Old Sayings

Old sayings are disappearing from everyday conversation. The trend began slowly but now they’re vanishing “faster than a Seville second.” 

I’ve only been to Seville once and didn’t think to compare their second to the standard. Marian Bowen has mentioned them for ages so they must be considerably shorter. I’m not sure how that phrase originated. She’s the only person I’ve heard use it.   

Marian was in the three-woman rotation who helped Jane and me survive the early days of triplets. When our children were born I was working for her husband, Rooney, a first cousin of mine. Marian became the best fringe benefit of any job I’ve ever held.

 “Once an adult, twice a child” is another of her expressions. That one was funnier when I was younger. Each year my laughter is more subdued.   

Marian has an old saying for every occasion, but I’ve mostly lost track of which ones I learned from her. Here are a few from various sources that come to mind. 

“A stitch in time saves nine.” It took me a while to understand that applies to more than sewing. There aren’t many problems that improve by being ignored. If a garment has a tear, it gets worse without repair. The same is true in matters of life and faith.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is sage advice. As 2007 began, the real estate market was soaring and banks were making record profits. But when the downhill tumble began, eggs were splattered from end to end.

Before the financial storm pounded Georgia, its 334 banks appeared healthy. After it subsided about a third of them had failed, taking some good people with them. Causes varied and mandated solutions were often misguided, but a common weakness was having too many eggs in one basket.        

Several old sayings have been covered in previous columns, so I’ll be brief and not elaborate again. There are, however, some favorites I’d like to help preserve.

Mr. Edgar Andrews gets credit for one I heard as a child. During a dry spell of summer he stopped by Joiner’s Store for a cold drink. Uncle Emmett asked if he thought it would ever rain again. “Emmett,” he said, “I’ve noticed it always rains right after a dry spell.” His comment didn’t change the weather, but I’ve found it can help my attitude.    

A friend and former coworker, Ronnie Kitchens, introduced me to a couple of old sayings I’ve enjoyed. My marriage validates one of them: “Even a blind hog will find an acorn sometimes.” For the sake of clarity, I’m not the acorn.

Ronnie shared another saying he heard long ago from his brother-in-law, Bill Athon. Mr. Athon was the farm manager for Charles Crisp, who also owned and operated a bank in Americus. Mr. Crisp told Bill about an elderly lady who came to the bank seeking a loan for a new Cadillac. The woman said, “I know I don’t need one, but I sort of want it anyway.”

He suggested she think it over and come back in a few days. Two weeks later she stopped by to show her surprised banker the glistening vehicle. She gave him a smile along with a pearl of wisdom: “Mr. Charles,” she said, “it’s a poor rat that ain’t got but one hole to go in.”

That’s enough musings for today. If you have a saying you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter if it’s old or new, someone else’s or belongs to you. You can post it on my blog at joinerscorner.com, email me at gneiljoiner@gmail.com, or write a letter to 64 Coley Crossing, Vienna, GA 31092.

I can’t guarantee what you send will ever be in a column, but I’ll try. And please remember that ancient advice: “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” I’m often guilty of putting things off, at times even delaying procrastination.   

Life went by slowly during my childhood and youth, then the pace hastened a bit as I headed through the middle ages. Now time is flying and still gaining speed.

The ride from seventy to heavenly is much swifter than I expected. Each day I’m gaining a better appreciation of an old saying I heard when I was much younger. Life is now passing faster than a Seville second. And they are by far too fast to measure.      

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3 Responses to Old Sayings

  1. ab says:

    Good Morning Neil
    we had five of our biggest trees topped last month (Feb 15th) trees that would destroyed our little casa if they crashed from a storm. One week later we had a storm hit Nashville with 70 mph winds taking up trees all over the county causing severe damage…I am reminded that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Seemed fitting in view of your post.


  2. Sue H Goodman says:

    I love remembering these “old sayings” – although never heard the one about a Seville second! However, since I am celebrating my 70th year around the sun this weekend, I definitely Agee that the ride from seventy to heavenly is going by much swifter than expected!! Keep writing and posting Joiner’s Corner as it is good reminder to me that it is Friday! and always gives me “food for thought and a smile!”


  3. David and Dale Clemons says:

    I wonder if that Seville was pronounced like the one in Wilcox county or the one in Spain??? LOL ________________________________


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