Friday, April 29, 2016

I Did Not Order That!

My co-workers and I had to go in for a meeting at work. It was not at our regular work time but we were paid for it. There were hours to go before time to report for work.

Instead of going straight home we decided to have lunch. It was not often we took the opportunity to get together outside of the job.

There was a nice little diner that we would go to for breakfast once in a while. The service was good and the prices were reasonable. All we wanted was a place to eat and gossip.

About six of us were there. We were able to pull a couple of tables together so we could all hear what we were talking about. That was the purpose of the lunch.

Rather than order a breakfast I ordered a salad because of the time of day. I love salad. It is almost impossible to ruin a salad.

We sat and discussed the meeting first. Then the topics turned to family and other things we were experiencing. Before the food arrived we sipped at the soft drinks we had been served.

The conversation slowed a bit when the food was served. In between bites we were busy making each other laugh. We were actually getting quite silly.

My salad was good. I took another bite as we talked. When I bit down on a green bean I thought it was strange that a green bean had found its way into the salad. But I like green beans so I was not upset.

Then I realized the green bean had something wrong with it. It was extremely tough.

I knew I would have to delicately remove it from my mouth. I lifted my napkin to my mouth and gently deposited the green bean into the napkin.

Boy was I shocked!! It was not a green bean after all. It was a cigarette filter!

I called the waitress over and explained the problem. They offered to bring me a fresh salad. Somehow I lost my taste for salad that day. I paid for my lunch and went home.

No they did not say I did nnot have to pay for it. I guess the apology was all I would get. That was fine. But I never went back.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Get To Know Me Tag

 I borrowed this from shortybear who has a nice blog. Please stop by to visit her at Coco's Momma by clicking on the link.
                                                                                    ~Vital Stats~ 
Name: I use the pen name of Emma

Nickname: mimmylynn

Place of Birth: Omaha, Nebraska


Best Friend: LaVerne

Award: I do not collect awards

Sport:  Baseball

Real holiday: Christmas with Halloween coming in a close second

Concert: Gary Lewis and the Playboys


Film: Grease

TV Show: Dancing With The Stars

Color:  Purple

Song: I have many favorites and cannot choose

Restaurant: Armando's

Books: the Mrs Polifax series


Feeling: Fulfilled

Single or Taken: Single

Eating:  Just had a fudge bar

Watching: The Talk

Wearing:  Black pants and navy pullover


Want children: I have four children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Want to be married: Absolutely no.

Careers in mind: I enjoy being retired.

Where you want to live: I am happy right where I am.

~Do you believe in...

God: Not sure

Miracles: Yes

Love at first sight: Probably not

Ghosts: Who knows?

Aliens: From another country? Sure From another planet? Probably not

Soul mates: Yes My son and his wife are soul mates but most people overuse the term

Heaven: Perhaps

Hell:  No

Kissing on the first date:  Each situation is different

Yourself: Yes

What would your comments be?

Friday, April 22, 2016

It's Electrifying

When my husband and I first moved to the big city we left a lot of family back where we came from. His brother and his family were the only people we knew. I became an avid letter writer and looked forward to letters from home.

My brother who was two years younger than me wrote a nice newsy letter telling me about the "fun" he had washing the car. When he was finished the car was clean, the driveway and surrounding area was wet, and my brother was soaked.

Someone came at him with a bucket full of sudsy water. He backed away and right into the electric fence that helped contain the neighbors' cows. He said, "It was a shocking experience!"

My sister-in-law had been nagging my brother-in-law to install some electric outlets in the wall because she had a new lamp and no place to plug it in. He kept telling her he would get to it but never did.

So she went out and bought an instruction book and set to work herself. She shut down the fuse box so there was no electricity flowing. She burrowed into the wall and found the wires she needed. She hooked up the wall fixture and plugged in her lamp.

Then she turned the electricity back on. She could not figure out what the problem was. Every time she tried to turn on the lamp a fuse would blow.

My husband and I happened to top in and she told us about her installation. She was quite proud of herself as she should have been. But she still did not know why the fuse kept blowing. My husband offered to examine her work.

