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An Ornery Angel Update

Jan
8

I shouldn’t tell this story. Consider it a report on my personal development. And as many of you have actually asked me how things are going with the ornery angel since my original post, be gentle with me as you absorb the utter lack of personal development posted herein.

As some others of you may have forgotten the ornery angel tale and others of you may be new and have never read it to begin with, I’m reposting the ornery angel story here in its entirety with the update below. (Original post: June 11, 2008.)

On our road, there are two and a half miles between the hard road where my cousin’s farm is and the river ford. There are a handful of residents on the first half mile of the road. Once you get past that, heading out toward the river ford, you’ve only got scattered hunting cabins other than two houses plus ours. There is a woman who lives in one of these houses. I’ve had several interactions with her in the past year. The first interaction involved her car being broken down when she picked up her kids from the bus. I was on my way out to look at our then-under-construction house and I took her and her children home in my car. My second interaction with her, months later, was when I was passing her on the road. I happened to have my window down and she rolled her window down and told me that I drive too fast on this road and she didn’t like it. I thanked her for letting me know and went on. Now whenever I drive past her, I make sure my window is rolled up.

FYI, this is the woman who drives 5 mph who stopped in the road and picked up the turtle. Yeah, I didn’t like it that that incident made me like her a little bit. She still drives too slow. When I say 5 mph, I’m not exaggerating. Sometimes it’s 3. And I hardly think driving 15 mph on this road is acting like I’m on the Autobahn, so yeah, it annoyed me that she gave me a hard time that one day. I think she’s rude and bossy. (There is no posted speed limit on this road, though I’ve been told it’s commonly considered 25 mph on rock-based roads in this area. I don’t know for sure. It’d be difficult to go any faster than that without careening over a cliff, so I suppose no sign is posted because the rough, winding road forms it own limits.) It’s simply not necessary to creep along this road, though, which is what she does. Two and a half miles is a long way at creeping speed. There are various points along the road where I could go around her if she stopped or even pulled over just a little, but she never does that. She forces me to creep along behind her. For two and a half miles.

If I have to pass her on the road coming from the other direction, it’s always me who has to move, not her, even if it’s harder for me. One time I came across her and she stopped her car in the middle of the road. I waited for her to move over at least a little to help me pass her. She didn’t move. Eventually, she got out of her car, marched up to my car window, told me I had 4WD and she didn’t so she wasn’t going to move over and I’d better just figure out how to get around her. I asked her if she could move over just a little since there was a CLIFF there and she was in the MIDDLE of the road. She could move over a little to help, 4WD or not. Nope, not budging. I get a sense of resentment from her. I’m an outlander, “that writer” who built that house on the hill and pretends to be a farmer. I’m a blight upon the community and she’s letting me know, in her way, that I’m not welcome. And then there’s the fact that I came with all those teenagers. She doesn’t like them, either. She came stomping up to my house one day to complain about the way 17 drives. She thinks he drives too fast and she doesn’t like it. (Are we sensing a pattern here?) I thanked her for letting me know. Then she complained about him at the sheriff’s office, too.

In the house where this woman lives with her little children, they do have electricity, but little else. They have no phone service and no TV. Their house is actually two old single-wide trailers put together, and there is mildew almost completely covering the outside of the trailers. I don’t think they have any electric heat because in the winter they are always burning wood and I always think they are going to burn their trailer(s) down. Sometimes I complain that I need money, but all I have to do is look at their home when I drive out the road to know that I am blessed. Their living situation is the classic image of stark Appalachian poverty. I do think this woman is good-hearted–she stopped and got that turtle out of the road–and she is country-wise–she is one of the neighbors I watch to see if they will drive to the river ford or not. But I would never tell her that because I don’t like her. Well, maybe the truth is that I like her, but I don’t like that I like her because along with good-hearted and country-wise, she is so abrasive. Mostly, I just try to avoid her. Which isn’t hard since I have 40 acres to seclude myself. But whenever I drive out the road….. There she is, somehow, always, when I am on the road.

