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Column

Luck-things

I would guess if you are over 50, or so, there were certain “luck-things” instilled in you as a kid. For instance, just walking to school could be pretty chancy. (You know, the route that was miles uphill both coming and going, and was usually covered with snow up to your waist.)

Once I found out, if I stepped on a crack, I’d break my mother’s back, or if I stepped in a hole I’d break her sugar bowl; I was busy dodging all those perils each time I ventured out. I went around with my head down for a few years before I decided to take my chances with the sugar bowl and ignored the holes in the sidewalk. Amazingly, when I got home our sugar bowl was still intact.

As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t miss every crack in those sidewalks. Feeling bad and worrying each time I mis-stepped was driving me nuts. So, I did it – I ignored the cracks. There again, in spite of my carelessness, I found my mother up, about, and feeling fine. It took a little longer to feel real safe on that one, but eventually, I relaxed and could walk to school without hopping all over in an attempt to avoid disaster.

Then, there was the bad luck if you find yourself and your walking partner separated by a pole, post, sign, or any taller object. It’s amazing how many times this happens, but there’s a remedy for this. Simply say, “Bread and Butter!” and you’re good – bad luck cancelled.

And, with your first sighting of a robin, spring has arrived. New hope is in the air - that is if you lick your thumb, press it in the palm of your other hand, and smack it with your fist. Doing this will assure good luck until the first robin of the next spring.

Folks, I am about to reveal a secret about me even Jerry didn’t know until now. A couple of those childhood luck-things have stuck with me (blush). I still say “Bread and Butter,” when separated from my walking partner by an object taller than us. Sometimes I brazenly say it out loud, but often it’s whispered, or just thought. This one Jerry knew.

And, it was the middle of March this year before the first robin revealed his little beak at me. It was a cold, snowy day while I was driving on Thompson Street, with my leather mittens on. I am praying that my saliva filtered through the mitten as I drove with my forearms while stamping it in. The problem is, I never have been sure if it was only the first robin, or if it was the first robin(s). So, to assure my good luck throughout the coming year, I just slyly lick, press, and stamp until they become too numerous to keep up with. This one Jerry didn’t know. My secret divulged after 56 years of marriage. How’s that for sly?

Topping off my “luck” spiel, is my Tennessee-born feline. You know, my little diluted calico, “Foxy Roxi.” After bringing her home to live with us, I Googled “calico cats.” Google information claims a traditional calico is black, gold and white – a diluted calico is gray, soft gold, and white. It turns out they are good-luck charms. Any household with one living in it is blessed with the luck of the Chinese, where this legend began. Go to any Oriental restaurant and you probably will see a plastic calico cat sitting by the register waving his paw at you. The way I see it, Roxi winding up in our home is really a God-thing. I’m hoping that the blessings aren’t also diluted.

Now, before you go getting judgmental about my idiosyncrasies, just think — who doesn’t vie for the longer half of the wishbone each time turkey and/or chicken is served in your home? And don’t forget the four-leaf-clover, rabbit’s foot, or that lucky charm you’re carrying. And, how many of you wives let their husbands see you on your wedding day before you said your I Dos? Oh yeah!

In my wise-old-age, I don’t really believe in luck. I believe they are actually “God things.” But, it doesn’t hurt to help Him along a little.

P.S. – Jerry still can’t read the newspaper any better through a diluted Roxi, than if she was traditional.

Earlene Campbell lives by the FROG motto — Fully Rely On God. She resides in Princeton and can be reached at earlenecampbell@rocketmail.com.

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