Most of us know someone we think of as ditzy or scatterbrained. These people aren’t unintelligent—they just see things differently. I’ve been told there’s one in every family. Mine is no exception.Terri was the third of five children… the first girl, which netted her extra attention for a while… but when our family was complete, she was right in the middle with two older brothers and two younger sisters. For some reason, that position generated a lot of teasing from both sides – especially when she began to earn the title “airhead.”
When the children were young, we were driving through
one evening and had to stop
at a red light at the corner of “A” Street.
Studying the sign carefully, Terri piped up, “Why did they put a sign up
that says that’s a street? Everybody
knows that’s a street!” The laughter of
her brothers and sisters continued for quite a while… though Terri honestly didn’t
know what was so funny. South Charleston
On another occasion, one of Terri’s brothers came running into the house with news that our neighbor had been the victim of a minor crime. He said, “Mr. Bailey’s car got broken into last night!” Looking puzzled, Terri said, “How do you break a car in two?” Her brothers rolled on the floor laughing.
In the wintertime when it was dark early, the five of them would go to the playroom after dinner, turn out the lights and play hide and seek. For a while, they couldn’t understand why it was so hard to find Terri. Then they discovered she had a most unusual hiding place. She was lying flat on the back of the sofa – hiding in plain sight, you might say.
Terri certainly wasn’t dumb. She made excellent grades in school; always acing the “A” or “B” Honor Roll… and she had an incredible knack for taking care of money. She was once bragging to her siblings at dinner that she had some money saved and was thinking about what she might buy with it. When they all giggled, Terri said, “Don’t laugh; you’ll see.” Her sister said, “Okay, how much do you have?” Terri answered, “Three.” Everyone hooted wildly, but became suddenly quiet when she clarified that she meant three-hundred dollars! It was difficult for any of us to believe that she’d saved up that much money. She got only a small weekly allowance and received gifts of money from grandparents and other relatives occasionally, as did the other children. At any rate, Terri had three hundred dollars to spend and her siblings were green with envy.
These are just pleasant memories now. The children are married and have blessed us with seven grandchildren. We gather regularly for special occasions as other large families do and make many wonderful memories—and Terri continues to entertain us now and then with one of her gaffes.
She delivered her most recent howler a couple of years ago at Christmastime. One of her children had received a gift of jeans that didn’t fit. We were telling her and her husband that they could probably exchange them on their way home at a certain
store. I told her, “They have a large
selection. You probably won’t have any
trouble.” Then, looking at another
daughter, I said, “We bought you jeans there last fall, remember?” Hearing this,
Terri, looking baffled, asked, “Who’s Charleston ?” Eugene
We all stood looking at each other for a few moments, mouths agape, before bursting into laughter. Some things never change—and, in this case, we are so grateful they don’t!