I almost didn’t write this post, because I’m afraid you’ll have trouble believing this really happened. But, really, these folks are too funny not to share.

On Saturday, Don was busy in a meeting, and I had read all the magazines I brought, and there was nothing good on TV. So, I hopped on the bus…and went shopping! I did a little damage and called the bus to come and get me. (These are small vans that have seats down each side and across the back). When it got there, it was full, and I had to go to the seats across the back. We stopped and let all those folks out at the beach. And, I thought I was going to have a quiet ride back. BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE! here comes a family of 8…not intending to miss this bus–no matter what! And, friends, it took me about 30 seconds to realize the ‘crazies’ had found me…and were riding on my bus! The door closed behind them…and off we went!

First to speak was the little boy…around first grade. His arms were folded and his lips were poked out. When he realized that no one was paying him any attention, he said,” Yeah, that’s right! I’m mad as he**!” Well! My eyes popped, and I thought that if that had been one of mine, he would be walking his sassy self back to the motel! His Daddy thought that was highly entertaining and very funny. His Grandaddy stood up and walked over to him, pulled him up and swatted him on the rear. Then he looked at him and said, You apologize to that lady, right now!” And, he was pointing at ME! (I didn’t want an apology…I didn’t want to even be on this bus!) Grandaddy continued…”You ain’t no hooligan, and you ain’t no bad boy…but, you sure is rude! Now apologize before I have them stop this bus.” The boy grudgingly said that he was sorry, and then, he tried to stomp in the aisle…so we would all know he was mad ,as well as being embarrassed. At that exact moment the bus hit a bump…and he went flying over his sister’s feet, and landed in his Mother’s lap.
OH! MY! She jumped up and started yelling, “Get offa me, boy…you know I’ve got the vertical. And you’s gonna get it, too if you don’t get move!” She pushed him then and he landed on the floor of the bus.
{Friends, this family of 8, and myself were the only ones on the bus. And, I really did not know whether I should get off and walk the 3 miles back to the hotel or just sit veeeeeery still and hope they forgot I was there. ………..Also…what exactly IS ‘vertical’? Well, she had it , and she had it bad!}
The boy got up, and began easing his way toward the back of the bus where I was sitting very quietly. He sat down beside me. Which was a mite scary…cause I knew he had a streak of the meanness in him, and if Grandaddy got started again, I didn’t want to be too close. There was a stream of blood running from his knee, going in 2 directions when it hit the top of his foot. I turned to him and said, “Did you hurt yourself when you fell?” He nodded his head. He was near tears, and no one from his family said anything to him. I looked in my purse and found a tissue and a bandaid and asked his Mother if it was OK for him to have it. She said, “I don’t care.” I fixed the bandaid and put it on his knee. And, he said, “Thank-you.” I said, “You are very welcome. And, thank you for apologizing for saying what you did. I really don’t think words like that are very nice.”
Just then his Daddy (who looked amazingly like Sn**p D*gg. Yes, there is really someone with that name) said, “Ro-berta, sit up straight, you getting me hot!” WELL!!! She said, “I can’t help it. You know I’m taking medication pills…I’m sick and and you ain’t helping me none.” Then, Grandaddy said, “Baby girl, you come on back home and I’ll get you to a good doctor and your Mama will take care of you.” “Daddy, you know I ain’t coming home, I’m staying with my husband,” she said. Grandmother piped up now and said, ” And,I ain’t fixing to take care of her…she got herself into this d*** mess, she can d*** sure get herself out.” (Wonder where Little Boy learned to talk?) Grandaddy said to Ro-berta, “You know he’s what gave you that verticalization in the first place!”
[Throughout this whole strange episode, the two baby sisters and the older sister were having a grand ole time. They all 3 had T**tsie R*ll P*ps. Yum-my! They were having a science lesson of sorts. JUST HOW STICKY DOES A T**TSIE R*LL P*P GET WHEN YOU ROLL IT DOWN YOUR LEG…AND IN YOUR HAIR…AND YOUR SISTER’S HAIR! At least they weren’t cussing. And, actually, this was pretty tame behavior considering their lineage!!!] But, the real show is back with Ro-berta…
Then, people, she stood up. And then she fell down…into the aisle. “Somebody help me. I’m stuck here on this bus with all you stupid people who don’t even know I’m a sick woman!” Daddy got on one side and Hubby got on the other, and they pulled her up, and deposited her back on the seat next to Snoop. I moved to the far back corner in an attempt to stay clear of whatever came next.
The boy who had moved with me, said to me, “They’s all crazy. Just crazy.” And, I really felt sorry for the little fella…for about 10 seconds. Then he leaned over and whispered to me…”and there ain’t no snow in Desitin!” Yes, he said ‘Desitin.’
O. Sweet. Pickles. I know this is some kind of test from the Lord above…just wanting to see if I’ll crack! I was feeling quite close at that moment!
Little boy was still looking at me. I said, “No. No, you’re right. There is not any snow here in Destin.” He said, “Is there ever any snow here?” “No, there’s not. It is too far south for it to snow here,” I said. And for the life of me I could not remember if it snowed here when it snowed in Dothan. But, I didn’t say anymore than I had to. Then he said, “They told me we was coming to ‘Desitin’ to see the snow. I been looking for it.” Now, I was back feeling sorry for him. They were messing with his mind. They had suceeded…he was properly confused…….It was only 87 degrees. Snow weather.