Then the other day I came across her on the road, stopped. She’s strange, so I just went past her then I thought, hunh, maybe I should check, so I stopped the car and told Princess to get out and run back there and find out if she was just stopped for no reason (or, heck, actually moving and I can’t tell because she drives so slow the human eye cannot detect the motion) or broken down. Princess ran back down the road then ran back. The woman’s car was broken down.

Remember that the first time I ever interacted with this woman, I gave her a ride because her car was broken down and all she’s ever done since then is give me a hard time. With great reluctance, I got out of the car and walked back to hers and said, “You want a ride back to your house until you can get some help?” (Cuz, like, if she’s got car trouble, I can’t do anything about that, but I can give her a ride home. And on that stretch of the road, far past the handful of houses at the head of the road and with the river ford closed to traffic from the other direction right now, she’s not likely to get help from anyone else.) I could look her in the eye and see that I was the last person in the known universe from whom she wanted to accept help. But she took it. And I took her home. We drove a mile down the road (at 15 mph, about which she made nary a complaint) and chit-chatted awkwardly about the big storm and I was so relieved when we got to her house and I could let her out.

Our phone was out that day (in the aftermath of the storm), and I told her, “I hope your phone is working so you can call someone because our phone is out.” She said, “We don’t have a phone.” And I felt really bad because I knew that (her little kids had told that to Princess one day on the bus) but I had temporarily forgotten because, well, everyone has a phone. or so you think, and it’s such a basic that it slipped my mind that she didn’t have one. But she said she would use her other car to go get someone to help her with her broken-down car.

And, rid of her at last, I drove away and felt good about helping her in spite of the fact that I didn’t want to help her. I felt good about it, well, honestly, partly because she didn’t want me to help her. I think it annoyed her that I helped her. (Revenge!) And I know that someday I might need help and she is one of the few people who live out here and now she has to help me whether she wants to or not because I have helped her twice. (Self-serving!)

What a crappy person I am! Then I couldn’t even feel good about helping her.

I told this whole story to 52 and he said, “Your trouble is that you are supposed to help her because she needs help and you should expect to gain nothing in return, neither revenge nor some reward in the future.”

He’s such a Yoda. I don’t know how he’s gotten through life without being smacked around more.

I figure this woman will be broken down in the road ten more times and each time I will be tested to see what my motivation is for picking her up, and when I finally pick her up with no motivation other than seeking the goodness of mankind, her country-wise, good-hearted, and abrasive self will evaporate as if she never existed because she was only put here on Earth as a mere figment, an ornery angel, to turn me into a better person.

Which, apparently, I am light years away from becoming as I imagine her entire existence revolving around the improvement of my character.

Now you understand.

So, that was June. Summer passed in a blissful wonderland in which I scarcely saw the ornery angel because our paths cross on the road primarily when school is in session and we are driving the road at the same time. And even then, not so much because of sports–which means through much of the year my children don’t come home on the bus due to afterschool practices. In the mornings, I have taken to leaving early so I can get down the road ahead of her on my way to drop off Morgan at the old farmhouse, where she gets the bus. The ornery angel waits at the head of our road for the bus. I drop off Morgan and hurry back to hit the road before the bus comes. Before the ornery angel can turn around and head down the road in front of me causing me to not reach home till noon. (I exaggerate. But not by much.)

Of course, sometimes I don’t make it. I leave a little bit late. Or the bus comes a little bit early. And next thing you know I am creeping behind the ornery angel for two hundred miles. Okay, two and a half, but if you have ever driven behind this woman, you would swear it was two hundred. And she never moves over at any opportunity where she could let me pass. NEVER. That’s because she hates me.

52: “You should wave at her when you pass her on the road. Then she’d be nice to you.”

Me: “I WAVE AT HER!! She doesn’t wave back.”

52: “She waves at me.”

She even moves over for him. Me? NEVER.

And so, in my ongoing battle with the ornery angel, I devised a holiday scheme. BRIBERY. I planned it for months. Come Christmas, I’d give her stuff!! I’d make her bread and candy and cookies.

Christmas Eve, I revealed my plan to 52. “Now she will like me!” I said.

“You’re doing this so she will like you?” he asked.

Me: “No!! I’m doing this so she’ll MOVE OVER!!!”