My husband returned and asked if she had any electrical tape. She did not. He told her to turn off the power immediately and he went to the store to get the tape.

My sister-in-law had stripped the insulation from the wires and left about a foot of bare wires in the wall. The wires were touching each other causing a short in the system that was causing the fuses to blow. She was lucky she did not burn the house down.

It was dark when I came home from work one night. Abnormally dark.

In the city there are street lights and porch lights and all manner of other lights. You are seldom in total darkness. This night was really dark.

As I turned onto our street I could see why. The fire department was at the end of the block guarding a downed electrical wire. It was writhing and sparking at them like an angry snake. They were waiting for the utility company to come fix it. There had been a big storm and there were a lot of downed wires.

As I pulled into the driveway I saw that the inside of the house looked strange. It looked like it was on fire. Oh no! Not again. I rushed up to the door and realized that it was not a fire but a brown-out. My son and the dog were safe.

I went inside and my son came out of his room to meet me. The strange thing was that the overhead lights had no power but lamps and appliances were receiving a lesser amount of power than normal. That was why the glow from inside had looked so strange.

My son told me that a fireman had knocked on the door. He said that it was safe inside the house unless something new happened. What we needed to know was that there was another downed wire that had fallen across a fence down the street. All of our fences were connected so that meant that our fence was also "live".

Everyone was being advised to keep all children and pets away from the fences until the problem was corrected. My son had been waiting up to tell me what was going on. Once he had done his duty he and his dog went to bed. I did the same.

In the morning all that was left to remind us of the danger to the neighborhood were the scorch marks left in the street by the live wire at the end of the street.

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.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Somewhere In A Dream

Most people have lost someone they love. Death is never pleasant. It hurts those of us who are still alive. The grief can feel unbearable at times.

They say there are seven stages of grief. They are distinct stages although I have learned through my own experiences that some of them can occur at the same time.

1. Shock and denial. When my father told my sisters and me that my brother had been killed in Viet Nam I sat at the steering wheel of my car waiting for the tears I knew would come.  I knew it was true. But I was numb. I was in shock.

2. Pain and guilt. When my father died I was so hurt. All of us were. I was a daddy's girl and could not imagine my life without him. I even cried to my husband that although I knew it was a possibility that my mother might someday remarry I did not want a stepfather. I was a grown woman for goodness sake. What a morbid thought I was having.

3. Anger and bargaining. My niece was only 8 years old when she died from a lifelong illness. After the funeral we went to her mother's house to comfort each other. Naturally all the children were upset. When we had not seen them for a while I looked for them. They were in my nephew's, her little brother, room. My niece's name was Rhonda. They were listening to "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys over and over. My nephew felt that if he had been with her he could have to saved her.

4. Depression, loneliness, reflection. After Mom died I tried to take care of my children and all my brothers and sisters. I was the oldest after all. My work was kind enough to give me as much time off as I felt necessary. When I went back to work I walked in the door and realized that I was an orphan. I turned around and went back home.

5. The upward turn. Life does go on. Eventually things get a little easier.

6. Reconstruction and working through. Little by little you begin to resolve things in your mind. I have found that sharing memories with others who are grieving is one of the best therapies. Funny stories. Sad stories. Fond memories. They are what bond us to each other and the one we lost.

7. Acceptance, hope.  After an amount of time you begin to accept that the person is not physically in your life any more. You can see hope that it will not always hurt as much.

An interesting thing that happened to me was that after a period of time I would have a dream about a loved one who died. I have dreamed about my niece, my mother, and even my ex-husband. The dream about my father was the most powerful.

We were all sitting in the living room as we always did. At the same time that it happened every day the front door opened and in walked my father! He was dressed like a sailor (he had been in the Navy) and was wearing a pea coat and carrying a duffel bag. I jumped up and threw my arms around his neck and held on for dear life.

I had my daddy back. He had been gone for about a year. I had no intention of letting go.

My mother and brothers and sisters were lined up across from me standing in front of the wall. Finally my mother stepped forward and looked closely at the back of his neck. "Yep. That's him all right." That was what she said.