Little boy then said, “My Mama is sick…the doctor says she has the ‘vertical’. “I’m sorry” I said, “but, I really don’t know what that is.” Now, here’s where I should have just kept my mouth shut…but I felt like I was already so involved in their lives…and, y’all, I could not help myself. “Roberta, that sounds pretty bad,” I said, “what exactly did the doctor tell you.” {Why. No, I did not feel like I was being nosy. I knew more about them than I ever cared to know, already.}
She said,”Well, he put me in a MRI and it banged around on my brain. But, he said it was OK. Then, he stuck needles in my legs and my b*tt, and said I was having ‘nervous damage.’ He gave me some medication pills. Said I had the vertical. I get real dizzy, and the room starts spinning. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe.” AHA! I put all the clues together. “Did he call it Vertigo? ” I asked. “Yep, that’s what he said, ” she said.
“Well, you will be fine if you just take your medicine,” I said. Just keep on taking it and be careful not to fall.” That dumb ole husband looked up then and said, “She better be able to cook my supper and keep up the house. I ain’t caring if she’s got vertical or not!”
This made me mad.
I knew I would be getting out soon . I looked at the boy and said, “You help your Mama, and let her rest and she will get better a lot quicker.” “Yes, Ma’am, I will,” he said. And, I walked to the door before I said anything else . When the door opened, I looked at the hubby and said, “I’m a nurse. And, I have known a lot of people who have had vertigo. I even had it once myself. It takes a lot of rest to get better. So, that means YOU have to clean the house, and YOU have to cook supper…and YOU have to take care of the children till she gets better!
His mouth fell open…
I got off the bus…hurried inside and ducked into the nearest restroom…in case they were coming after me.
By this time, I didn’t know if I was still mad…scared…or a little bit of both. But, I DID know one thing—I was glad they were ON the bus, and I was OFF!

I do not condone the use of bad language, but, I thought you needed to hear ALL the things that were said on this strange ride in ‘Desitin’. And, I really did get a degree in nursing.




  1. Love Being a Nonny |

    I know I probably shouldn't have, but I laughed all the way through this! There are some real crazies out there. And sadly, the children that grow up in that life, repeat the behavior. Hope you didn't give them Kat's address!!:)

  2. that is tooooooo much. thanks for sharing a truly hilarious (and yet truly sad story).

  3. Oh my lord. That's all I can say.

  4. I love what you said when you got off the bus – you go girl! Wow, what a time you had riding on that bus 🙂 Hopefully you touched the heart of that little boy.

  5. OH, Hon!! They DO find you. You must have some kind of Goofball GPS implant, sending out the beacon to the goony-birds.

    This is hilarious and so tragic on so many levels, I cannot address it in my mind, let alone on paper.