52: “You’re supposed to help her because–”

And then I clobbered him with a frying pan and found Morgan. (Okay, I didn’t really clobber him with a frying pan, but I did go get Morgan.)

Me: “I’m going to bake some raisin bread and put together a big bag of goodies for the ornery angel then you’re going to take it all over there.”

Morgan: “Why don’t you take it over there?”

Me: “Because she might punch me. She likes you. She won’t punch you.”

Morgan: “Why are you doing this?”

Me: “So she’ll MOVE OVER.”

Morgan: “That’s never going to happen.”

Naysayers! They do not understand my battle with the ornery angel. Okay, I don’t understand my battle with the ornery angel. The ornery angel probably has no idea we are doing battle. None of that is the point. I want her to move over.

I baked her a beautiful loaf of raisin bread. I put together bags of homemade cookies and bourbon balls and peppermint pretzels and chocolate spoons. Morgan gathered some other things she wanted to give to the ornery angel’s children. A brand new jacket, never worn, that was too small for her. A Nintendo DS game. (She had earlier given one of the ornery angel’s children her old Nintendo DS.) A little pink purse. And a few other things.

And, after bothering me a few more times about how I should take it over there myself (what, does she think I have a death wish?), off she marched, in her Santa hat, down the driveway and up the road to carry the bag of bribery to the ornery angel.

This is back-to-school week from the Christmas holidays. On Tuesday, I got away late. I wasn’t quick enough to get back to the road before the ornery angel had seen her children off on the bus and turned back down the road ahead of me.

I crept behind her for half a mile and then…..

SHE MOVED OVER!!!!

She moved over! She moved over! She moved over!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandmother Bread CAN do anything!

Well, it can, at least, get the ornery angel to move over.

And the fact that this bribery succeeded…. The fact that I did something nice for her for no reason other than selfish gain….. The fact that I have made no personal development in the past six months AT ALL…..

I don’t care.

SHE MOVED OVER!!!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 8, 2009  

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  1. 1-8
    1:47
    am

    Oh my gosh…it is almost 3 AM here, I am almost delirious from being tired and I happen to read this before falling in the bed. And I swear if you didn’t bout make me pee on myself from laughing. I am glad she moved over though. I bet Morgan bribed her. LOL

  2. 1-8
    2:51
    am

    If you can write this and realize you had selfish motives for being nice, then maybe, just maybe you did learn something afterall? To be honest, I’m probably closer to being her than I am to being you. I also live in a trailer in Appalachia with 4 kids. I think that’s why this post hits home so much. I have often wondered how that lady was doing and how her kids were. My first thought when you talked about how slow she drove was maybe she has some sort of neck or back pain that makes it painful to go down the rocky road quickly, or her tires are showing steel and she worries about them, or maybe she’s even disabled. Suzanne I think down deep you aren’t as mean as you let on in this post. I think you ought to go talk to her. Whynot invite her for coffee? Isn’t it the WV way to be neighborly? By the way, I think it’s awesome that Morgan gave those things to the kids.

  3. 1-8
    5:29
    am

    Haha.
    Gosh, if you invited her over for coffee she’d probably come pick Princess up in the morning to catch the bus. ;)

  4. 1-8
    5:32
    am

    OMG!!! You ROCK Sue!!! This is a GREAT STORY!!! Go Morgan – giving them little tuggers somthing to play with!!

  5. 1-8
    5:33
    am

    Did she put the turtle out of the road or in her car?
    Cooter Soup? I don’t think were mean, self serving, yes.
    Mean, no. :flying:

  6. 1-8
    5:40
    am

    I’m glad she moved over for you. It might be a good idea to take her some treats like homemade bread here and there through out the year. If for no other reason than the ornery angels kids would like them.

  7. 1-8
    5:46
    am

    But you see, her moving over probably made her feel better so it really was an altruistic thing you did. You can just tell everybody that all you really wanted to do was free her from her orneriness

  8. 1-8
    6:02
    am

    That was great. It would be something I would do. But now I wonder. Why does she drive so slow. I would want to meet her and try to talk to her to find out why why does she drive so slow. Could be she is so much enjoying the peace and quite on the way back home, she is in no hurry to get back to small children who are not in school. A cranky husband? I am sure it is not you. Or mabe she is intrested in who you are and is watching you in her mirror wondering who is this woman who build a house up the road from me with 3 kids. And darn if she does not have a good looking boyfriend. She is thinking of ways to talk to you and find out who you are. Yea I think so. Go make friends. :)

  9. 1-8
    6:17
    am

    Is Morgan wearing the apron in that picture? When you said she put it on and never took it off you weren’t kidding. What a hoot.

