To Whom It May Concern …

“Finally … I’ve had enough of your cold ornery ways!
I’m tired of your lying, cheating and backstabbing!
I’ve had enough of your leaving …
making my heart soar as I happily packed up your clothes
and stuffed them out of sight (out of mind)!
And then, three days later …
you’d show your ugly face again … back at my door
expecting me to be happy to see you!

So once again
I pulled all of your heavy moth-ball infused clothes out
and hung them all back in the closet …
angrily, I might add.
Never again will I trust your tawdry”signs”!
Your “I’m leaving this time for good” song and dance
no longer enchants me because
you ALWAYS come back!

Well, you cold, bitter,
what-ever-you-want-to-call-yourself today nuisance ….
I’ll have you know that I’ve put your clothes away
once and for all.
I have in my possession a box of ten-penny nails
and I intend to use every last ONE of them this time.
That’s right … I’ll be nailing the door shut this time
with your heavy as lead clothes inside.
You heard me right … you no longer have access
to what everyone from Washington to Delaware
refers to as “your clothing”!

I’ve found another and will no longer
have room for you in my life!
So let this be our final “goodbye” ….
Spring is upon me and I simply don’t have
room in my life OR my closet for you.

Goodbye Winter …
Don’t let the door hit you in the icicle on the way out.”



You cannot catch the tooth fairy in a mouse-trap. Only your Daddy.

You cannot hide your uneaten peas, broccoli, liver, etc on the shelf under the table-top forever. Eventually the cat will out you.

Switching the Castoria with Hersheys Syrup only works if you fake gag and don’t offer to lick the spoon.

You can change an “F” to a “B” but you can’t change a “D” to anything, so it’s better to make an “F”.

Just feed all the Baby Asprin you don’t like to your cousin or hide them in your mothers potted plants.

When faking “taking a bath”, don’t forget to wet the soap and re-wet the tub after drying it with the towel (so the towel is wet). Be sure to moisten your skin and rub some soap on yourself so you smell clean. Dampen the bottom edges of your hair.

Use caution when using a light bulb to raise the temperature on the thermometer. It’s very difficult to explain a 109 degree fever to a hysterical parent.

A fake cough will always turn into a real cough if you over play the cough-card.

Never hide your report card in a library book and then return it. There is a level greater than “lost” that only a kid understands.

None of the exercises will make your titties bigger before you’re eight.

I was notorious for cleaning up my room and sticking stuff under my parents bed just because they had a dust ruffle.

It is absolutely possible to dig to China if it weren’t for childhood curfews.

If you need to do an oral book report and just plan on casually asking your Dad last minute what it’s about, don’t count on him giving you a straight answer. For instance, “Island of the Blue Dolphins” is not a true story about an island that football players went to in hopes of becoming a championship team and the quest of a little native boy on the island who wanted to become a Dolphin. However, an awful lot of boys in my class asked to read that book next though! (And thank heavens I got an “F”!)


Pulling the Scotty



I am tossed from side to side

between my Mother and Daddy

as the little green GMC pickup truck

slowly makes it way up Old Cherry Mountain Road.


Every so often Mother would yell “Stop, Cecil!”

Daddy would explain for the dozenth time that

he’d have to get to the curve first.

Once we were at the level place in the road,

the three of us would climb out and trot

back down the road to retrieve the rock Mother

wanted for her rock garden.


Daddy would place it in just the right place

in the back of the truck and we’d all climb back in.

Occasionally I’d lollygag and end up sitting by the window

where I stretched out my hand to snap off

long fronds of Queen Annes Lace that happily

grew at the edges of the old road.


Daddy would go through the gears on the steering column,

first, clutch, second, clutch … and the truck would balk

at the idea of switching up to third gear, so we’d settle

into second as the rock in the back lurched backwards.

Mother laughed and Daddy would shake his head …

Mary Alice and her rock obsession! He adored her for it.


Merrily rolling behind us was our turquoise and white

Scotty Camper, rocking side to side like a happy drunkard,

the yellow ping-pong ball smiley face hanging in the window

seemed to echo its elation. It had followed us from

South Georgia along the slick concrete freeways that

ker-thunk ker-thunked beneath the wheels, and later

along sharply curving mountain roads where Mother was

certain it would tip over at every switchback.


We finally rolled into Bill and Nancy’s campsite

on Cherry Mountain and Daddy set the emergency brake.

My cousins, Tim and Jeff climbed out of the creek

shaking off water as they ran up the hill.  Mother opened up

the Scotty and began bringing out lawn chairs.

Daddy used the rocks in the back of the truck to

keep the Scotty from rolling down Cherry Mountain.


That night I slept in the overhead bunk in the Scotty

gazing past the Smiley Faced ping-pong ball at the same

moon I would come to adore over the next fifty years

with the cousin I would someday learn to call “Mom”.


-Lynn Hamilton-Rutherford

 On the Road