Then Mom went back to standing in front of the wall with her arms folded angrily. Finally she said firmly, "I hope you know I spent all that money!" She meant some of the money from his life insurance. I woke up.

I was reluctant to tell Mom about my dream. I did not want to upset her. She loved him before I did.

When I decided to tell her about my dream she started to laugh and could not stop. When she finally caught her breath she told me that she had just had a dream about him coming back too. And she said that the whole time she kept thinking, "How on earth am I ever going to be able to pay all that money back?"

I believe the "dream" is part of my healing process. I know I felt better getting that one last hug.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I See... A Wealthy Man

I believe we each make our own way in the world. Occasionally someone will happen along to either ease your load or add to it but ultimately it is up to you.

Okay. All of the disclaimers are out of the way. I do not put much store in pychic readings but it is fun to see what these people have to say. And they are always finding a man for me. Whether I want one of my own or not.

There are all sorts of methods used to tell me about myself. I will mention a few. I have direct experience with these.

Analyzing handwriting is interesting. Law enforcement actually has people who can tell some things about a person by examining handwriting. But I do not think they can foretell the future that way.

A friend and I were at an outdoor event and noticed a booth advertising handwriting analysis. Of course we went right over. We wrote on the paper provided. It was fed into a computer that gave a reading on paper.

Although the results were rather generic they did seem to find some differences between us. At least the readings were not the same.

You can find palm readers all over the place. I have had this done many times. One woman told me I would have another son (I knew I would have no more children) who would be a musical prodigy. She also saw me meeting a man within two years and we would be very happy together.

Another palm reader predicted that health problems I had when I was young would go away as I aged. She also predicted that I would meet a man. He would not be rich but he would be comfortable as far as money. And of course he would be so good looking.

My sister-in-law had a friend who was in training to read palms. We were happy to be guinea pigs. She told me I would make a major change in careers around the age of 65. I retired at 62. I wonder if that counts.

She also used some little lines on the side of my hand to tell me how many children I would have. She may have been right. I do not remember. She also told me I would have two husbands before my life was over. She missed on that one.

I once had an aura photograph and recorded analysis done. Youy stand in front of a white screen and they snap a picture. When the picture appears there are the colors of your aura all around you. Different colors indicate trouble spots with your health and places where you are healthy.

Tarot cards are popular too. When someone read mine I was told that I would marry a slightly older handsome man with money.

My husband used to take a thread and attach a needle. Then he would stick the needle into the cork of a bottle cap. (Remember when bottle caps had cork?) Anyway he would suspend the thread over the abdomen of a pregnant woman.

The string would move. If it went in a circle it meant the baby would be a boy. If it moved in a straight line it would be a girl. He was actually pretty accurate. Except when he tried to do it for me. It always went to the opposite sex first and then the correct one. Odd.

"They" say dreams are prophetic. I have fascinating dreams but most mean little.

I did have one dream that was interesting. It was about a handgun. I found it and all through the dream I kept trying to get rid of it. At the end of my dream I was thankful that I finally disposed of it once and for all. Then my little daughter came walking toward me wearing it as a zipper pull on her jacket. I woke up.

At that time I was working at the junk yard. There was a numbers runner who stopped in every day. I seldom played the numbers myself. They used the same numbers drawn by the state for their lottery. But you could spend as little as 5 cents and get a good return if you were a winner.

So on Monday when the runner came in I asked him what the number for a handgun was. He told me and I played it for a dime. I did not win that day. Or the next, or the next, or the next. On Friday when he came in I was going to play one more time but I reached for my money and discovered I had left everything at home.

Would you believe that not one person had an extra dime to loan me? So I did not play the number for a gun on Friday.

Guess what number came in on Friday. You will never guess. Of course you did. It was the number for the handgun. I am not a lucky person.

When my mother and I took a driving trip through New England she really wanted to stop in Salem, Massachusetts. There is a lot of beautiful scenery there. It is also where the Salem witch trials happened.