  10. 1-8
    6:28
    am

    You are too funny – I have to admit ( I think like you – LOL)

    But, I don’t live there under those circumstances. I would probably never have questioned why she was driving that slow.

    But, I am a nice person and would do anything for anybody that I could and I see that you would too :)

    Have a great day :)

  11. 1-8
    6:39
    am

    you have no choice but to meet her now. Don’t you want to…I mean the curiosity factor alone. And by that I don’t mean they are a curiosity…I mean that maybe they need help.

  12. 1-8
    6:42
    am

    What a great story! I was needing something great this morning, and there it was! Thank you so much for helping your angel, and for helping this person who loves reading your blog every day.

  13. 1-8
    6:51
    am

    I’m proud of you! Who knows, one day she may be your “used-to-be-ornery” angel!

  14. 1-8
    6:57
    am

    What a wonderful story! Maybe someday you’ll be best friends! (bwah ha ha ha ha)

    Just kidding, Suzanne!

  15. 1-8
    7:06
    am

    The fact is that many entrenched Appalachians don’t like outsiders. Never did, never will. People like this lady usually lead pretty miserable lives, but somehow “enjoy” it. At worst they are used to it. They are resigned to their fate. Then, some wild-haired “outsider” appears out of nowhere and soon there’s a major thoroughfare past their house where none existed before. (At least that’s how they see it). These people can be very hard to warm up to. Sometimes it’s impossible. All you can do is take them bread and cookies (and sometimes Meth) and hope for the best! :rotfl:

  16. 1-8
    7:07
    am

    When all else fails, out right bribery is the way to go heheheh
    :mrgreen:

  17. 1-8
    7:10
    am

    I wonder if that ‘Yoda’ stuff comes with age bc my husband is 11 years older than I and he is the same way-mostly. More than me but he does have his ornery moments whereas I am mostly ornery with a few enlightened moments sprinkled about so I don’t look completely eeeeeviiiiil. mwahahaha!

  18. 1-8
    7:33
    am

    Yea!! I hope you waved and smiled real big when you passed her! :wave:

  19. 1-8
    7:38
    am

    That is such an awesome story.

    Do you watch Friends? There was one episode in which Joey and Phoebe had a battle about whether or not there was any unselfish acts of kindness. Joey said there wasn’t, and Phoebe went about proving him wrong…and every single time she performed a good dead that she didn’t want to do (ie let a bee sting her) she always “felt good” about it (Joey told her the bee died and she was happy about that) and therefore it was selfish of her.

  20. 1-8
    7:50
    am

    Hey Suzanne!

    Here is my confession: I have been a lurker for over a year now. I’m a 23 year old, post-university graduate, currently a captain on a fishing boat, though I have worked on multiple farms. I read your blog everyday, thank you for taking the time to write it. I thought this post was hilarious. I’m away from home, and this post reminded me of my best friend and had me laughing out loud.

    SHE MOVED OVER!

    Awesome.

    From Terence Bay, Nova Scotia,
    Lisa

  21. 1-8
    8:01
    am

    That was a wonderful act of kindness. We know that deep down inside, you didn’t do it just to make her move over.
    You may be the only person who has extended a friendly hand to her in a long time. And, your children learned a very valuable lesson. I can’t wait to read the ways in which you might change this woman’s and her children’s life.

    (As slow as she drives, she may have located all those out
    houses you are trying to find.)

  22. 1-8
    8:13
    am

    Remember that saying “Commit random acts of senseless kindness… every day!” Well you committed a purposeful act of kindness and got one in return. Sometimes you have to slowly win over people. You’re a stranger from the outside. Where you live doesn’t see too many people choosing to move in and STAY. Give it time! And WAVE. It’s a country sort of thing to do. People look at me strangely when I wave at them usually. Some of my neighbors do wave back too. (Just at people on my suburban street… Otherwise I would be arrested for being nice to strangers and that is not allowed in the city!)

