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Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

Warning to all would-be madmen and rabble rousers: That stylish little grandma with the blonde hair—‘cause Baby Boomers don’t go for that blue stuff—may be packing heat. But this blog isn’t about guns or the right to bear them. It’s about my mom and how sometimes we don’t realize just how lucky we’ve been in our lives until we’re older.

Last November we were fortunate to have my mom, aunt, and an older cousin present for my daughter’s ninth birthday party, and what a treat it was. At some point, I know the fifteen-plus-hours journey from my mom’s house to ours is going to become too difficult for her to travel. Of course she has always been a little spitfire, so she could surprise me. Much like she did during her last visit.

The conversation between the ladies in my family after the birthday party was probably one of the funniest ones I’ve ever overheard. Let me set the stage. You see, my mom is about 5’2” and a strong wind could blow her away. She usually has a new outfit on, her hair and nails are always done, and she likes her jewelry. She’s a tenderhearted, mannerly and gracious Southern lady, but if you mess with her family, she’s going to open up a can of HURT on you, as I was reminded that evening.

I had been in the kitchen cleaning up, so I joined this conversation in process. It went a little something like this…
“People say I shouldn’t have a gun,” my mom drawled. “That they’ll just take it away from me, but you know, I think I could use it if someone was threatening my grandchildren.”

My aunt nodded. “Oh, yeah. Me too. I bought a (heck if I can remember the type of gun) and it fits in my purse.”

“Really? Oh, that would be perfect. I’ve been wanting something little that will slip right into my handbag.”

Wow! And I thought my studded, leather handbag was edgy, but these ladies have me beat by a long shot. (No pun intended)

Of course I’m dismayed by the thought of my mom holding a license to carry a concealed weapon. I'm worried she could get hurt and I want to keep her around a long, long time. But this conversation reminded me of how lucky I was to grow up with a mom who always took my side and believed in me. She taught me about hard work and having pride in what I do by raising a little kid alone, working full time at the hospital, and pulling call nights and weekends those years it was just the two of us. And she taught me about living in the joy of the moment as we used to speed down the highway in the candy-apple red Corvette with The Doobie Brothers blasting through the speakers.

So, if I ask myself, Do you feel lucky, punk? I have to say, Yeah, I do. Pretty darn lucky.

My mom & me early 1970s

Now, it’s your turn. Who do you feel lucky to have in your life and why?


  1. One of my dearest memories is of sitting in the high school principle's office asking for some "we can't allow that" variation in my schedule. Dr. Bing called my mother. "Mrs. Burrowes, this is Principal Doctor (why didn't he add Herr Professor Almighty God?) Bing, and I have your daughter in my office..."
    He brayed on about the rules being the rules for good reason, and exceptions being something he was very reluctant to grant, blah, blah...
    Mom came back with, "If Grace wants to take three extra classes, then you'd best do as she's asking. It isn't as if you people have done much to keep her challenged for the past eleven years."
    And when I got home, she was fuming that he'd attempt to limit my options, intimidate her with lectures, and generally browbeat her, much less one of her bear cubs.
    Go Mom. I've been taking three extra classes ever since.

  2. Grace,

    Your story just gave me goosebumps. Go Mom is right! And how lucky we all are you had that kind of encouragement. It would have been a shame to have your talents quashed.

    Have a great weekend! :)

  3. Darlin', I am the baby boomer with the gray hair and a .38, along with a couple of rifles, a shotgun, etc. Although I have never hunted, my momma was one of the best shots in southern Oklahoma. She took my step-dad with her so he could carry home the game. Nobody messed with Momma (And to her dying day, everyone had best steer clear of her when one of my new books came out because that's what they were going to hear about!
    One of my favorite memories was back when my son was about to become a cop and he said, "Hey, Momma, they gave me the job but I have to provide my own gun and leather. Can I borrow yours until I can afford to buy my own?"

  4. Carolyn,

    You have beautiful hair! Never color it! And I'm not the least bit surprised you have a .38. LOL.

    Your mom sounds like she was a hoot & a wonderful lady to have on your side. Thanks for sharing your memories of her with us. It's not every day a grandson borrows his grandmother's gun. :D

  5. I'm lucky to have my daughter. I had such a hard time staying pregnant that I feel lucky to have gotten a great kid. I love that picture with your mom!

    1. Shana,

      You really did get a great kid. I love hearing Baby Galen stories. :)

  6. Awww that was a very sweet tribute to your Mom. She's such a remarkable lady and treated all of us girls like her own. I'm thankful she was in my life and was a positive and fun role model for us.


    1. Thanks, Nancy. We all had some pretty cool moms. I like how yours always let us take over the house. :)

      Ah, the good old days...

