“Don’t you talk to me about getting into shape!” Grandma Belle said to me, shaking her finger at me. With love in her eyes, she grinned at me. I knew what was coming next. “Round is a shape, you know!”
Then she cackled in glee before taking a puff of her big cigar. Blowing smoke rings right at me, because she was ornery as hell, she added, “Why, back in my day, we didn’t need to do this bike riding to nowhere or finding heavy things to lift like you folks do today. Hell, when I was your age, I had more exercise than you get all day before the sun was even up!” Grandma Belle shook her finger at me again, grinning like a crazy woman.
“You think you’re all spiffy in those matching sparkly workout clothes jogging down the street like a ghost is chasing you? You ought to try getting up at 3:00 am and milking 100 cows!” The number of cows and other farm animals in her story varied depending on how feisty she was feeling that day, or how much of a lesson she thought I needed in any given conversation, “That’s real exercise! Then you have to go chase down the damn horses that won’t stay in the corral and THEN wrangle some pigs for breakfast. I had to load 500 bales of hay onto the tractor all by myself! Why, if you get into that kind of shape, well… then you can talk to ME about being strong and fit!” She looked me over, shaking her head with love etched in her expression.
She hoisted herself off of the kitchen chair, “I think it seems like ‘rum o’clock” she practically chortled at her daily joke before getting the ice out of the freezer. She joked a lot about drinking, but she never had more than one small drink every day at 4:00, pretty much on the dot. “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” she’d say, and clink her glass silently in the air as if Grandpa were still here to enjoy their evening treat together.
She puffed on her cigar again and I leaned back in my chair and smiled. All was right with the world as long as Grandma was feeling sassy.
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