  23. 1-8
    9:12
    am

    I have to agree with another writer that I am probably more like her than I am like you.

    But I think, regardless of the reasons, what you did – plain and simple – was a kindness to another human being. And she is returning that – whatever the reason.

    You are a good human, Suzanne. And you made someone else feel good – nothing wrong with that! Thanks for all the laughs!

  24. 1-8
    9:15
    am

    LOL!!! I just love you to bits Suzanne!!

  25. 1-8
    9:39
    am

    You know what? Personal development is a lifelong process. But getting to go the speed limit is immediate, delightful gratification.

    Hell, the Wise Men brought bribes for the baby Jesus. Maybe they wanted Mary’s mule to move over. We’ll never know.

  26. 1-8
    9:44
    am

    But you’re not an outsider…your farm has been in your family for years.

    She probably sees all that you have and feels uncomfortable around you.

    I would try to make sure to give her plenty of respect and not treat her as “needy.” I think it was good to have Princess deliver the bag of Christmas goodies…it probably came across as a neighborly gesture than an act of charity.

    I thought neighbors just naturally waved to one another…but here in the ‘burbs, people act like you’re loopy if you’re too friendly. Like friendly is a sign of weakness. So sad to lose that basic civility.

    With this recession, we will all be needing to pull together, so my guess is that friendly will make a come-back–and stubborn people everywhere will be “moving over” or ditching whatever their particular power hold is.

    Great post.

    Kris
    Working hard at http://www.sccworlds.com

  27. 1-8
    9:52
    am

    I laughed not only through your post but also while reading all the comments – especially Sky’s about the meth! Like you, I’ve always been a waver. I wave at neighbors I don’t know simply because they live near me. I talk to strangers. I have helped strangers whenever I could. But you do occasionally run across the one who can’t be swayed by a cheerful grin. You may be the “outsider”, but it looks as though at long last she’s learning to trust your motives for being neighborly. And I agree with others – even though you just wanted her to “move over”, it was still a great kindness on your part, and you have both definitely made progress in personal development.

    What’s next, sending Clover (with Coco as chaperone, of course) to her home with a basket of cookies? :catmeow: :snoopy:

  28. 1-8
    10:11
    am

    you so rawk!
    i laughed and i cried and now i feel wonderful!

  29. 1-8
    10:50
    am

    Maybe Morgan said ‘would you pleeeeeeeeeze just move over, because if you don’t she’s just going to drive us all mad?!’

    But, more likely it was the Grandmother bread. Good move.

  30. 1-8
    10:50
    am

    Another brick in your road to heaven!

  31. 1-8
    10:51
    am

    I think you should have gone with Morgan. The ornery angel might have moved over even earlier!

  32. 1-8
    11:33
    am

    Who cares about what you should have done? You did what you did, for whatever reason, and got the result you wanted- She moved over! Are you being really honest,however? Do you want her to smile and wave and become a friend? Because it is going to take more than a bribe to make that happen.

    Great story! Well told! It is your life and thanks for sharing it warts and all!

  33. 1-8
    11:47
    am

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  34. 1-8
    12:05
    pm

    I absolutely loved reading this story!! You had me laughing out loud, for real!!I liked the Yoda comment, poor 52! The part about her probably not knowing there was a battle going on with you, reminds me of myself, and sooo funny! I’m glad she finally MOVED OVER!! Princess going down there in her Santa Cap probably made their Christmas!! Thank you soo much for that great entertaining story.

  35. 1-8
    12:44
    pm

    So many great comments guys. Whatever reason you did it for, Suzanne, it still was a lovely thing to do.

  36. 1-8
    12:49
    pm

    What a great story, you are a good neighbor Suzanne for stopping, giving her a lift and making her all those goodies. You did the right thing no matter what the reason.

