Be Inspired! / Family & Friends

Family Wisdom

I was the kind of kid who would regularly open the refrigerator, close it almost immediately, then yell out, “Mom, where’s the [insert name of food/drink]? I can’t find it!”

No matter what I was searching for, mom’s response was always the same: “Jean, if you want to find the butter, you’ve got to move the milk.”

Taken literally or otherwise, this pearl of wisdom has become something of a driver in my life. I take it to mean that those things for which I search are probably right in front of me, and I just have to look for them a bit. Go mom, go!


For this badge, scouts are tasked with assembling a list of wise things their family or friends have said to them. Kind of makes me think of Sh!t My Dad Says–the original Tweets, not the lame TV show.

But when it comes to this task, I have it easy. Everybody in my family is smart and wise, but I daresay my husband Charles is about the wisest guy I’ve ever met. Take that “wise guy” thing as you will.

I’ve been collecting his random thoughts at random for several years, and while I’m not always sure what he’s just said, I’m pretty sure I know what he means. I’ve actually hijacked a few phrases for song lyrics.

Even though my favorite Charlesisms are not always apparently wise, I’ve found myself quoting many of them with some regularity. They have a way of providing interest context to any number of situations.

So now I’d like to lovingly share some of my favorites, in absolutely no particular order, and actually without his blessing (I shall ask forgiveness later). And if this post prompts you to recall some of your favorite family phrases–wise or otherwise–I hope you’ll share them in the comments section.

Jean’s Top 20 Charlesisms

  1. “Today I baked a loaf of bread that looked like you and watered the poems I planted yesterday.”
  2. “Those deer won’t shoot themselves.”
  3. “They [Congress] want to defund the Department of Government.”
  4. “I pirouette in your general direction. Fah!”
  5. “Frieda [our dog]: The giant eyebrow, the wheezing dust mop.”
  6. “Every decision is now paint-by-numbers and strips us of personality. Are we not free to disagree with ourselves?”
  7.  “Perfection is boring.”
  8. “Change, it ain’t what it used to be.”
  9. “The dreamer is always bigger than the dream.”
  10. “Those catfish’ll dog ya.”
  11. “They found the cracks and seams in the face of our holy mess and made them beautiful.  Or at least funny.”
  12. “We are simply residents in an historical valley between peaks of so-called ‘golden ages.'”
  13. “Every sentient being seeks to be part of an ethos.  Some aspirational home.”
  14. “It’s going to happen: CSI Tikrit.”
  15. “People, at our best, are passionate singularities of existence.”
  16. “Cool stuff comes from immaculate detritus.”
  17. “I slipped and fell into character.”
  18. “This is no place to be somebody.”
  19. “The universe was incomplete until I made this… thing.”
  20. “Put those words back where you found them.”

Got any weird/brilliant/odd/wise/memorable phrases to share from your home life? Post now!


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