Saturday, February 03, 2007

Someone got me thinking ...

and that is never a good thing .. lol

Actually, I was reading the blog of a dear friend, retro-girl (her blog is on my roll) and she was answering questions about various things. One of the questions (the one that got me thinking,) was about favorite childhood memories.

Let me tell you, I had a wonderful childhood. We weren't money rich, by any stretch of the imagination, but we were the richest family I knew. My parents, still married today after nearly 53 years, were exceptional. When I left home at almost 20, I had still never heard them fight. In their half century, they have spent one night apart because of anger. That was once when Mom was upset with something Dad did, and fell asleep on the couch, so even it was inadvertent. I never saw them argue. I saw them loving and playful. I would see Dad swat Mom on the bottom as he walked through the kitchen. She would say, "Oh Ronald, stop that," but it was obviously tongue in cheek.

Therefore, my childhood was filled with precious memories. I used to think, when I was young and naive, that everyone's family was this way. When I got older and discovered abuse (second hand,) it amazed me. I had a difficult time imagining the circumstances that would cause a parent to hurt a child. I know it happens, but still, it was hard. Now, let me tell you, I got 'whuppings' from my parents. "Whuppings" was the word Dad used, but they were spankings (Mostly deserved.) I remember the changes as I grew up. As a young lad, Mom would spank me when I did the occasional (yeah, right) misbehaving act. As I got older, she tended to spank me less and refer me to Dad for the spanking.

Let me tell you, Mom was a little woman, about 5'3", and weighing not much. Dad was 5'11" and weighed between 200 and 300 pounds depending on the time. However, I would rather Dad spank me any day. Dad was a softy. He would begin to administer the spanking, I would howl as if he killed me, and he would stop, figuring that he had matched the crime and punishment. Mom was a completely different story. Mom knew how much spanking you needed. I don't know how she knew, but somehow, she knew. It didn't matter how much you danced and howled, she wasn't stopping until you had received your 'just recompense of reward' for your offense.

There was never any question about how much we were loved. 'We' being me and my 4 sisters and 1 brother. Mom was a German woman, born there and lived there until she and Dad were married and she came to the 'states'. She was sometimes stoic. She wasn't a big hugger. Still, I never doubted then, nor do I to this day, how much she loves me. Dad was a show-er. He didn't say it all the time, but he showed it. Dad worked as an electrician, and Mom worked as a mother and housewife. They did a great job with my childhood. I used to feel that I should apologize to folks with less spectacular childhoods, for having such a great one, but I am long over that. I am thankful daily for my childhood.

It is filled with memories.

Once, my sister, Barbara (5 yrs my senior) was babysitting me, when I did something evil (no clue as to what it was,) and she chased me as I ran down the street. I climbed a tree about 4 houses down the street. I walked around the branches in the tree as B walked around the trunk below. At one point, a branch broke and down I went, right on top of Barb.

I remember once when we were staying with 'Lula' (Dad's stepmom) while Dad & Mom were at a preachers conference for a week. Dad was a church pastor as well as an electrician. I was 5 yrs old. That left the other ages of the others at: Barb 10, Kathy 8, Donna 4, Richard 2, and Patty was with mom at 6 months old. Papaw and Lula had an old farm house with no running water. There was a well pump that had to be hand pumped that brought frigid ground water to the house. There were no bathrooms. Out back, about a mile (so it seemed to a 5 yr old) was an outhouse.

It was the middle of the night when I awoke with the need to do '#2'. I went to the back door and peered into the murky darkness. At 5, I didn't know it was murky darkness, I just knew it was dark. I pondered the scariness of the situation and hesitated. My body did not hesitate. I messed my underwear. Being filled with the wisdom of a 5 yr old, I took off the shorts and flung them off to the side out the back door into the (yes, you guessed it) murky darkness. In my mind they were gone forever. I cleaned myself, redressed, and went back to bed.

The next morning, we were all gathered at the table to eat breakfast. Papaw and L had already been up for hours. They got up with the sun. L had prepared a great breakfast. She said, "Someone needs to say Grace, anyone but Ronnie, who messed his underwear and threw them out the back door last night." I could have crawled under the table. I was discovered. I still laugh about that day.

Dad was a church pastor as I grew up. When the church was small, he would take me out back when I misbehaved and spank me. Then he would give me his handkerchief, tell me to dry it up, and we would go back inside. I would walk in as if nothing had happened, even though the entire congregation knew I had just got my bottom busted. As the church grew, Dad was less able to stop things and spank me, or any of the other kids that misbehaved. He would snap his fingers and every kid in the church would stop doing whatever they were doing (even the kids that weren't his) and straighten up for a minute. If it was me, and it often was, he would point his finger to let me know, I had a spanking coming after we got home.

I would get into the back of the stationwagon when this happened and conveniently fall asleep. When we would get home, Dad would take me out of the car, feigning sleep, and put me to bed. It just wasn't right to wake a sleeping child to spank them. It was a good plan.

One morning, following a night when I was supposed to get a spanking and didn't, my sister Donna, came dancing down the stairs from her bedroom, telling Dad, "you forgot to whip Ron last night." I was sunk. I was undone. Dad went into the bedroom to get his belt. I knew I was going to get it.

Instead, he spanked Donna for tattling. Yes, it was a GOOD morning !!

There were trips to the mountains. There were drives to the country. There was a time we drove through a creek to get to the farm and water came in at the bottom of the door. There was ice cream on the way home from Sunday School. I had a horse (well, he wasn't mine but I was the only one that rode him .. Domino .. 14 hands,) when I was 10 and we lived in Winchester. We lived on a small farm. We had chickens.

When I was 14 we moved to Woodford County to an 11 acre place. Dad and friends built the house. I helped. It was a good time. I remember, when I was 16, we had a cow that died during the birth process. The Vet had to deliver the calf. It was a male. We kept it in the barn and fed it with a bucket that had a nipple at the bottom on the side. The bull calf was doing well. I was in the stall one particularly hot summer day and the calf was taking his dear sweet time, and mostly not nursing. I thought, "it is cooler in the garage at the house." and decided to take the calf there to feed. I picked up the calf and put him over my shoulders (front legs on one side, hind legs on the other, carrying him across my shoulders.) I grabbed the bucket with my hand and walked the 500 yards up the hill to the house.

It worked great. It was cooler in the garage (basement under the house) and the calf finally nursed. I wasn't burning up. After he was done, I repeated the carrying thing and grabbed the bucket to go down the hill to the barn. About half way there, I felt something hot suddenly running down my back. I leaned my head back to find out what it was, when I was assailed by the pungent aroma for fresh bull urine. I gagged. I threw the calf down. I puked. In the middle of the field, I was wet and heaving. I returned the calf, and ran back up the hill to hit the showers. Weehawwww !

Those are just a few of the wonderful times I had in my childhood.

Thanks Red, for reminding me to remember them.

1 comment:

Retro Girl said...

What a wonderful recollection of happy memories!

LOL..and funny too :-)

Loved the post *hugs*