  37. 1-8
    12:56
    pm

    Suzanne you lived in Texas – I’m surprised you don’t wave at everybody! When I was ‘shooting the rapids’ in Colorado I waved to the people watching from the cliffs. The guide said “you must be from Texas” LOL. In rural areas it’s the neighborly thing to do. And gee whiz, I wish I were your neighbor as I would love to get a bag of goodies from you. :hungry:

  38. 1-8
    1:07
    pm

    Okay so maybe you area little selfish in the motivation behind the gift giving, but it was as still a good thing. And personally, it’s really not too much to ask that someone move their car out of the way when they’re going so slow that snails are laughing at them.

    There might also be the “You Shall Not Pass” factor, which a friend and I came up with while we were tramping around the Las Vegas Strip before the wedding a friend. It was crowded a everything, and dodging people right and left was getting tiring. We decided this:

    No matter where you are going, or how fast you need to get there, the person’s ass in front of you will magically get larger so as to not let you move around them.

    It’s like Gandalf when he’s fighting the Bal’rog in the Mines of Moria. “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” *Growing Rump (_____________|____________) *

    I’m pretty sure this works the same way with cars.

  39. 1-8
    1:13
    pm

    I think the personal development comes in the fact that you didn’t lie about your motives to yourself or others.

    So glad you made it home in a timely manner.

  40. 1-8
    1:24
    pm

    You better keep sending grandmother bread!

  41. 1-8
    2:22
    pm

    She doesn’t need to know this.
    It will be our little secret.
    Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

  42. 1-8
    2:40
    pm

    It must have been all the goodness in Grandmothers Bread!

  43. 1-8
    2:42
    pm

    Congrats! That bread is magical.

  44. 1-8
    3:46
    pm

    For every action there is a reaction. Whether it’s adverse or positive, well, we’ll never know. Seems you got a positive reaction!

  45. 1-8
    3:53
    pm

    I agree with the comments, give it time!
    After building a home and living in the backwoods, mountains of north Georgia (32 miles one-way from milk and bread) for nearly eight years. A non-specific period of time passed before we were – put up with – by the mountain folks.

    Yes, WAVE, it is important to show that you are not a threat of any kind; you are not there to take anything from them, or judge them by being too uppity. You are only trying to be friendly! It’s more for you to prove/they were there first.
    The first year we were in GA, I kept asking my husband… ‘Do you know that person?’.
    It finally dawned on me, that ‘waving’ was just ‘done to all’.
    Because if you didn’t ‘return wave’ to someone that you did know…you had dissed them, even if it was unintentional.
    Person: I waved at you the other day, why didn’t you wave?
    Me: I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.
    Person: Thought maybe I’d done something, you saw The Car!
    After that conversation happened twice, thankfully not to the same person, I realized that it was the “vehicle” I’m waving at. Not knowing who was driving what, it was easier to open the hand for the ‘wheel wave’ to all cars, trucks, motorcycles, horseback riders, pedestrians, etc, etc, etc.
    If they were on a bicycle, and their back was to me….I waved.
    The next time Saddie Mae (her actual name) saw me at the grocery, she wasn’t going to be able to fuss, and ask me why I didn’t wave at her, while she was riding in the back seat of somebody else’s w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r.
    After getting to know some of the mountain people in the area, I asked why it took so long for them to come around to liking me. I had never been accused of being hard to get along with, ever.
    The answer I was given then, and still believe to be true: “We don’t like to be beholdin’ to people around here, especially somebody we don’t know”. So I asked what that meant. Since ‘I wasn’t from there’ (I can’t number the times those words have been said to me) anyway: If she asked for something she would be “beholding to you” for something in return. Having an obligation! And since she has very little or nothing to begin with, perhaps she would feel bad if you asked for something and she didn’t have it.
    Since you offered the ride…you offered the help…without her asking, she still doesn’t feel obligated to you.
    Now here comes Christmas…and you turn around and give her family something.
    Well Toot! Now she does feel obligated. Because that was something you really didn’t have to do! Nobody was stranded, or cold, or starving. Obligated, even if she doesn’t like you because she feels that you and your teenagers drive like MARIO. She probably doesn’t have insurance that covers shocks, ball joints, rocker arms, or any other type of suspension items for her automobile. She may not have insurance at all so she must go -s l o w- for the simple fact that she can’t afford to replace things. But then, it’s not her place to keep you from tearing up your car, like maybe she did, when she first moved up to the mountain.

