You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone

Copyright 2017 – Stephen Redgwell

Bill Nasslinger sure knows this is true!

Bill has always been a very active man. He’s a fifth generation Nasslinger, whose family has farmed here since the 1870s. He’s a hard worker, keeps a regular schedule, and can be depended on to do whatever it is that he says he’ll do.

About six years ago, at the age of 67, Bill got false teeth. He doesn’t like wearing them, so he always keeps them in his pocket. If you drive by his place, you’ll see him on his tractor. If he sees you, he’ll wave and give you a big, toothless grin. He’s a heck of a nice guy.

In the summer, when things are busier, he’s up at 4:30AM and works for about three hours before getting breakfast. Bill never married, so he always eats in town. About 7:30, he hops in his truck and drives to Edna’s Restaurant.

One morning last summer, Bill went into Edna’s, sat down and started patting himself all over. When he saw the rest of us, he grinned and waved hello. Edna watched his display and asked,

“Hey Bill, are you on fire? Your breakfast will be ready in a few minutes.”

Bill just shook his head, gave Edna his famous toothless grin, and sipped his coffee.

Bill’s bacon and eggs came out while everyone was chatting. Edna brought his plate over and went back to the counter. About five minutes passed when she noticed that Bill hadn’t touched his breakfast.

“Is something wrong?” she asked.

“No, I just…well…” but he didn’t finish his sentence.

You have to understand that Bill loves crispy bacon, so this was unusual.

Edna was topping up his coffee when it dawned on her. “I’ll give you a doggy bag, hun. You forgot your teeth, didn’t you?”

Bill turned red and nodded. We just laughed.

It’s so true! You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.