What Mom really wanted to do was to visit Laurie Cabot the Official Witch Of Salem. Mom had seen her on talk shows and thought it would be great fun. Laurie Cabot does readings in the first witch shop in the United States.

So we walked into the shop which has an area for purchasing various items they sell. When someone approached us Mom told her that she wanted to have a reading.

Unfortunately Laurie Cabot was not in Salem at the time. None of the other witches there had any time between appointments to take walk-ins. She kindly referred us to a similar shop around the corner.

We walked to that shop and they told us we could browse as the woman waited for the witch on duty. He was giving a reading by phone at the moment.

Mom went in first. I do not know many details because they were private. She chose to share with me that he said she would live a long life... 102 was not out of the question. He also said that she would have a serious health scare in about 10 years involving her heart or lungs.

Mom was being watched over and she could be comforted by that. She would not remarry.

Before we left the shop he gave her a stone that she was to keep in a silk scarf. Whenever she felt in distress she was to take the stone and hold it to her chest. She used it several times and seemed to work. One day she took it out and it shattered in her hands.

Much of what he said was valid. Unfortunately Mom did not live to be 102. She was 67 years old when she died.

When I went in to see the witch he said that I gave off a different energy than Mom. She was like a calm smooth flowing stream and very comforting. He saw little lightning bolts of energy shooting out every which way from me. I was a chaotic person and not relaxing at all.

He told me he did not see me with a man any time in the future and apologized. Nothing to apologize for I assured him. He did think I would be more content that way.

Then he went on to describe my children to me. He was dead on about each one. He described their looks and personalities. I was astounded.

The best one was when he told me he saw a young blonde girl who looked like a fairy. I had never thought of her that way before. My daughter looks like most of the depictions of fairies that I have seen.

The witch told me that I had the ability to call people to me. I found that to be very intriguing.

All my life I had found that if someone I had not seen in a long time would pop into my thoughts They would appear within three days.

The witch told me that with practice I could develop the ability. I chose not to do anything like that. But it still happens occasionally.

If I were to believe in that stuff the witch came the closest to telling me "mystic" information. He was not completely right about things either.

I look at it this way. Some people drink, some people gamble, and some people go to concerts. They are all what those people do for recreation.

If I have an extra amount of money to waste and I see a reader I might very well choose to waste it there. I do not take advice from them or spend more money on them. It is all for fun.

Friday, April 8, 2016

What Are You Reading?

I love to read. I do not remember not reading although I do remember learning to read in school. I suppose it might have been because my mother read to us too.

Both of my parents read a lot. As a result all of their children loved books. Reading was a relaxing activity on a hot summer afternoon. It was also a good reason to be alone for a little while which is good in a large family.

I will read almost anything. Books, magazines, even junk mail.

Over the years I have some favorites. I have favorite topics, favorite stories, and favorite authors.

Jane Eyre was a favorite book when I was in high school. I have not read it in years and have been thinking of doing it again soon.

Charles Dickens had some I liked and some I did not. I think The Pickwick Papers is my favorite.

Edgar Allen Poe was such a master. My mother was enthralled by his use of alliteration in The Raven. I enjoy his adeptness at building a story and keeping me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

I liked the book Silence of the Lambs. After I read it I took it to my mother and told her to read it. I explained to her that it was the first thing I had ever read that did not have a wasted word in the whole book.

My mother referred the series of Mrs Polifax books to me. They are about the most unlikely spy the CIA ever employed.

Piers Anthony is most known for his Xanth series. It is a fantasy series about the magical land of Xanth. As much as I like the Xanth books I like the Incarnations of Immortality better. It explains the various aspects of the immortals sucha as Death or Mother Nature. Then it deals with God and the Devil. Finally there is the one who is above even those two.

My son introduced me to The Wheel of Time Series. He had been raving about them for so long that I finally gave in. I am so glad I did.

The Wamphyri series is about vampires AND another dimension. I am afraid of vampires but this was a different kind of story. I felt perfectly comfortable with the subect even late at night. Some people will recognize the series as part of the Necroscope series.

As a child I read every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on. I spent wonderful hours with her on her adventures.