    Ornery angel may never like you, or become your bestest buddy (coming over for tea and crumpets), but since it’s against the law and the Lord to do bad things, and realizing that ya’ll are just to hard to “run off”… eventually -putting up with- is less tiring.
    As for the Christmas obligation,…it may be that SHE MOVED OVER this one time and never again. but let’s hope that it will now be the norm.
    Be patient Suzanne – your good will has not gone unnoticed, my anyone.

  46. 1-8
    4:18
    pm

    Dang, too bad you can’t make a newspaper column out of that? Do you think she would read it? Probably better not chance it , unless you completely change the characters and circumstances. That is a good, good story. Why is it men are so innocent in certain ways, which makes us look like witches sometimes? I don’t know the answer to that!

  47. 1-8
    5:18
    pm

    Suzanne, I think you showed admirable restraint, and acted in a very Christian-like manner through the whole thing. Just because this woman is unfortunate does NOT give her license to be nasty. Good manners and politeness cost nothing. The fact that she moved over for 52 but NOT for you proves that this woman had some kind of bee in her bonnet meant just for you.

    If I were in your shoes, I’m afraid the situation would have to come to a very ugly head when she demanded that YOU move over while she sat in the middle of the road. I’d probably still be sitting there.

  48. 1-8
    6:19
    pm

    Hey whatever it takes! Seriously, that was very nice, the mom may not have had a lot of money for Gifts, you proably helped her give her kids a better Christmas and just gave her some hope! Something we all can use right now!! :elephant:

  49. 1-8
    7:52
    pm

    :wave: First time commenting, but I’ve been reading for a few months- I completely sympathize with your struggle with this woman. I am so glad your ploy worked! Huzzah!

  50. 1-8
    7:53
    pm

    personal development is not all it’s cracked up to be. The important thing is she moved over! You go girl! Whatever works.

  51. 1-8
    8:37
    pm

    And its because of your bread and recipes posting its your fault I am making so much homemade stuff now ! first the mac and cheese, then the most delicious soup, then I had to branch out and make homemade toffee and toffee with popcorn now biscuits and homemade butter… oh and my 12 yr loves loves loves the egg concoction, made with homemade bread of course, better than the hot pockets he used to like. Don’t know if I’m saving any money this way with the hub laid off now, but keep up the inspirational posts! It keeps me looking forward! I hope things continue to improve between you and your neighbor, we all have our quirks..

  52. 1-8
    11:01
    pm

    :clap: lol, that is so FUNNY. I totally would have done it for the same reasons. Glad it worked for you though.
    *hugs*

  53. 1-9
    8:33
    am

    LOL – congratulations Suzanne!

  54. 1-9
    10:32
    am

    This reminds me of the neighbor in one of Madeline L”Engle’s “Time” books.

    She was extremely difficult to be around and appeared not to be thankful for even the nicest move toward her.

    Then, when the children go back in time, they find out what happened to her as a child that caused her to be so bitter toward people. It didn’t change her but it changed the way they thought about her.

    I think of that story so often when I have to deal with these kind of people in my life. Literature teaches us a lot (as do children!).

  55. 1-9
    5:27
    pm

    Oh my…Ornery Angel sounds like she’s jealous to me. Hopefully she’ll find out that your a very nice person and move over more often :flying:
    Fern

  56. 1-9
    8:32
    pm

    That’s a great story! Lovely that what you all did for her did make a difference.

  57. 1-9
    10:48
    pm

    HAHAHAHA I love it! Go Suzanne!

    You have such a gift for telling a good story!

  58. 1-11
    2:26
    pm

    I wonder if she reads your blog? I realize you live in the boonies so she would have to have satellite internet so probably not.

  59. 2-1
    2:49
    am

    so funny, neighbours can be a curse or a blessing.
    loved reading this…….more please

    hugs
    gwen

  60. 2-1
    11:57
    am

    I guess 52 was suprised when she moved over!! You know that old saying…you can get more bears with honey than a shotgun !!