  7. Samantha, I loved your blog! Yay for pistol-packing mommas who believe in their kids and go to bat for them!!

    One of my favorite memories is of my dad telling his favorite story of me helping him plant flowers in our yard. He had a bag of bovung that he mixed in with the dirt. Now I was really little and couldn't grasp the concept of dehydrated cow manure, so he simplified it for me and told me it was cow poop.

    He said I listened and without missing a beat asked him how they got the cows to poop in the bag. He laughed until he cried every time he told that story.

  8. We never had a gun in our house when I was growing up and I don't have a gun in mine, but I've never met a finer or stronger woman than my mother. And yes, I feel real lucky. I enjoyed your story about your mom. You are blessed, too!

  9. CH,

    Hahahahaha. I love it! There really is something special about the stories our parents tell about us. I remember just soaking up every little thing my mom told me I did when I was young.

  10. Thank you, Amelia. I feel blessed. :)

    Oddly, we never had guns in our house either. I think that's the reason I was so flabbergasted that she has a license to carry a concealed weapon.

  11. I LOVE your Mom and your Aunt! You come from a line of tough women. Doesn't surprise me in the least.

    I am so very lucky to still have my Mom with me. She is 4'11, might weigh 100 pounds of Cherokee/Creek dynamite. She took my niece and two nephews shopping at the Galleria and they reported she nearly wore them out! They had to beg her to stop for lunch. I tried to warn them!

    She was always going to bat for me at school. I distinctly remember her telling my Alabama History teacher "I can't help it if my daughter is smarter than you are." She has always been a Mama Bear with us.

    And she strikes terror into the hearts of her two 6 feet tall sons. Their wives can bring them to heel with the words "I'll just call Nana and see what she has to say about this." And her visits to their home are precede by a mad scramble to make certain all alcoholic beverages have been removed from the premises before she arrives. And these guys are 47 and 50 years old!

  12. Oh my gosh, Sam- your mom sounds like a hoot! Love it!
    I'd have to say that I'm glad to have my mom in my life also. She has given me unending support and encouragement over the years. Although, she isn't afraid to tell me that she thinks I'm wrong or I'm making a mistake!
    I've learned so many things from her, from parenting to how to handle people to my sense of humor, and so on. We are so much alike. (Which made for some interesting teen years, lol!)
    Great post.... :)

  13. Sam- I'm lucky to have my family. However, I'm really lucky cause I have my son, because he is lucky. While I was pregnant with him I won $40 in bunko and I won at least 5 times at bingo. After he was born I won a mystery host while he was with me. To bad I can't take him to casino.

    All kidding aside, I'm really lucky to have a husband that loves me for who I am, a daughter that cracks me up with the things she says and a lucky boy.

  14. I think I feel most blessed to have my amazing husband at my side :) After that, my whole family is absolutely wonderful - I'm so glad to never have to worry about whether or not they'll be supportive, or that some silly thing will cause a fight.
    I'll leave the drama to my characters!

  15. I'm very lucky to have everything I've ever wanted--all the important stuff anyway. I remember growing up, all I wanted was to be part of a happy family. I wanted to live in a home I didn't want to leave. I wanted to be myself and still be loved. When I met and married my husband, all my dreams came true. We have three wonderful, loving, talented, stubborn, and sometimes exasperating teenagers and our house might not be the nicest place, but it's filled with love and people who care for and respect each other. I'm very, very lucky.

  16. Louisa,

    How funny that your brothers snap to attention when your mom is coming to visit. Speaking of Mama Bear tendencies, I think you take after her. You're definitely a little stick of dynamite, too. And so funny when you're telling it like it is.

    Thanks for stopping by today. :)

  17. Olivia,

    People who care enough about us to be honest are priceless. A little tact is appreciated, though. LOL.:D

  18. Melody,

    You just need to take your kids on a cruise. That way you can rub your son's belly for good luck when you drop him off for kids' activities then head to the casino. ;)

    A loving husband, and healthy, smart and happy kids are about the best we can ask for. I'm so glad you have all of those things in your life.

  19. Erin,

    You do have a wonderful hubby & he looks so nice in a tux. Of course, he's pretty blessed to have you, too. :)

  20. Robin,

    I agree the important things are the people we have around us who love and support us. We can thrive without new cars and all that other stuff, but we don't do so well without love in our lives. You're a wise lady.

  21. Great story, Samantha! One of my favorite stories was some friends of my parents were traveling to Canada and at the border, the border patrol were insisting that the couple had guns. They were from Texas, you see. :) In truth, he did have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, as my dad did. But he wasn't packing for that trip, knowing you couldn't take a gun into Canada!

    Still, they were certain he was carrying a gun somewhere! :)

  22. I feel very lucky as well, Grace, for similar reasons. Thank you for sharing!


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