Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Terrible Twosome

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. 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. 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.


  1. Emma, while a couple of these stories could have ended tragically...the puppies in the toilet hole and your brother turning purple, I laughed at many of them. You have such great memories of growing up. My biggest regret is that I cannot seem to recall so ,any childhood memories. Thanks for sharing yours.
    By the way, I am emailing this on our first trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto travelling by train. even Amtrak has complimentary wi-fi.

    1. Thank you. I love my memories, even the sad ones. But I am jealous. I absolutely love Niagara Falls and I love train rides.

  2. There is a very good book to be written about your life Emma.

    1. I wanted to write a book. My children and grandchildren wanted me to write a book. I actually started. As you know from your experience it is really hard to organize your thoughts chapter by chapter. Your suggestion of this blog was an inspiration. I have posts written for all the way into next year. The stories are there. It is just too hard to organize them.