  61. 2-2
    6:25
    pm

    You are hilarious! And who needs personal development? SHE MOVED OVER!!!!!! :airkiss: :yes: :happyfeet: :sun: :happyflower: :shimmy: :snoopy: :woof: :fairy: :dancingmonster:

  62. 2-6
    6:29
    am

    Here’s another kindness for the wrong reason…..I think you should car pool her kids to the bus stop. Then you would have a free road!

  63. 9-24
    10:36
    am

    First time here at your blog (I stumbleupon-ed it), and I love it!

    thank you for the great read.

  64. 10-7
    3:29
    pm

    Oh my gosh! I have a neighbor just like that and the road you describe are almost identical. Except that she waves to us with one finger! But there are some differences. She has hated us from day one when we invaded her territory. Outsiders! She hates everybody and is always calling the sherriff’s department making complaints about “fast” drivers. She posted 5 mph speed limit signs on our right of way and says we are reckless drivers and speed and endanger her and her animals. I could go on and on about how hateful and evil she is. She reminds me of the Emperor on Star Wars. Darth Vadar’s boss! Seriously. She’s more man than woman and never smiles. We even had to go through a legal battle with her about our right of way. She is one of the most mean and horrible people I have ever met. We tried so hard for the longest time to be nice to her and to be good neighbors. But she has made our lives a nightmare. There were even times I had nightmares about her shooting me in the head. And she has our crooked sherriff’s department in the palm of her hands. It sounds like your neighbor at least has some human kindness in her. My neighbor has NONE! And she is NO angel! BTW…my daughter loves your website. She sent this story to me because of how familiar it is to our story. Maybe I should blog about my experiences with our neighbor from hell. Best of luck to you!

  65. 11-12
    6:42
    am

    ROTFLMAO! I love this story.

  66. 11-30
    9:31
    am

    All things come to she who waits
    But here’s a rule thats slicker
    Give them some Grandmothers bread
    Yall get there somewhat quicker
    :lol: :lol: :lol:

  67. 12-14
    7:09
    pm

    I’m too lazy to read through all the comments, so maybe someone else has already suggested this, but when you talked about the slow speed, I thought, I wonder if she has a vision problem? I bet she doesn’t have a dime to see an eye doctor.

  68. 2-20
    10:46
    am

    Excellent tactics Suzanne!

    Didn’t Mark Twain say something about always doing right? It will gratify some people and astonish the rest…

    You’re so funny! Love your stories!

  69. 2-27
    2:14
    pm

    This is so funny, I was born and raised in Mercer county, and I know how these people are. but keep up the good work and she wiill come across. it just take time, God Bless K

  70. 4-2
    10:25
    pm

    This is the best blog post EVER. Second in line from your blog is the post about Coco and Rat Dog (true love forever)

  71. 4-23
    11:44
    am

    OMG ~ You are by far my favorite writer. I’m like a kid at Christmas waiting with great anticipation to see what’s in the next ‘gift.’ Every new post is my ‘gift.’ Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  72. 1-28
    4:34
    pm

    This is the kind of thing that would replace warfare if women ruled the world.

  73. 1-29
    6:44
    am

    FOr some reason I woke up thinking about the Ornery Angel! I had to go in search of an update past this one, but no luck. Is she still letting you pass? Does she come for tea? Anything?

    Pam

  74. 11-3
    10:45
    am

    :snuggle: Oh Suzanne, I can relate. Moving to a new place and being the outsider can be hard. But being the first to do good deeds and showing kindness to others does help. Sometimes kindness is given back. And some times it is unfortunately ignored. But at least you’ll know in your heart you tried. I’m glad the ornary angel is warming up a little. Hey, she did move over. And she brought Boomerang home to you.That’s a plus! Around here everyone gets my eggs. They love my eggs :heart: and in return I get help with my tractor teehee. Life just needs a little give n take between neighbors to make things a little smoother. Can’t wait to see how things evolve out there! Good luck Suzanne! :duck:

  75. 3-1
    9:56
    pm

    This is a great story -having been raised in the country, i can relate :)
    I just want to let you know that i am new to your blog – and i am quickly learning that i just can’t stop reading your stories ! You are such a great writer–so entertaining– your stories bring a smile to my face and at times, tug at my heart strings ,too!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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