Two Old Ladies Go Into the Woods

I was visiting Big Tree Park* and as the path narrowed, I found myself behind two old ladies going into the woods. It seemed rude to pass them, so I stayed a distance behind--a distance I closed up when their hoary heads bent together and they began to speak.

What do old ladies speak of? I imagined it would be like those commercials, Herb died. Poor Stella, their insurance didn't cover the coffin. She buried him in a pine box without his teeth. I picked up my step, sneaky-like, so they wouldn't notice me. Here's what I heard:

Old Lady #1: What would you do if he had a gun?

Old Lady #2: I don't know.

Old Lady #1: If a guy with a gun came up to me and said, "Your money or your life!" I'd say "Then take my life--I'm saving my money!"

Much laughter ensued, and I walked behind, delighted in the secret life of old ladies.

*Yes, there is a big tree in Big Tree Park. In fact, there are two. "The Senator" is a 3500-year-old bald cypress standing 118 feet. It used to be taller, but a hurricane cracked off the top. Standing nearby at 89 feet is "Lady Liberty," a 2000-year-old bald cypress. Want to see pictures? Click here and scroll.


WordWrangler said...

The wisdom that comes with gray hair... love it!

Susan Sandmore said...

You made me laugh so hard with the life insurance commercial bit. My head still echoes with that one for hearing aids. He said 'Up two streets and take a right!' He said he doesn't want to leave her, but he has to!

I thought you were making up a fake name for Big Tree Park. Like, you know, to protect your top secret location or something.

Travis Erwin said...

That's great. What a stereotype buster that bit of eavesdropping proved to be.

courtney said...

This entry made my whole day. I love Old Ladies #1 & 2, based on that exchange alone. That was hilarious.

ChrisEldin said...

Love old ladies!

Charles Gramlich said...

We discovered the other day that Cypresses are related to Sequoias. I thought that was cool, and explained their long lived nature.

AprilGarden said...


CJ said...

You make me laugh. That's one of the reasons I love ya so! I'm glad to know that other "normal" people eavesdrop as well. Tee! Hee!


P.S. Get that Bono poster back up on your wall, Missy!

Ello said...

That's me when I'm old and gray! Still cracking the smark aleck comments!!!!

Hey Danette, please come by this Wednesday!

Dr. Gigi Durham, the author of the Lolita Effect, the media sexualization of young girls and what we can do about it, is guest appearing on my blog this coming WEdnesday to answer questions on this very important topic. It would be wonderful if you could help spread the word or at the very least stop by and be part of our Q&A discussions.

Hope to see you then!

Mary Witzl said...

Good for you! I love overhearing little snippets of conversation and shamelessly eavesdrop whenever possible.

My oldest friend and I have a pact that when we're 70 we're going to sit on a park bench and get drunk somewhere and tell smutty stories. I can't hold my liquor very well, so I'm going to pour orange juice into a bottle so it looks like I'm drinking something stiffer.

Mary Witzl said...

Is that tree struck by lightning where you got your idea for Violet Raines? Actually, I'm guessing that
a lot of trees get hit by lightning where you are in Florida...

Danette Haworth said...


I'd been reporting to my computer room every day, working up ideas for a new manuscript. Plenty of ideas flitted by, but one day, honest to God, I was sitting in my chair and I kind of turned, and she walked into my imagination and rattled off the first paragraph.

I used to hate reading similar accounts by other authors because it hardly seems real, but it really happened. I could see her (in my mind's eye), and from what she said, I immediately knew what kind of person she was and where she might live; I loved her accent.

A couple of summers ago, four houses in my small neighborhood were struck by lightning. In a typical year, each square mile of Central Florida is struck around ten times.

Lightning is definitely big time around here.