My grandmother was quite dignified and often came up with lofty axioms to keep us on a narrow path; birds of a feather flock together, association brings assimilation. Every now and then a ringer would slip in, such as ‘when love lights on a cow turd it always sticks,’ her not so delicate description of relationships that needed to end, but just wouldn’t seem to.

To create a wisdom collection in celebration of Mother’s Day, we asked many by email and Facebook to share their favorites with us. Read on, and hold on to your hat.

I knew this would be good when the first to arrive was:

*He ought to be shot with buzzard guts and sued for stinking,” from the mouth of Luvenia Crest, from her daughter Sarah.

The Rev. Barbara Green Hope remembered of her mother, the late Emma B. Green;
*You may get by me, but you surely won’t get by God.

Fran Allen remembers being terrorized by, “I’m gonna rip your lips off! From her mother, Frances Kelly. But then the more serious, “Your choices will dictate your quality of life, good or bad!”

“Good sense comes from experience. The sad thing is in order to gain experience you sometimes have to act like a damn fool,” Lynda Byrd Logan remembered from her grandmother Mariah Jones.

“You know you have to eat tomorrow,” Jesse Diggs would tell her daughter, the Rev. Felecia Diggs would get too ambitious with the cookies.

Rosette Hawkins heard, “It takes two to tango” and “If the shoe fits,” from her mother, Shirley Brown.

Chrissy Huntley and her brother, Eddie, were always told, “Your name is all you have and when you leave the house, don’t embarrass the Huntley’s name,” by their mom, the Rev. Sylvia Huntley.

Barbara Patterson told her daughter, Charlene Ndi, “Pretty is, as pretty does!” whenever anyone exhibited ugly ways.

“Be yourself or you’ll be by yourself,” Eula Mae Williams always told the little girl who grew up to be Md. State Del. Adrienne A. Jones.

“Men are like streetcars; if you miss one, another one will be along after while,” Irene Jordan Spears told her daughter, Carolyn Spears Ford, and her siblings. She was right on this one and also on our other favorite, “If you ignore your teeth, they’ll go away.”

The question elicited a “Yikes” from Teeshawn Burrell who could hardly contain herself to three sayings of her mother, Valerie Burrell.
*I make you a permanent plant in the ground.
*Rise, shine and give God the glory.
*Keep it moving.

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Travis remembers the time when all adults could reprimand children. Once when she was asked whether or not she belonged to Luella, young Ruth replied, “No.” Upon arrival at home, her mother met her at the door. “Oh, I’m not your mother?” Rev. Travis said the end result of that conversation would be considered child abuse today.

Dorothy Jones told her daughter, now Elder Carolyn Jones, “If the street lights are on before you get home, you’d better sleep by the lamp post.”

Hattie Keels Taylor told her daughter, Dr. Mary Taylor-Ennis, “Keep your skirt down and your panties up.”

Dana Moore’s mother, Ellie Anderson was so prolific, she produced a list:
*It’s a sorry ray that has only one hole.
*When someone says they don’t want to be with you, your only job after that is to help them pack.
*Things are only as good or bad as you think they are.
*Those other kids will get lots of chances to make a mistake but YOU only get one chance!
*If you want to eat, you better learn how to cook.

Shelhea Owens’ Grama always said, “Start out in the way you can hold out.”