Dear Smiley: My husband and I were having a heated discussion over something trivial (I wanted to bake fancy Christmas cookies; he wanted snickerdoodles.)
Granddaughter Zelda, 6, interrupted us: "I sense conflict. Harmony is better than discord. Discord causes chaos."
Harmony soon reigned, and I asked Zelda where she'd learned such wisdom.
Turns out she'd learned it from watching the cartoon "My Little Pony." Who knew cartoons could teach such important lessons?
Dear Gail: I learned a great deal about politics from reading "Pogo."
Dear Smiley: In the early ’60s, when my husband John and I were young newlyweds, we would play cards for small change we kept in bank envelopes.
One Friday we decided to go to Ye Ole College Inn for sandwiches. John asked me to bring along an envelope of change in case we ran a little short on money. I did. We didn’t.
That Sunday we went to Holy Name for Mass. When it was time for the collection, John whispered he didn’t have any money.
I told him not to worry, I still had the envelope of coins. When the usher reached our pew, I dropped it in.
He was unaware of the weight, and dropped the basket to the floor. Of course coins rolled out. He finally raised the basket and continued.
John and I started laughing and could not stop. We had to leave Mass.
Dear Smiley: Recent stories on moose licking vehicles reminded me of my experience decades ago while deer hunting.
One afternoon, at friend Craig Neal’s cattle farm near Woodville, Mississippi, he said he had seen a nice buck, and suggested I sit in a stand on the edge of a pasture where the buck had been spotted.
He explained the field roads to take, and pointed out I would have to pass through several gates to get to the pasture. He warned me not to go one gate further, because cows were in that pasture.
I drove my relatively new, freshly-washed, bright red Jeep Grand Cherokee to the stand. After an uneventful two-hour hunt, the light began to fade.
From the stand, I could see my Jeep in the far distance with dark figures moving around it. I put my scope up, and there appeared to be a gang of cows around it. I had driven to the pasture with cows.
I got back to the Jeep after dark, and drove down the road to get gas. When I got out, in the bright lights of the station, I was shocked.
My beautiful red Jeep was completely covered with yellow tongue marks where the cows had been licking!
I called Craig and told him, “Your cows licked my Jeep!”
He fell out laughing, yelling, “I told you! The cows love to lick a red car.”
In the end, all the yellow cow drool washed off, but hoof marks on the plastic bumper, where they stood to lick the roof, remained. Lesson learned.
KIM G. MAYHALL
Dear Smiley: My mother served some of the best pies, cakes, salads, meats, etc., but she did not share her recipes. She passed on years ago.
A few kinfolk and friends got upset because she never shared. My guess is she wanted us at her house.
Many of us lingered in her kitchen. She'd turn away, add some things and put them up quickly.
I still lament a loss of her cornbread dressing recipe, featuring "roasted bird drippings" carefully added into her cornbread.
If we didn't annoy her too much, she rewarded some of us with a sample near its final exit from the oven.
Did others have moms who declined to share?
Panama City Beach, Florida
Dear Smiley: Years ago, while visiting New York, we were waiting to cross the street at a very busy intersection in Times Square.
A tiny, elderly lady with a cane was having difficulty crossing, so we helped her.
When we cleared the intersection, she looked up at my wife and said, “You must not be from here!”