I read every book about the Civil War that I see. I am only slightly less interested in the Revolutionary War. I cannot read about the more recent conflicts we have been involved with because they are just to close to deal with for me.

I have read all of Shakespeare's plays of course. My 2nd grade teacher told Mom I would like them when I was old enough to read them and she was right. I have to be honest though and say that I like his comedies the best.

I am the only person in my family who has not read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. I have tried. I cannot get past the first chapter. 

Magazines are nice for passing the time. As a teenager I read all the magazines aimed at teens. I have read articles in most of the women's magazines. I used to like the okes in Playboy and Esquire. Mad Magazine is literary genius. Readers Digest has something for everyone.

Boy's Life is the official Boy Scouts magazine. My brothers were Boy Scouts so the magazine was always in the house. The articles were interesting and informative.

One article from Boys Life that sticks in my mind is the tale of the jungles in the sewers of New York. It tells of the abandoned animals that live in the sewers. Alligators grow to huge sizes because food is plentiful and predators are few. Over the years some experts deny that is true while others insist that it is. I do not know but the concept is fascinating.

My Weekly Reader came directly to the school. Each student paid a subscription fee and had their own copies. It covered current events. It had puzzles and games. There were history lessons. And it was so much fun.

On Fridays there would be a test in My Weekly Reader about what we had read during the week. I loved that test.

Biographies are a passion with me. I desire to know the reasons people do the things they do and why they are the way they are. To read about Thomas Jefferson for instance and gain understanding into his life lets me know why he believed in what he wrote in the Declaration of Independence.

From their biographies I learned that not only did Ulysses Grant and Robert E Lee have a lot in common but they had great admiration for each other. From biographies about Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis I found that there were many similarities in their lives as well.

In all those many reading materials I have traveled the universe. I have fallen in love. I have solved mysteries. I have laughed. I have cried. I have celebrated. I have mourned. I have gone back in time and forward in time.

If you need a cheap trip or a relaxing evening pick up something to read.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Let's Ride!

I have told you several times about the rides we used to take in the country when I was a little girl. My father would drive our Buick convertible. All the kids in town who could manage to get away from their families on a Sunday afternoon would ride with us like some cartoon version of a full vehicle.

It is one of my fondest memories of childhood. So simple but it was a family outing.

While thinking of those rides the other day I started to think of some of the other memorable rides family members have taken.

My son and I had taken my four (at the time) grandchildren to a weekend flea market. We had my two oldest who were teenagers, the two youngest at the time who were in early grade school, and the oldest grandchildren's cousin who was a;so in early grade school.

What we did not know was that there was a carnival there. You should have seen the five pair of eyes light up. My son told them he would treat them to one ride if they behaved themselves while we shopped.

When we went to get ride tickets we found out that the price was $20 no matter how many rides they wanted to ride.

I do not ride those rides and my son did not want to ride either but it was still $120 that he ended up paying.

My second grandson wanted to ride a small roller coaster but I would not let him ride by himself. My oldest grandson agreed to ride with him even though he gets sick on the rides. I watched as the poor kid turned greener and greener as the ride went on. While one grandson was raving about how much fun he had the other stepped behind all the rides and threw up.

My oldest granddaughter wanted to ride some sort of ride that made the rider hang upside down for a while as it moved. No one else could go with her but I finally relented and told told her one ride only. She ran off to ride.

Her hair was extremely long. She should have tied it up but she did not. My grandson looked over that way and said he could see her. Actually what we could see was a body upside down with hair hanging down and flying all over the place. Luckily she did not get her hair caught in anything.

The two little girls wanted to ride a little girl roller coaster. The ending of the ride was a slide to get down to the people waiting for them.

My granddaughter from down the street which is what my grandchildren's cousin called herself neglected to tell us that she had to go to the bathroom.

She left a puddle on the seat of the ride. She stuck a little bit to the slide. And the poor thing had very wet pants.

I took her back into the building to clean her up and dry her off. Once she found out that I was not angry she relaxed and said she had a good time.

My children were growing up so fast. I realized that soon they would be leaving home. I decided to have one family weekend before that happened.

