Oceans for Emotions: Being a virtuous woman

May 6, 2011 at 12:06 a.m.

By Elaine Wheat

"Who can find a virtuous woman?"

-Proverbs 31

That scriptural question is often asked, and I can answer it easily - my mother. She is the only person I have ever known who never did anything wrong, on purpose. Sure, she did some things wrong, but not like I do. She made mistakes, but when I do something wrong, I plan it out, relish it, brag about it and then blame someone else. I think maybe I put the "I" in sIn.

One day, Daddy, Budgie and I were fishing in a little boat down the channel from Bayside. (Whoops) I just realized that I wrote "Budgie" instead of my mom. "Budgie" is the only name she was ever called, by everyone who loved her and everyone did. My older sister made it up when she was learning to talk, and when she would say it, everybody would laugh, so it stuck.

Back to the boat story. We were way down the channel with no one around, and Budgie had to use the bathroom, i.e., bucket. Now we had a rule that if you were fishing, your line had to be in the water, so Budgie cast out a dead shrimp from the back of the boat, pulled her jeans down to do her thing with the bucket just like we had done so often.

But this time, something hit her line as she held the rod over her shoulder with the line in the water. She had to hold the rod with two hands, which left her handless to pull up her pants. We also had another rule that if anyone has to help you and touches the pole, it is their fish. We were all laughing so hard that I needed the bucket, Daddy used the bay and Budgie's nose was running, and we were seeing a virtuous woman because she could laugh at herself. Her daughter laughed with her and not at her, and her husband didn't gripe about the wasted fishing time, especially when he saw that 46-inch redfish body finally practically pleading to get in the boat with us because he wanted to see a really virtuous woman.

We didn't know that Daddy just gutted and gilled it, iced it down and put it in the ice chest. He backed in after church in the morning, opened that lid and said, "Budgie, come over here and tell everybody how you caught your 46-inch red."

Dear Lord, Thank you for Budgie, a virtuous woman. I think she is right up there with Yours. And ,God, bless my sons who had to get on through life without a virtuous mom but one who just loved them a lot.



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