Maw Maw wasn’t taking any chances when it came to me and cold weather
I was searching through my drawers last week, looking for a silk scarf to wear to work.
Rustling past the gloves and handkerchiefs, I stumbled across a pink knit scarf with purple hearts all over it.
It was my winter scarf from my childhood. I can’t remember exactly when I got it, but I always had it when the weather started getting colder.
It’s not that I didn’t like the scarf, but I did hate wearing at times. I felt it got in my way.
Momma wasn’t so strict about me wearing it in the cold weather. But Maw Maw was borderline obsessed with the thing. As soon as the first chill appeared in the wind, she would snatch it out of the chest.
I’ll never forget the day I considered burning the scarf in the back yard. It was the day of our school field trip. We were going to McDonald’s for a pancake breakfast and to have pictures made with Santa Claus.
Now granted, it was a cold morning. But to assume it was like a blizzard would be crazy.
Well, Maw Maw was that crazy.
Momma and I had moved away from Monticello and were living in Jackson at the time. She had to work a 12-hour shift at the hospital on the day of my field trip. So Maw Maw and Paw Paw arrived from Monticello the night before to come along for the pancakes and Santa.
That evening before the big day, we were watching the weather report. I am not sure what the temperatures were going to be, but I do know the cartoons on the report showed a cloud blowing a puff of icy smoke.
“Oh, look at that,” Maw Maw said, poking Paw Paw. “It’s gonna be cold in the morning. We better bundle that baby up.”
I asked Momma to meet me in the kitchen. I knew what “bundle up” meant.
“Momma, she is gonna have it to where I can’t breathe,” I said. “She always goes crazy when it’s cold outside, and Paw Paw said she’s already worrying about what all she needs to do, and...”
Momma simply shook her head and told me not to back talk Maw Maw in the morning. She would already be gone for work, and she wasn’t ready for any phone calls from Maw Maw.
The next day, I woke up to no breakfast. The pancakes were waiting on me at McDonald’s. But I did wake to a Maw Maw with a pair of blue jeans, a Minnie Mouse sweater, two pairs of socks, an undershirt, a bag of cotton balls and that pink knit scarf.
“What are those for,” I asked, pointing to the cotton balls.
“To keep the wind out of your ears,” Maw Maw said, stuffing one inside my left ear.
I gazed over at Paw Paw for assistance. But he simply sipped his coffee.
“Isn’t this stupid,” I asked.
No one answered. I was alone in this battle.
Then Maw Maw took the knit scarf and wrapped it over my head, across my ears.
“Now what’s this all about,” I protested, starting to get red in the face from the cranked up heater.
“The wind, the wind,” Maw Maw said. “Covers those ears up.”
“Then what good do the cotton balls do,” I asked. “I can’t hear as it is. I won’t be able to tell Santa what I want because I won’t hear when he asks me.”
Paw Paw began laughing, but Maw Maw just stared at me as she buttoned up my denim coat.
I was able to take my “attire” off when I ate my pancakes with my classmates that morning. But the second we went outside to play on the playground, I had to wear that stupid scarf around my head.
My friends kept picking on me, and a few adults stared at me. Paw Paw later told me Maw Maw got into a “disagreement” with one of my teachers who said the scarf could get hung on the slide and choke me to death.
The Lord must have took pity on me because I was at least able to take the scarf off when I got on Santa’s lap.
I pushed the scarf away last week when I discovered it in my drawer. But I was tempted to wrap it around my head one last time.
My son James and I made our way to the car, and I noticed a slight chill in the morning air. The colder temperatures were on the way.
And I must admit, I looked around the corner of our house. You never know when a Maw Maw will pounce with a pair of cotton balls and an itchy knit scarf.