My oldest son was under strict instructions not to work that weekend. I did invite my niece since my daughter was the only girl. My youngest son asked my nephew to come so he would have someone his age there. My two older sons are only two years apart so they were fine.

Why I chose an amusement park I still do not understand completely. I did want the children to have a good time. The problem is that I do not ride the rides.

It was a hot weekend. I was irritated. The kids were kids and not always lovable.

Finally I told them to go have fun (in pairs) and I told them where to meet me when they were ready to go back to the motel.

The kids had a good weekend. I was happy for that. I did not enjoy myself much though.

I had my second granddaughter and grandson for the weekend. Herman's Hermits was performing at a nearby mall. It was one of those concerts held outside and the mall paid the band so it was free to the public.

We left early so we could get a good spot to watch. Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea. We were stuck in the biggest traffic am I had ever been in. By the time we got to the mall I could not even find a place to park. The concert was over for us before it started.

As we were stuck in traffic my grandson noticed a helicopter. He was talking about it and said he always wanted to ride in a helicopter.

As we found our way out of the mall parking lot he spotted a sign saying that for a small fee we could ride the helicopter. I did not have enough money with me for all three of us. He was too small to go alone. His sister was younger than he was so I could not leave her to ride with him.

My grandson told me he had enough money to pay for his ride. After much discussion we agreed we would all take a ride in the helicopter. That was when I found out that my granddaughter was afraid. She braved up and did it for her brother but she was really glad to be back on the ground.

Shortly after my husband and I moved to the big city we went with his brother and his family to Belle Isle.Belle Isle is a small island in the Detroit River. It has or had a petting zoo, an aquarium, botanical gardens, trails, bike paths, and picnic areas. It also has a stream running through it.

You can rent canoes to paddle along the stream. Of course we did.

I had never been in a canoe before. I was trying my best to help my husband as we tried to navigate the stream. I was not having much success.

Another man and woman came forward to pass us. We were holding a lot of people back I am afraid.

I lifted my paddle to switch to the other side of the canoe. Graceful person that I am I knocked the man's sunglasses right off his face. They fell into the stream and immediately sank to the bottom. He was much nicer than I could have expected.

Visiting the farm was fun for my children. My older two boys were small and Grandma and Grandpa were spoiling them as all grandparents should.

Grandpa had his tractor out. He did not farm much any more. Pretty much all he did was prepare the garden and level the driveway. Today the tractor had a dump bucket on the front.

Grandpa put the boys in the bucket and told them to sit still until he took them out. Then he started the tractor and took them for a ride down the road a piece. They still remember that.

My brother-in-law was taking my niece and my daughter to the state fair. They were sure of a good time. He let them ride all the rides and fed them as much junk as they could eat.

They would go through all the animal pens to see the farm animals. But the best part was that there was an elephant there that day. And for a price you could ride it.

It was the high point of my daughter's day. It was all she talked about when she came home.

My second son and his family took my oldest son and me to a state park for a day. We wandered around enjoying a nice day. Then my grandchildren spotted the paddle boats.

They were the kind you climb into and pedal with your feet. There were two of them available. We had leftover people who took a canoe. My oldest son was not happy. He does not like being out on the water.

We made our way out onto the lake. When we saw a small island we decided to investigate.

The island was very small. It took no time at all to see everything that was there.

We went back to the boat dock. It was a fun afternoon.

We went back to the farm but not for fun. My father-in-law had died. He led a long life. It was not always easy but it was good nonetheless.

As people do after a funeral we were sitting in the living room on the farm talking about family. A lot of us had not seen each other in a long time so we had some catching up to do.

The children were outside playing. One of them came running into the house. There was a horse wandering in the road.

Knowing that it might be hit by a car my brother-in-law went out to catch it and put it back where it belonged. He had a fairly easy time of it.

Once he determined that the horse was tame and used to riding he gave all the kids a short ride. It was a nice adventure for them to lighten the mood of the day.

My oldest granddaughter had just graduated from high school. Her parents had a big party. All her friends and teachers were invited along with their families. All of our family was also there. I love family get-togethers. The generations mingling is special.

