Lately I’ve been trying to collect and collate old sayings and odd bits of “old-tyme” wisdom. I have gotten several books and I’ve also been walking with my “ear to the ground.” Around this family, there are always some intriguing statements. Some are pithy — full of meat — and others simply roll off the tongue. Try them on for size, and if you have any to share, please do!

Here are some that I’ve found most recently that carry a pretty decent message:

1. You have to take control of yourself before you can take control of your horse…..
(or your children or your life or …….)

2. Before the stable is cleaned, somebody has to get dirty…..
(is that somebody going to be you????)

3. If you have a mountain to climb, waiting ain’t gonna make it any smaller…….
(one step at a time, one day at a time……)

4. Finding happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens……
(so you might as well decide on just how happy you’re gonna be!)

5. If you have to prove you’re right, you’re probably wrong.
(didn’t Shakespeare say something like, “I fear he doth protest too much???”)

6. A man’s eyes will tell you what his mouth won’t.
(ahhhhh, here again, the eyes are windows into the soul)

7. Experience is another word for mistakes.
(so either go ahead and fall on your face, or don’t make excuses when you fail….
it’s okay!)

8. Shallow rivers and shallow minds freeze first…….
(or, as my mother once told me, “still waters run deep,” so look for those
deeper, even quieter folks who may have much more to say than you
might realize at first!)

9. The higher you climb, the more rocks you have to dodge……
(a lot of people will criticize you along the way, especially if you’re successful,
but also, life as we get involved in it, gets messier!)


10. You can cut your throat with a sharp tongue……
(and look at the Bible that warns of a the tongue being a two-sided blade; it
can be used for good or bad, but either way, it’s sharp and has power.)

The next couple are just for the “fun” of it. Listen to how they punch and even bring a smile. These are from my husband, who learned them from other old-timers, and who, in many ways, was himself likely born in the wrong century — except that he loves to dabble with mechanics!

When asked how he is, he might just say, “Finer than frog hair.”

When asked how cold it is outside, he might reply, “So cold it’d freeze the hair on a brass monkey.”

And when he was first asked what he saw in me — a girl from the city — he told his friends, “She’s a great lookin’ outfit.”

I’m not sure if everyone finds these odd bits of folklore tantalizing, but I certainly do. They seem to come from people who really “sit back” and “look at or study the world around them.” Not meant to impress, they are still a great use of language.

Listen to what people say, but also listen to the unique way they say it. Truth can be delivered in a delightful form if you keep your ears cleaned out.

So, from my “smokey” front porch to yours, listen twice as often as you speak and you will come up with some real gems!

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