On Sunny Lane - Continuing Education


Sweetheart and I were traveling through farm country on the way home from a friend’s house last week.

I saw a piece of machinery standing in a field and almost asked Sweetheart what it might be. Then I decided not to ask, after all. It’s not that he wouldn’t have known. He probably would have. But, I probably would have forgotten the answer five minutes later.

It always amazes me that, if I see something as we’re driving, and I ask Sweetheart what it is—he knows. At least, I think he knows. What he says makes sense, anway.

It seems to be true of any man I ask. In my experience, if I ask a man, “What’s that?”, he will come up with a perfectly logical answer. It happened with my brother, it happened with my first husband and it even happened with an Amish man whom I was transporting one day.

Men seem to know stuff that women don’t. Maybe, I shouldn’t speak for all women—just me. But, I have observed that the little boys who had failing grades in school; who spent more time teasing little girls than listening to the teacher; who never knew the answer when called upon in class; can explain the workings of complex machinery. They can answer  questions about science and math that they couldn’t have learned in school.

I must admit, though, that I had my doubts about my brother. He led me astray a couple of times. For instance, he told me one time, as he was sitting on his bicycle running over a broken bottle, “Glass will never give you a flat tire, because, when you run over it, the glass keeps breaking.” Boy, was he wrong! I’ve gotten several flat tires that had glass embedded in them.

And then, there’s the old story about how peanut butter/jelly bread will, if dropped, always land face down. Wrong again! I experimented once.

I spread a piece of bread with PB&J and dropped it repeatedly onto the floor from a few feet above the kitchen counter. The ratio of falling face down to face up was about 50/50. It just depended on the position the sandwich was in when it was dropped. I cleaned up the floor and gave the sandwich to the dog, but I had my results.

I kind of attribute my aversion to remembering important facts to my brother. When he was in the U.S. Army, he bought a set of Collier’s encyclopedias for my mother and me. Actually, it was more for me, because I was a sophomore in high school and used it when doing research.

One day, he picked up one of the encyclopedias and said, “Don’t waste your time memorizing a lot of facts. That’s what these books are for. You can look up whatever you need to know.”

I took his advice and haven’t remembered much since.

My brother didn’t graduate from high school, but he did get his GED. I think he learned a lot of things when he served in the army, because he was a master sergeant when he served in Vietnam.

I guess my brother was one of those little boys who didn’t do well in school and learned a few things, after all. Everyday life can teach a person a lot. It’s kind of like continuing education—and it happens to girls, too. It happens to me all the time.

Dorothy has recently published a book, “Miles and Miracles”, and it can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle, and is now available at 512 Main in Knox, PA. Her email address is: dorothybutzknight@gmail. com

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