My son had gotten out all the things that would keep the children occupied. The croquet game was set up. There was a net for volleyball or badminton. There was the trampoline. There was my grandson's basketball hoop. Targets were set up for shooting practice with the BB gun. There was a slip-and-slide for the children to get wet and be cool. The kids' favorite was the go-cart.

I was feeding Cheetos to my niece's little boy. He loved them. It kept me amused because they turned his hand and mouth yellow. Then my niece would pull out another wipe to clean him off. So I would give him another Cheeto. It was a good time.

Apparently my daughter and my brother had told their sons that in order to ride the go-cart they must ride with an adult. I did not know that. I watched the two of them get on the cart together and take off. At breakneck speed they went around the corner of the house, around the propane tank, down the driveway, and onto the road. I laughed as they did war whoops as they went.

I was still feeding Cheetos to my nephew when my brother looked at my daughter and asked where the boys were. I started to laugh because they had been gone for a while and neither parent had realized it. I told them they had gone off on the go-cart.

They were understandably upset. I just laughed at them. I told them they were probably down by the creek where my oldest grandson went fishing sometimes. All the parents grabbed their cell phones and started calling the boys. No answer.

I laughed. They were going to go look for the boys. I laughed. They decided to try calling one more time. My nephew answered his phone. I laughed.

My nephew reported that they were having a little trouble with the go-cart. I laughed. My brother asked his son where he was. I laughed. My nephew asked my grandson where they were. Neither one was sure. I laughed.

The boys were pretty sure they knew how to get back to my son's house. I laughed. My brother told them to get back right away. I laughed. They said they would. I laughed.

After another long wait my daughter and my brother decided to search for the boys. I laughed. Car keys in hand they started toward the driveway. I laughed.

My son looked up and saw the boys... pushing the go-cart. I laughed. They got to the yard and everybody converged on them. Except me. I was laughing.

It seemed that they had gone into a ditch and the go-cart would not start after that. I laughed. My son looked at his go-cart. The axle was broken. I laughed

So parents were yelling at sons to try to find out what had happened. I was laughing hysterically.

Finally the truth came out. They had been taking turns driving. One of them had tipped the go-cart into the ditch. Both of them spilled out and the go-cart would not start. They were araid to tell anybody so they had been trying to fix it. I laughed.

Parents were still yelling at sons. I had to ask the obvious question. Were they hurt. Oh, no. They were fine. I laughed.

Finally my nephew admitted that the front of his hip was scraped and he had a couple of bruises. I laughed. My grandson insisted that he was fine. I laughed. No wonder nobody takes me anywhere.

When the party was over we all went home. I was watching TV and winding down from the day when the phone rang. My daughter was calling.

My grandson had gone to his room when they got home. My daughter and my grandson's father were watching television. My grandson came downstairs and went to the kitchen. They thought he was getting a snack.

When he was going back up the stairs my daughter noticed that he was holding something so they could not see it. It was a baggie full of ice.

He had a huge lump on the back of his head. He was afraid he would be in trouble if his parents knew. This time my daughter laughed with me.

Friday, April 1, 2016

You Always Hurt The One You Love

All children bicker and argue. Especially brothers and sisters. Of course the fights are over and done in short order and no one is the worse for the wear.

However every once in a while someone will accidentally hurt someone he/she really cares about and would not intentionally cause any harm. I have a few examples.

We used to play baseball when I was a child. A bunch of us would get together and pick sides. It is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I cannot run well so I learned very early to hit the ball hard and long. What I did not learn was to just drop the bat. I usually would simply let it go once the ball was in play.

One day my brother was the catcher and I was batting. I hit the ball and took off running. Of course my bat went somewhere else.

My bat hit my brother right in the mouth. He was bleeding around his teeth and his two front teeth were loosened.

Thank goodness his teeth were okay. I did not throw the bat after that day.

A few years later we were living on a dairy farm in Washington. I loved the rain there but that day we wanted to play baseball. So we played in one of the barns.

