Brooke Cox

No, I didn't

It had been a long, tiring day at work and I had stopped by the Ingles in Halls on my way home. I didn’t really want to stop, but we needed a few things. You know how it is.
After racing through the store, I threw my bags into the car and slid into the driver’s seat. I turned the key. Nothing. No dash lights. My car didn’t even make any noise. So, I called Tim and told him my car wouldn’t do anything. He asked what I meant by that. I replied, “It isn’t doing anything. No lights. No noises. Nothing!”


How'd That Happen?

Most people in the room gasped. Some even laughed. As for me, I felt sorry for the guy.

I was around ten years old as I sit in the crowded doctor’s office with my mom. In walks this young man with a red gash on the end of his nose. Of course, those sitting around him asked what happened. With a red face, he told about jerking back on his fishing rod, which caused the now bait-less hook to hurtle toward him. Before he realized what was happening, it had dug into the end of his nose. Since the hook was a little rusty and had dried worm guts on it, he needed to get a Tetanus shot.


No Crying on the Bus

Nothing has ever been simple for me, not even riding the school bus home when I was a child.

When I was in the first grade, my mom would always pick me up after school. From her car, I would watch my friends board their school buses. Of course, I wanted to do that too. I thought they were having a fun party with no teachers around.


Countless Cousins

Here in the south, we love our cousins. My family is no exception. In fact, I have been surrounded by cousins for most of my life. They were my first playmates and best friends and I am still close to many of them. But there is a little oddity with these relatives. While I have no first cousins, it seems as if I have countless second and third cousins.
Scratching your head?


Climbing Up

I thought once I became an adult, I wouldn’t have to climb any more. Boy, was I wrong.

As a child, I didn’t like to have to ask for things I wanted on the kitchen counter or in my closet, so my parents bought me a little stepping stool. I absolutely loved it. It was red with a poem written on top in large white letters. I can’t remember the exact words, but the poem went something like this: I use this stool to reach things I couldn’t and lots of things I shouldn’t.


Communion Challenge

Leave it to me to make anything into a challenge; even something as sacred as Communion.

It started when I very, very young. My momma told me Communion was a commandment of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) and I needed to be still and not to make any noise during it. In other words, I had to sit perfectly still. Boy, was that a struggle. I still remember resisting the temptation of moving because I didn’t want to disappoint Jesus.


Squishy Gift

If you read my article, “Squishy Toes,” then you have an idea where I am going with this. If not, you will soon find out.

I miss the family Christmas get-togethers we used to have when I was a girl. They were so much fun and everybody seemed to be so happy. During this time, my Mamaw Jo and a male cousin started a tradition of exchanging gag gifts. Each year, one tried to out-best the other.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember all of the gag gifts, but there was one that I’ll never forget. It was funny and disgusting at the same time.


Hairy Forehead

This should come as no surprise, but I have the strangest things happen to me. Such as the time I blew cherry pie filling out of my nose. I first realized I was prone to things like this when I was around 12 years old. Whenever I had one of my strange experiences, I would ask my friends, “Does that happen to you?” They always answered. “Uh…no.”
I kinda got used to it. Or so I thought.



I know this sounds strange, but BooBoo is the pet name I use for my daughter, Sara. How did I come up with it? Well, that is also somewhat strange.

It began when I was a little girl. Sometimes, when I was at my grandparent’s house, my uncle would tell me, “Shh, listen.” I just didn’t listen. Oh no. I completely stopped what I was doing and didn’t move for I knew what was coming next. Thump. Thump. Thump. After we heard those knocks, my uncle would say, “That means BooBoo’s on his way.”


No Where to Go

I shoved my key into the lock in the front door and turned it. It wouldn’t open. I tried again. It still wouldn’t open. I wiggled and jiggled the key, but it didn’t work. The door refused to open. As I stood in front of it, I realized that for the first time in 45 years, I had nowhere else to go. That was not a pleasant experience. At all.

Let me back up a little here. This happened right after we had bought my dad’s place. Prior to that, Tim and I had bought my parents’ house and remodeled it. So, I had lived in that house for all of my life.


Country Chat

I don’t think it’s a southern thing as much as it is a rural thing.

When I was growing up, having conversations while being parked in the middle of the road wasn’t that uncommon. We didn’t have cell phones yet, so if you saw somebody you knew, you put your vehicle in park and you visited for a spell.

The people who happened to drive upon them, knew what was going on. Usually they would stop and wait for the exchange to end. I’m sure they had done the same themselves many times.


Just a Sewing

It’s a good thing we don’t have to make our own clothes any more. My family and I would be in big trouble. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mom and Mamaw Jo’s ability to sew.
Technically, they were talented seamstresses, especially Mamaw Jo.


Tractor Treat

You would think my papaw’s barn was some kind of tourist attraction.

Whenever any of my cousins or friends came over to play, they usually asked if we could go to the barn. To be honest, I didn’t want to go there. To me it was a stinky place that I tried to avoid.

I even heard stories from my cousins who were my mom’s childhood playmates. And guess what? They all wanted to play in the barn too. Their favorite thing was to jump out of the loft and onto the hay. I have to admit, that does sound like fun, but it’s something my mom would have never let me do.


Who You Gonna Call

I didn’t expect to see Tim at all, but God had other plans.

My good friend Gwen and I stood on the sidewalk in front of the high school. We were waiting on our school bus that was running late due to mechanical problems. All of our friends who had vehicles had already left. Or so we thought.


Old Paths

I love paths. I just don’t see a trail. I see an adventure waiting at the other end.

Some of my childhood friends and relatives had paths around where they lived. I loved it when we scampered down those dirt trails. Being the imaginative child I was, I envisioned all kinds of wondrous places and creatures along those paths.

Of course reality was different. One time I followed my friend and her little brother up a path on the side of a ridge and behind their house. I fell and tangled with a fence. I lost, so I came back bleeding.


Where's The Doll

I saw it on a TV commercial when I six years old and had a conniption fit.

As most of you know by now, I was such a little tomboy. But I was a tomboy who loved ballerina stuff. There, I admitted it.

Now I wasn’t into ballet itself. What I loved was what the ballerinas wore. I loved their dresses, especially the tutus. I also loved their shoes and tiaras. Actually, I called them “little crowns.”


Ants on the Green

I still say it was the ants’ fault.

A few years ago, we were visiting some relatives in Ormond Beach, Fla. On every trip, we have a tradition of driving south to Pirate’s Cove Miniature Golf in Daytona. It’s a lot of fun and they have pirate trivia signs everywhere. Who knew pirates could be so interesting?


The Homecoming Shed

I simply can’t help it. Whenever we drive by a country church, I look for a homecoming shed and wonder if they still use it. Then my mind goes back to my childhood.

Like most kids, I looked forward to certain dates with anticipation: Christmas, birthdays, Field Day at school, and last, but not least, Homecoming at church.

The excitement for me started as soon as I woke up the Sunday morning of Homecoming. We quickly got ready for church and went down to my grandparents’ house. The smell that greeted us at the door was simply heavenly.


Squishy Toes

Most people wouldn’t consider this to be a fond childhood memory, but I do.

As a child, I was such a tomboy. Actually, I still am, or so I like to think. Anyway, if it was a warm and sunny day, I was running and playing outside. As my Mamaw Jo used to say about me, “I swannie, she goes wide open.” I think that meant I was running with everything I had. If so, she was right, I was.