Have you ever done something that you could kick yourself for afterward? How about the opposite? Have you ever wished you HAD done or said something - but didn't?

I could have kicked myself a thousand times over for not asking Kathy (as I knew her then) to share two honey buns and one longneck Coke with me at school. I was secretly in love with her and was too scared to tell her. Every day, we sat together elbow-to-elbow in study hall and the classes we had together. I never did get the nerve up to ask her for a date.

I had dropped out of school after my sophomore year in order to get a job and help support my family. I worked at Federal Glass Company, in Columbus, Ohio, and had to save every penny over and above what I sent to the family. I was determined to return to school and get my diploma. By the time I was ready to enter my junior year at Phelps High School, I had calculated approximately what it would take to buy my books and other supplies, school clothes, my cap and gown, and class ring so I could finish those two years. I barely squeaked through having a little bit of money left over. For lunch each day, I had allowed myself twenty cents - but I only used fifteen for a Coke and honey bun. Some days, I gave the money to my younger sisters so they could have a better lunch. As you can see, I wasn't in any position to ask Kathy to have lunch with me. If I had only thought, I could have skipped lunch one day in order to take her to lunch the next day, but we all know what they say about hindsight. I was under the impression that her family was well off because someone had told me that her Dad worked at U.S. Steel Coal Company, at Thacker, West Virginia. Little did I know that her family were about as poor as mine.

A few weeks after we got married, we were coming home from Pikeville and I stopped at a convenience store at the bottom of town mountain. I told Kathleen I'd be right back and asked if she wanted anything. She said she didn't. When I got back to the truck, I presented her with a Coke and a honey bun. I told her that was something I had always wanted to do. She already knew the "Coke and honey bun" story so when I gave them to her, she almost cried. I reached in the bag and pulled out something else I had bought. I gave it to her and said, "Here's a pack of nabs for good measure." (Boy, do I know how to treat a girl on a date!)

I have always been slow, but I usually get the job done - even if it's forty years later.

Luke Eldridge©
March 22, 2001

Georgia Girl Midis