Still “Hotter than Blue Blazes” …

Dear Reader:

With my cable still out and my jaunt to my polling precinct only lasting ten minutes since ( sadly I was the only one in the room with the poll workers) .. I returned home with a lot of time on my hands.

What has saved me is a series of murder mysteries ( setting on Edisto Island) that I just started. In one scene the main character asks a colleague…” What’s sticking in your craw?” Suddenly I was transported back in time to Grandmother Wilson’s farm with her asking a little pouty girl with arms crossed and lips poked out -me-the exact question, using the same expression.

I never understood the question per se but I was smart enough to pick up on the gist of the intent. ( And no matter the problem… a glass of iced tea and a cookie always provided a satisfactory ” cure.” )

Granddaddy Charlie used a similar expression based on his many frustrating episodes with keeping his tractor going…with the question ” What’s grinding your gears?”

Suddenly I found myself wanting to know what a ” craw” was? Perhaps a body part and if so how did something get stuck in it?

Google failed me… it sent me to southern expressions and excerpts where the expression could be found in prior stories but no one had a definitive explanation concerning what it was or still is.

As part of the advertising for a complaint department… I found this picture and under it was written… ” Call and let us know for one and all… “What’s Sticking in Your Craw?”

As I was still searching for the definition of ” craw” Google kept pulling up more southern expressions and I have to admit it was a fun detour! I will share some with you…

Both Jo and Bernice shared their personal examples of It’s So Hot……

Jo- was driving in the days before car air conditioning… an egg rolled out of its carton, fell and cracked right on the floorboard-By the time Jo got home… there was a perfectly fried egg waiting for her… to clean up.

Bernice said her husband , one morning, warmed up her coffee in the microwave… by the time she went to sip it-it was scalding hot and she yelled ” This coffee’s so hot… it would burn the lips off a chicken!!!”

So until tomorrow… southern expressions are tricky unless you really know the person delivering it… I remember one day a boy in my biology class in college tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned around he whispered ” You’re about as cute as a speckled coon dog puppy?” I remember being so taken back… trying to decide if this was good or bad… but he looked sincere so I replied ” Thank you… I think?”

Today is my favorite day. Winnie the Pooh

This hibiscus bloom was so big -it was lying on the grass… so I grabbed one of my rabbit statues and propped the bloom up-I should have added a blue ribbon around the rabbit’s neck and then it would have been patriotic enough for Flag Day! Wave that flag and vote!!!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Still “Hotter than Blue Blazes” …

  1. Johnny Johnson says:

    The Edisto books you referred to are written by a woman that I graduated High school with. Her real name is Cyndi Hope Beals, her married name is Clark. I just bought her latest in the Edisto Mystery series from her signed for my wife’s Birthday present. A Summerville girl does good! Very sweet girl, always has been. You’ll like the books if you like a good mystery and you’ll likely have seen some of the places in the books because of your Ya trips to Edisto Island. Enjoy!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Johnny…just finished the first novel in the series and anxiously awaiting the second book to arrive today? Did she go by Cyndi or Hope in school and did she go through Alston??? She looks familiar???


  2. Carolyn Daniels says:

    Becky, a craw is the same as a crop in a chicken. It is a place they store food until it can be digested. I heard this expression many times growing up in the mountains of NC.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh Carolyn … you are my hero!!! It has been driving me NUTS not knowing and now I sleep tonight!!!!!! Bless you!!!!! So happy!!!!


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