By Lynne Kinghorn
In 1939, in a small town in Oklahoma, a young couple had
been married a few short and disappointing months.
He never dreamed there were so many ways to ruin fried
chicken. She couldn't imagine why she ever thought his
jokes were funny. Neither one said aloud what they were
both thinking -- the marriage was a big mistake.
One hot afternoon, they got into a terrible argument about
whether they could afford to paint the living room.
Tempers flared, voices were raised, and somehow one of the
wedding gift plates crashed to the floor. She burst into tears,
called him heartless and a cheapskate. He shouted that he'd
rather be a cheapskate than a nag, then grabbed the car
keys on his way out. His parting words, punctuated by the
slam of the screen door, were,
"That's it! I'm leaving you!"
But before he could coax their rickety car into gear, the
passenger door flew open and his bride landed on the seat
beside him. She stared straight ahead, her face tear-streaked
"And just where do you think you're going?" he asked in
She hesitated only a moment before replying, just long enough
to be sure of the answer that would decide the direction of
their lives for the next forty-three years.
"If you're leaving me," my mother said, "I'm going with you."