Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Terrible Twos


I wrote this post a long time ago. I thought those of you who are new to Leaves On My Tree might enjoy it.

I had a brother that was two years younger than me. It seemed like we were in trouble more often than not. And it started early on.

I was five years old and he was three. We decided that we wanted to walk all the way from our house in town to my grandparents' farm. After all we knew the way.

We went to Mom and asked permission.She denied us the pleasure. Daddy was at work so appealing to him was not an option.

Instead of walking to the farm we asked if we could go play on the church steps. It was a block away and we played there often. The railing was fun to turn over and try to do tricks. Permission granted.

We walked up to the church. Then we stealthily made a left turn and began to walk to Grandma and Grandpa's. After all we knew the way.

When we did not return home Mom sent another brother to tell us it was time. He returned to tell her there was no sign of us. She frantically called Daddy at work and told him we were missing. He worked in a neighboring town so it took him a while to get home even though he drove as fast as he could.

Now Mom and Daddy were not stupid people. They figured that we probably tried to go to the farm. Daddy set off looking for us while Mom stayed home with the other two kids just in case. He found us walking along beside the highway.

We had not even made it completely out of the city limits in all that time. It was all of 4 blocks. I remember Daddy sweeping us into the car and spanking us in the same motion. It was one of the very few times he hit us.

We were living on a farm when our dog Trixie had puppies. I know there were quite a few of them. We named one of them Ugly for obvious reasons. They all had names but I do not remember any of the rest.

We had no indoor bathroom. There was just one of the outhouses that I detest so.

One day I walked into the kitchen with my brother. I put the most innocent look on my face that you could ever imagine. Then I announced, "Mommy I don't know how it happened but all the puppies are down the toilet hole." I tried to sound innocent and surprised.

Mom went into the living room and told my father that we had thrown the puppies in the toilet (we did) and she needed him to at least help her get them out. Daddy started to laugh until he could not breathe. Still he kept laughing.

Mom was worried about what would happened to those poor puppies so she went out to fish them out of there. She then had to take them all to the water pump and clean them off. After all the place they had been was not terribly sanitary. When she was finished she went back in to sarcastically thank Daddy for all the help. He was on the floor laughing and trying to breathe.

My two brothers and I were playing cowboys and Indians. I assume the brother one year younger than me was the Indian because my brother and I were on the other side. We played outside for a long time. Finally the brother two years younger and I went into the house to watch TV.

Mom thought we were being awfully quiet. She wondered where the other brother was and asked us. We looked as innocent as possible and shrugged an "I don't know" kind of answer.

Mom rushed to the back yard to find my brother hanging by his neck from the apple tree. We had hung him and could not figure out how to get him down. He was turning purple. Mom got him down and we always had to be on the same side in any kind of war after that.

One time we were in the car that Daddy was driving through town. I was probably 15 and my brother was 13 at the time. It was a fairly big town in the part of the country where we lived. Daddy stopped at a red light.

My brother jumped out of the car and did a Japanese fire drill. That was what we called it when the car was stopped at a light and people jumped out and ran around the car, then jumped back in before the light changed to green. I did not partake in the exercise. Only my brother could get away with something like that. However I sat in the car and laughed uproariously.

My brother was killed in Viet Nam in 1970. He would have been 21 on his next birthday. It was the only time I saw my father cry. He is another of many that I miss every day. But I have such good memories.

16 comments:

  1. I only know of the Viet Nam war from the news I saw in Canada when I was young. This story helped me understand the cost of that war on a more personal level. Your brother is still giving to others through you. Thank you.

    I am sorry you lost your brother in that war.

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    1. I know many who fought in that war. None of them are whole. If their wounds are not on the outside to be seen they are on the inside. Thank you for you condolences.

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  2. so sorry about your dear brother.

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  3. Very nice memories, can't say I would want to fish pups out of the stink.I tend to like hearing a flush. Not a big fan of pit toilets.

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    1. Those outhouses are something I wish to never have to deal with ever again. You can take almost any other convenience from me but do not take my indoor plumbing.

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  4. The brother I was closest to died young, too, at 29. Hard to accept, but glad I grew up with him.

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    1. We were such a handful for my parents. The thing was that my brother seemed to be able to get by with almost anything. Even as kids we all laughed about that.

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  5. The memories are sweet and precious. I am so sorry that you lost your brother so young.

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    1. Thank you. I dealt with my brother's death long ago. Now I can remember him in the way he should be remembered.

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  6. Replies
    1. The stories of my family are so important to me. I want my children and grandchildren to know what our family was and is. The memories hold us together as much as love.

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  7. Wow, you were 'dangerous' kids!
    I think that we keep on remembering those who are gone because it's a way of also remembering that they are not really gone.
    Amazing post!

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    1. What a beautiful statement. I feel the same way.

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  8. Sorry about the loss of your brother, Emma, but WOW what torments you and he put your parents through while growing up. Also glad your other brother survived the hanging incident and those poor puppies or rather your poor mother!

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    1. I agree... poor Mom. Sadly neither of those brothers is alive any more. But boy do I have memories of them.

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