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  • Vernalee


By Vernalee

Nothing beats the wisdom of Mothers. Allow me to share a story whose lessons stay with me 50 years hence. In the late 1960’s while traveling to school, some of us came up with the crazy notion that we would make the bus driver so nervous that she would run off the road. Wow! If successful, we might be off a day from school. We had a hike of over 50 miles to pick up students from varying parts before arriving to Riverside High School.  To accomplish our goal, we started loudly yelling and subsequently, she swirled off the road.

Mission accomplished!

Of course, our young minds did not factor into account the danger of the situation. It bears to reason that - (“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.” - Proverbs 22:15).

Much to our chagrin, the bus was repaired overnight. The next day, the driver refused to pick us up. “The Collins kids cannot get on my bus!” Though I was the ringleader, I didn’t open my mouth.  However, my "stand up for his children" Daddy was outraged.

“Nobody is gonna insult my kids! Here. (Reaching my brother the car keys). Drive my car to school.” Off to school we went; the joyride was leisurely fun!

All was well until my mother, Miss Phoebe came home that afternoon.

With a stern piercing look that scared me out of my wits, she called me.

“Your Daddy told me what happened, but I know that you were involved if it had anything to do with you running your mouth! Now, what’s your story? And you betta not lie to me!”

Before I could open my mouth, she said, “There are 3 sides to every story. “Your side, her side, and the truth!”

As I looked down to the ground, my mother in a robust tone said, “Just tell the truth. It’ll take you farther and spare the rod.”

Shamefully, I told her what I did!

“I’ll fix you. You’ll know betta than to act a fool the next time,” my late Momma said with a roaring penetrating sound. I thought that I was off the hook.

She tricked me, but what could I do or say!

I didn’t get spanked, I received something far worse!

My punishment was -

I couldn’t talk on the phone for a month. It seemed like an eternity.

Afterwards, I never opened my mouth on the bus rides again!

Her rod of correction was taking away something that I loved.

It was a lesson learned the hard way with an indelible imprint that stayed with me ... even to this day!

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Aug 09, 2021


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