|"Lord, it's colder than a witch's titty, ain't it?" I heard somebody behind me say.
Oh no, I knew that voice anywhere, it was my elderly neighbor, Merlethem Shatz. I've mentioned before that I usually try to avoid her because it's really hard to get away from her once she gets her claws into you. Today, was really not the day to be caught up in conversation because the weatherman said that we might get some frozen precipitation. In the south, that can only mean one thing: It's off to the store for bread and milk.
I turned around to face Ms. Merlethem before I could stop myself. It's nothing personal but I didn't have time or didn't want to hear about her neck pimples or any other ailments she might have; but, it was too late. She'd seen my eyes, so off she went.
"Back in the winter of '52, when I was a lass back in New Staffordshire, we didn't have all of the luxuries that you spoiled Yanks take for granted. We certainly didn't run off to the market whenever there was a hint that old Jack Frost might be dropping in for a visit."
"Really, what'd you do?" I asked.
"Well! For starters, we made our own bread and had a cow for our milk. None of this fancy bread like Whole Wheat, Potato Bread, or Honey Butter Bread that everyone is so fond of today. We used to call it hardtack or something; you could bounce it off the dirt floor and it would bounce right back to you. That's right, my house had a dirt floor, what do you think of that?"
During Ms. Merlethem's rambling story I had picked up my gallon of milk and had worked my way over to the bread aisle with her following me the whole way. "You wanna know what I think of that? I think you talk too much and I've just got the last loaf of bread. Now, whatcha think about that?"