Feng Shui by Clear Englebert

My Mother’s Son

My Mother’s Son

Mama in her Marine uniform; she served during WWII.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Ace Hardware to buy six metal shelf brackets. Once I got home, I realized that we already had three brackets that would do fine, so a few days ago I went back to Ace to return three brackets. I gave the cashier my original receipt and she looked at it for quite awhile, so I finally said, “I bought too many. I only needed three.” She said, “Your receipt says you only bought one.” I was puzzled, but I couldn’t argue with what was printed on the receipt, so I said, “Well, I’ll just return one.” She made the transaction and I walked out of the store still having two shelf brackets. As I walked to the car, I was trying to figure what had happened, and I remembered that when I originally bought the shelf brackets I had left the store feeling jubilant. I hadn’t looked at the receipt, but I was thinking, “Now that’s what shelf brackets should cost!” The cashier had made a mistake and had charged me for one instead of six, and I was just now realizing that.

My mother, Merle Twitty Englebert, when she was in her 80s.

I turned right around and headed back to the store. I explained to the cashier what had originally gone wrong and that I owed for three shelf brackets which I had at home. She said, “I need my manager.” I explained it to the manager and she told the cashier to accept the two brackets and charge me for three brackets and thanked me for my honesty. I wasn’t quick enough, but I should have said, “Oh, don’t thank me. Thank my mother.”

My mama had great strength of character. Many years ago, she went to a public phone booth (remember those?) and put in her dime to make a call. Out poured all these coins like she’d won at a slot machine. She gathered them up and dialed the operator and told her what happened. My mom said, “Now I’m going to put all these coins back in and you make sure they stay.” The operator was dumbfounded, but my mom just said, “A dime isn’t worth going to hell for.”

Article Comments

  1. Linda Stanford Logan

    June 18, 2020 3:09 pm Reply

    Just saw this on Facebook. Your parents were my teachers at Margerum School from the third through the sixth grade. They both were fantastic teachers. What a blessing they were to this little rural school!
    Their training prepared me well for my later years in school. Lynn and I graduated from Cherokee in 1964. I remember you and Charles from our years at Margerum.
    I have a letter your mother wrote to my mother about our school progress I had three sisters younger than me at Margerum School.
    Thanks for sharing memories of your mother.
    Linda Stanford Logan

    • clearenglebert

      June 18, 2020 3:19 pm Reply

      Thank you, Linda. I remember you, and Margerum School was the best! Three brilliant teachers (including Mrs. Burns), who didn’t put up with nonsense, and a fabulous lunchroom lady—Miss Lita! Plus the school building was gorgeous. I never tired of looking at the patterns in those lovely sandstone walls.

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