watchin’ the sunset. By the pond, the frogs started croakin’.
I sighed, “Love the bullfrogs singin’ at night.”
Wesley said, “Too noisy. They keep me up.”
I ran the glass of iced tea across my forehead. Oh, boy.
Takin’ a deep breath, I said, “Smell those gardenias.”
“Flowers make me sneeze.”
That was the last straw. I turned his way and looked at him squinty eyed. “What makes you such a pessimist, Wesley?”
His eyebrows shot up and his jaw dropped. “I’m not a pessimist, Aunt Daisy. I tell the truth.”
I shook my head. “Your truth is mighty glum.”
His face had a cloudy look, like the sky before a big rainstorm. I was thinkin’ about somethin’ nice to say when Monty came to my rescue. He was at the other side o’ the screen door, lookin’ at me with his big brown eyes, tail hangin’ down, like he was sorry about the chutney on the wall. My heart melted. I knew he didn’t mean it. It was an accident.
“Come on out, Monty,” I said, pattin’ my knee.
He pushed the door open, sat by me and licked my hand then growled low at Wesley.
“Monty!” I said. “Where’s your manners?” I took the bag o’ dog biscuits outa my apron pocket and held one out to Wesley.
“Give him one o’ these. Monty, these are a gift from Wesley.” Wesley took the biscuit and held it out. Real gentle like, Monty took it out o’ his hand and chewed it all up. Monty’s tail swished back and forth and he smiled.
“I think you made a friend, Wesley.”
“I like dogs,” he said, “but they don’t like me.”
“Balderdash! Monty does.”
Wesley didn’t reply but looked kinda sheepish. He stood up, put on his hat, tucked his hands in his pockets and moseyed down the porch stairs.
Not turnin’ around, he said, “Much obliged for the tea.” His voice sounded kinda muffled.
Monty and I watched Wesley’s truck leave the driveway ‘til its taillights disappeared round the bend.
I rubbed Monty’s ear. “There goes one lonely cowpoke,” I said.
Aunt Daisy, I think you and Monty are softening the naysayer. If anybody could, it would be the two of you!