Ornery & Cantankerous

God had been good to me all my life despite the obstacles that I have and do endure on a daily basis.  As frustrating as my children are to me at times, I can not imagine my life without them.  I have learned a great deal being a mother.  Things that apply to life here on earth, to my spiritual walk with Christ, and then there are the things that are just side splitting funny.

Speaking of funny things, there is a  generous part of my life which causes me to smile: the relationship between my husband and my father.  These two wonderful humans are more alike than even they like to admit.  They both have a dry sense of humor. Each are quick with comebacks. Equally they dress well.  They have a great deal in common yet they have a bunch that they prefer to “discuss.”

Ford or Chevrolet.  Fried or baked.  Up or down.  Too loud or too soft.  Is a normal part of life in our home. If one of them is not aggravating the other in love then one of them is very ill.  I have taken to calling them Ornery and Cantankerous.  My husband is Ornery.  Dad is Cantankerous.

One Sunday morning, the family was gathering in the front room to leave for Church.  Cantankerous entered from his bedroom whistling a hymn and lay his red, white, and blue hat on his chair.  He was dressed in khaki slacks and a red button down shirt.   As per usual his long sleeves were rolled to a perfect 3/4 length sleeve.  He busily collected the things that he would need for the morning service.

My Sunday tussle with outfits and hair complete, I met everyone except my husband in the front room and began reminding people of items not to forget to take when we left.  Footsteps slow and steady came across the kitchen floor and then were silenced by the living room carpet.

I turned and could not help but smile at what my eyes beheld.  My Knight in shinning armor was dressed in his navy blue pinned stripped suit, white dress shirt and red silk tie.  I must secretly admit my heart may have skipped a beat.

Cantankerous turned towards Ornery and begins to speak,”Young man. You are mighty dressed up this morning.”  My Cantankerous Dad was met only with a smile.  “You can not go to church looking like that,” he continued.

“Excuse me?” Ornery asked, “What are you talking about?”

“You CAN NOT go to church dressed better than me.” Cantankerous responded shaking his head.

Hubby laughed, “I’m sorry, Sir, it is time to go.  No time to change.” and off we went to church.

The next week Dad the Cantankerous was dapper in his pants, shirt, and fedora. Ornery entered the scene in pants, shirt and tie. “You can’t go to church dressed better than me.” was the challenge made by Dad.  “Look sir, ” Hubby said, “I think You may have to step up your game.”

This was a ritual continued for about six weeks, with snide remarks going back and forth constantly.   Last Sunday, Hubby was choosing his wardrobe for service.  “I guess I will just go casual today, and make Cantankerous happy.  No need to show him up again.”  he smiled.

Cantankerous has a few years on the other one, and they may have given him a slight edge in this particular instance.  Or maybe Ornery was tired of that particular fight. Both of them are too head strong to admit either, so we will never know.

Every story that has value has a moral.  So what is the moral to this Ornery & Cantankerous dance?  It is simple.  Never give up.  No matter how tough an obstacle is, if you hang in there and keep trying, you will very likely succeed.

Proverbs 4:25 tells us, Keep your eyes on the path, and look straight ahead.   I believe that is truth.  Whatever you are trying to achieve, keep at it. Stay on the path.  Never let go of the plan to achieve your goal.  I guarantee if Ornery and Cantankerous see a win against each other they will be on it, as we say, like white on rice.


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