    And this: "The boy who had moved with me" I read as "who had moved IN with me," the first time, and said, "Good for him!!! He'll be WAY better off!"

    There's an even more somber edge to this—if they came to Desitin looking for snow, maybe they live in ALABAMA.

  6. Keetha Denise Broyles |

    LOL!!!! What a hoot of a ride.

    I had GUESSED it was vertigo, couldn't think of anything else it COULD be.

    I hope "Mr. Sn**p D*g" heeds your admonitions!

    But I wouldn't hold my breath.

  7. Poor Ro-berta! I have vertical myself now and again and it is not fun….but sounds like maybe her family is! 🙂

  8. We are headed to "Desitin" in a few weeks…Hope we don't run in to these quacks!

  9. Southern Lady |

    Tonja, you are a braver soul than I would have been … good for you for speaking up. I doubt it did a bit of good, but at least you showed the little boy what kindness is and tried to help poor Ro-berta.

    Sad, but so funny that they chose YOUR bus out of all the shuttle buses. I'm just sorry that Joy wasn't with there to share it with you.

  10. I was reading this to Dick as we drove to Lancaster County this evening. I could hardly read because I was laughing so hard. But by the end I felt like crying because those kids having no choice but to grow up in that environment felt way too familiar to me. And that dear Ro-berta, beyond sad.

  11. Only YOU would find the crazies! LOL I've never had THAT kind of experience here, but I've also never ridden on the shuttles either. It IS Spring Break here so you just never know who you might meet. LOL

    Come back soon!


  12. I laughed and laughed even though it probably wasn't very Christian. You do seem to be in the right or wrong place at the right time. But what a great exit you made.

  13. Nurse Tonja…you were put on that bus to put a band-aid on that child…probably the kindest thing that had been done for him in a long time. As to what you spoke to the dad…well said; he needed that too! I imagine the mother was rejoicing inside to know there was one person in the bus that truly cared about her needs. God bless you sweet girl, and God bless that little boy to remember you forever.
    Love you much!

  14. OMGosh you need to write a book!!!! however this story was not only funny but very sad.

  15. Oh. My. Stars. Hilarious…but so sad at the same time. Glad you were able to help that little boy. So many of our kids just need someone to show them a little attention and care about them.

  16. This was great…Proving of course…God truly, truly opens doors for us and allows the strangers to arrive! "O) Job well done!!!!

  17. To open your blog and see sweet Ella's smiling, beautiful face brought tears to my eyes. I know you miss her dearly on this first Mother's Day without her; she would say, "Tonja Lynn, it's okay to cry for me and release the hurt, but also rejoice with me and someday, we'll be back in each other's arms again. You and Joy are carrying on my traditions beautifully and I am honored with your memories. Happy Mother's Day to you, my darling daughters!"

  18. Oh Tonja, what a beautiful tribute to your mother! I know this is going to be a tough weekend for you, and I will be praying for you & your family! Tonight when I go to Graceville to eat shrimp with my husband's grandmother & family for Mother's Day, I will think of your mom!

  19. Lovely, Tonja.

    I can wish her no better legacy than to live on in the loving memories of her family and friends.

  20. nancygrayce |

    So precious! Brings tears to my eyes and sorrow mixed with joy.

  21. What a wonderful tribute to your Mother. We were blessed to have such wonderful women as our Mothers. May you feel her love around you tomorrow.

  22. Just Breathe |

    Tonja, this is a beautiful post filled with memories of your mother and her joy for life. I love the way you did this. I pray your day will be filled with her never ending love for you. ((HUGS))

  23. Southern Lady |

    I've had you on my mind all weekend, Tonja. I knew it would be a sad one for you, but your sweet and loving tribute to your beautiful mom says it all. I know she is smiling down on you and Joy from Heaven, with a heart overflowing with pride and love for her girls.

  24. Jillian, Inc |

    Oh Tonja- I can only imagine how much you must be missing your sweet mom. Thinking of you and holding you close in my heart!

  25. Such a sweet post about your sweet and beautiful Mom.


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