Keep Smilin’ with Rosie – Poor choices and foolish decisions


By Rosie Preston

It is sometimes said that curiosity killed the cat. That might be true for little kids, too.

I’d like to share with you some random situations that that proves I’ve been both curious and foolish at times. Perhaps a few things might make me unique.
I attended first grade at Highland Elementary School. I had three good friends. I saw Sheila Hamlin more than the other two since her family visited with my family quite often. Both our dads were brickmasons. There was a time during first grade when Sheila and I did something that I still question to this day.

We had a play period, and the part we chose to use one particular day was a wooded area that had many pine trees. We proceeded to make a “house” using pine straw. We separated the rooms and used the straw as a sofa, a chair and a bed, among other items. We eventually heard our teacher call everyone to come back to class. So what did we do? We hid in the woods and didn’t mind our teacher.

The next thing we saw was her leaving the school building carrying a big wooden paddle. Our curious fun time turned out to have an ending we did not consider When we walked to meet her, she gave both of us several licks and we cried. It was embarrassing going back into our classroom and facing our peers! That was truly a foolish idea!

One time when I was helping my mom cook in the kitchen, I opened a drawer and a little mouse jumped out. I screamed and turned around and spilled a gallon of tea. My mother looked at me like I was stupid and continued to make another gallon. I’ve often wondered how a little mouse can affect some people in such a way that they stand on a kitchen table to avoid said mouse.

Our family moved when I was starting third grade at Mitchell Elementary School, which was traumatic for me. The little girls at Mitchell seemed to have their little groups who stayed together, but thankfully a new girl in my class, Linda Hawthorne, became the best of friends with me.
Linda lived in a neighbor-hood where it was safe to ride a bicycle, which was so different from where I lived on Harts Avenue. That road ended with a stop sign placed for drivers to wait on traffic to allow them to pull onto Noccalula Road.

My sister received a blue bicycle for Christmas, which we loved to ride. It had a problem that I’m sure could have been easily corrected. Sometimes the brakes failed to work, maybe 20 percent of the time. One day I was riding down Harts Avenue when the brakes failed. I had two choices – I could ride into traffic or wreck the bike before. I quickly made the decision to turn the bicycle into my own driveway which was also down a hill. Luckily, there was not a car turning onto Harts Avenue, because that could have caused a disaster for both of us. Of course, the bike’s brakes started working after I turned into my driveway. It was foolish of me to ride the bike in that condition. There may very well have been an angel on my shoulder that day.

My friend Rita and I made a really poor choice when we in grammar school. We were playing in her yard, and there was a new house being built next door. The brickmasons work there eventually left to take a lunch break. I looked and Rita and said something like, “Let’s lay some brick! My daddy lays brick, and I’ve watched him do it.”

We walked to the house, put the mortar on, grabbing some bricks and started laying them down. We probably laid about 10 bricks before we heard the professionals coming back. We didn’t think much about it until the next day when Rita’s mother approached us. She wasn’t happy, and we were grounded from playing with each other for the next couple of weeks.

A few years ago, I had to be fingerprinted for a job, and I went to Etowah County Sheriff’s Office to do this, where they told me they could not read my fingerprints. Being in a hurry to get this matter done, I went to Anniston and then to Boaz, where I got the same results. A few years later, I was at a doctor’s office when I saw my good friend, Donna Johnson sitting in the lobby. I don’t know how the subject came up, but she said her fingerprints did not show up, either. We attributed it to the fact that we had cleaned house since we were young and used Comet Cleanser, which is very abrasive.

We shared a good laugh, because we still cleaned with it. Donna passed away just a few weeks ago. I‘ve missed her so much be-cause we always laughed together. Rest in peace, my friend, you will always live in my heart.

When I was a teenager, I had a friend named Lanette. One time when she was spending the night with me, we decided for some reason to jump out of my bedroom window, which was about four feet above the ground. We went down a hill in my yard that led to Noccalula Road. I don’t know what we were thinking to this day, and the only thing I do remember vividly was when we tried to get back in through the window, which proved to be quite difficult. Lanette eventually made it in with my help, but then I couldn’t get back in. She tried her best to pull me in, but it was impossible. We then got the silly giggles, during which I wet my pants! It was not a fun time when Lanette had to wake my mother and tell her what happened. I wonder why Lanette just didn’t go and open the front door. I guess we were both too terrified to think clearly.

My granddaughter recently recovered from pink eye and spent the night with me. We after we’d gotten in bed, I soon got in my comfortable sleep position, my eyes began to itch. I got up and put some moisturizing drops in hoping that it would help. It did not. I then found a nighttime gel in a little tube and put that in my eye. No relief. I then mixed some powdered Colostrum in a small cup with enough water to drip it into my eyes. That treatment did calm my eyes for a few hours. There was a bottle of Witch Hazel in our medicine cabinet, so I wet a washcloth with hot water, poured the witch hazel onto the cloth and rubbed my eyes. That did work for a while, but today I‘m going to the doctor.

Earlier this week, I twisted my lower back. I spent a lot of time using ice and a heat pad, but it flared up and caused sciatica, which caused a shooting pain down my legs. There’s not much to do when that happens except to try changing positions and stay awake for hours.
To add to my agony, I suffered a horrible allergy attack that was choking me. After finally being able to breath normally, I had a wheezing fit that had all kind of noises coming which reminded me of an asthma attack. I think what caused it was that I breathed all the dust and pollen while I was cleaning the house. I’ll try to remember to wear a mask next time.

At the same time, I suffered from a terrible pain my shoulder that kept me awake until five in the morning. I had to wake Phil and ask him to help me put on my posture brace (which, by the way, has been a miracle that I found out about accidentally). I put it on one day and it stabilized my right shoulder and the pain went away. I’ve tried going without it and I can truthfully say that if you know of anyone experiencing shoulder pain or nee-ding surgery, this brace saved me for the several weeks before I could schedule my surgery. I was been too lazy to put it on one night earlier this week, and I suffered as a result of that poor decision, I’ve been wearing it around the clock since then.

I hope you identified with something in this column that made you think outside the box or caused you to smile!

Keep smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at

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