From Tracie: Let's Take a Ride in a Cabbage Wagon

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Let's Take a Ride in a Cabbage Wagon

Thomas, loves researching genealogies, and collecting old family photos and stories. Before we were married, he took me out to the country, and showed me the house where his grandparents had lived, and then he told me this story that his dad had shared with him....

Every morning his PawPaw (which is southern for grandpa) would wake up early, get his horse, and hitch it up to a wagon he loaded with cabbages. It took most of the day to get to town, so he would leave his house at 4am, drive the horse and wagon all the way into town to sell his cabbages, and then at night he would go back home.

My mom came to visit us, and one day after church, Thomas drove her by the house that his grandparents had lived in, and told her all about the horse and wagon and cabbages.

Whenever we would drive down the road that his PawPaw traveled with the cabbages, Thomas would tell the story.

I had been hearing this story for years, and I knew that there was no way he was driving that horse and wagon full of cabbages around every day, I just knew it, so I decided that it was time to get to the bottom of this cabbage situation.

I got my chance one night, when we were at my father-in-law's house. The three of us were sitting around his kitchen table, and I brought up the cabbages. "Dad, Thomas told me his PawPaw used to drive his horse and wagon into town to sell cabbages every day. There is something about this story that bothers me. If he had to wake up so early because it took him most of the day to get to town, how did he have time to sell his cabbages and go home every night?"

"That is not what happened," my father-in-law answered. "Once a year, he would load up the horse and wagon to take the cabbages into town to sell. Then he would spend the night and come home the next day. He didn't do it every day, son, that would be impossible."

"Dad. You told me he took those cabbages to town every day," Thomas protested.

"How many cabbages do you think he grew? He took them to town once a year, spent the night, and came home the next day."

At this point, I was mercilessly laughing at Thomas barely containing my laughter. The night got worse for Thomas when hid dad continued, "He had a regular job that he worked. He couldn't have been carting cabbages around every day."

"That's right," I said, remembering, "Thomas told me once that he loaded ships down at the docks. Do you know what kinds of things he loaded?"

My father-in-law, "That is not what he did!"

"Yes it is," said Thomas, "You told me that he put things on ships."

"Do you mean to tell me that all these years, you have walked around thinking that your PawPaw drove a wagon full of cabbages to town everyday and that he worked at the docks loading ships?"

"That is exactly what I'm telling you, because that is exactly what you told me."

"No it isn't. I told you that he worked at the shipyard, putting things on ships."

"That is what I said. He put things on ships."

"No, you said he loaded things on ships, at the dock. What I said he did, was put things on the shipyard....where they build ships."

By this time, I'm laughing so hard that tears are streaming down my face and my father-in-law is too. Poor Thomas is looking kind of crushed...but that didn't stop me from patting his arm and telling him, "Maybe your PawPaw put cabbages on ships. You know, he had to take them to town every day anyway, in the wagon with his horse." Yes. I'm such a supportive wife.

My mother-in-law walks in the room, and soon she is laughing right along with us. Thomas is protesting that he knows what he was told...and his dad is telling Thomas that he heard wrong, and that maybe his ears were full of cabbage at the time.

It is a moment Thomas will never live down. To this day, whenever his dad wants to tell a story, he says, "Let me tell it to Tracie, because if I tell you, it will be full of cabbages." and I have used the words "cabbage wagon" to win more than one discussion when Thomas and I have remembered something differently.

Have you ever ridden in a wagon full of cabbages?

Have you ever had a misunderstanding where someone heard something entirely different than what you actually said?

The folks at Alka-Seltzer are having a contest, and they want to hear all about it (the misunderstanding, not riding in cabbage wagons, only my family wants to hear about cabbage wagons.) You can enter the Said/Heard Mishaps contest on their facebook page and possibly win a trip to New York City to star in a video about your story and $5,000 (that would buy you a lot of cabbage!).

*Here's the legal stuff. I was compensated for this post by The Motherhood and Alka-Seltzer. The story is all mine, and they did not influence it at all. No cabbages were harmed in the writing of this post.
Also, here are some contest rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 18 years or older. Contest ends 2/25/11. To enter and for Official Rules, including prize description, visit Void where prohibited.

Now go enter the contest at their facebook page with your own funny story about a misunderstanding. Good luck! 


  1. Tracie, enjoyed reading this post. Made me smile. Thank you for sharing.

  2. This is awesome. So funny.

    I love the idea of an endless supply of cabbage...because, really, can you ever get enough cabbage? Ha!

    I also love the sweet relationship you share with your in-laws. It comes through loud and clear.

    Very cool contest...

  3. BWHAHAHAH but in Thomas defense I can see how he would get it all confused kinda. At least about the ship. The cabbages kind of threw me how did he have cabbage to sell all year, where is he gonna grow it like that..

  4. This story is full of cabbage - and hopefully that wins you some. Can I vote to help you out? Because this is hilarious!

  5. LoL!!! Love this story! Good luck and I hope you win :) Also...I'm now signing up for The Motherhood--hadn't heard of it before!

  6. Hahahaha!!! I love your story. I wonder how many family stories we screw up over the years. Hope you win!

  7. LMAO at his misunderstanding!

  8. Love the story. It really is funny some of the things we hear from our relatives about days gone by.

  9. How many cabbages do you think he grew? That is classic!

    My husband never remembers anything correctly. I'm going to have to find a catch phrase for him like cabbage wagon.

    Great, great story.

  10. OMG! That is HYSTERICAL! What a mix! Yeah he's never going to live that down.

    Thanks for all the comments on my blog :)

  11. Ha, ha! Love this post!! I do the same thing.