I was pitching and my uncle who is three years older than I am was catching. My brother (the one I hit in the teeth) was batting.

I threw the ball. My brother hit it.

The next thing I knew I was sitting cross-legged facing the back door of the barn.

My brother had hit a line drive directly into my nose. The force had spun me part way around and down. I do not remember anything except the sound of the ball when the bat hit it.

When I came to my nose was bleeding profusely. Of course it had been broken. I was told later that my screams could be heard all over the farm.

When I was in high school I would watch my brothers and sisters if my parents had to go somewhere. It was not something I minded. That is what the oldest child soes in a large family and I gave it no thought one way or the other. I just did it.

One evening while my parents were at a scout meeting I was watching the others. I put my baby brother in bed because he was sleeping. I went back into the living room to find my two oldest brothers beating the devil out of a younger brother.

I was truly certain that they were going to hurt him. I stepped between them to try to stop the fight.

I am still not sure how I separated them. I ended up in the kitchen with one of them on the floor. Now their wrath was directed toward me.

I picked up a kitchen chair and held it threateningly over his stomach. I told the other one, "If you take one more step I'll break this over his stomach!" (You know... brave talk.)

The standing brother got an evil look on his face and leaned my way. To let him know I meant business I feinted with the chair. He stopped.

The bad thing is that somehow I misjudged and did break the chair on my brother's stomach.

He was more mad than hurt . He got up and said, "I'm going to tell." And he left for the school down the street which is where our parents were.

I panicked. Afraid I would be the one in trouble I took the pieces of the chair and threw them into the back yard. I know. Why did I think no one would find the chair out there?

My parents came home. They were angry because they were interrupted at the meeting. Things were quiet when they got there.

I was sent to the back yard to retrieve the parts of the chair. The boys went to their rooms. I think Daddy eventually repaired the chair.

My son and his cousin were spending a weekend together at our house. They went off to play for a while. They finally stopped at a house where we used to live.

No one lived there at the time so they had a nice big yard to run around. There was an apple tree to climb.

I do not know why they decided to check the mailbox. But check it they did.

Neither of them was quite tall enough to reach inside the box. It was fairly high on the side of the front porch. My nephew stretched and reached. My son was trying to help but I think he probably mostly stood there.

My nephew finally grabbed a top part of the mailbox. It broke loose from the house and hit my son in the mouth.

They came home with my son's mouth bleeding. One of his front teeth was chipped.

He had a sore mouth for a few days but did not want to go to the dentist. He still has that chipped tooth as a remembrance from his cousin.

I am not a hunter but I like to target shoot. I am better with a hand gun than a rifle or shotgun for some reason.

I used to kill rats with a pellet gun. You have to hit them just right but it can be done.

Well my husband came across an old service pistol used by someone in the armed forces a long time ago. It was a nice gun. We were shooting cans off a trailer one day.

My husband and his friends were sitting off to my right having a few beers as I was shooting. One of my final shots hit the can which flew off the trailer.

I felt a pricking pain and looked down to see small pieces of metal in my finger. At the same time my husband was clasping his shoulder screaming, "You shot me!"

I laughed at him being so silly. Then I realized he was serious. He had a good sized piece of shrapnel in his shoulder. He was bleeding a bit.

The next day he took the pistol to a gunsmith he knew. The gunsmith said it was a miracle that the gun had not exploded while we were shooting it.

The cylinder rod was worn and it caused the cylinder holding the bullets to be loose. That meant that the bullet that caused all the damage had not shot straight out of the gun. Instead it grazed the side of the barrel and went in several directions. We were lucky that day.

My daughter's son was a handful for her. Even as a baby he demanded things and usually got his way. If not a tantrum was sure to follow.

One day my daughter was doing some thorough cleaning in her bedroom. She put her toddler son on the bed but soon he was wanting to help her go through things. She was deciding what to keep and what to discard. She told him to find something else to do.

Well a tantrum ensued. He grabbed the telephone from beside the bed and slammed it into her face.

Her nose was broken. Now she has a lump on her nose to match mine.

So you can see that carelessness can hurt those you care about.