Fighting the Weasel Monster

I posted this back in 2010.  Yesterday, a small cat crossed in front of the car.  She had short little legs that made her almost slink.  If it weren’t for the slight calico markings on her dark coat, I might have thought she was a weasel.  Mom and  the weasel popped into my head and I started to laugh.  

When I was a little girl, I lived in a big house full of mysteries.  The windows had shutters operated by ropes inside the house, except paint made the ropes stick and there was one window which had shutters that never opened.  I could only see the shuttered window from the outside, so sometimes on rainy days, I searched the inside, looking for the secret window.  The basement floor was dirt, and sometimes animals like moles would make their way into the house.  Once a skunk got in there and got scared, and woke us all up in the middle of the night to a dreadful smell.   There always seemed to be places to explore and mysteries to contemplate in that house.

The bottom corner of each bedroom door had a half-circle of wood missing. Maybe  a hungry wood-eating monster took a bite out of each door.  Mom said squirrels lived in the house before we moved there because  the house was empty for a while.   I tried hard to imagine that house empty, no one there at all, and it seemed impossible, my house was a house that needed noise.   Continue reading

Queen Anne’s Lace

Description: Honey bee on calyx of goldenrod
Description: Honey bee on calyx of goldenrod (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had it all in my head this morning.  I knew exactly what I wanted to write about, even if I didn’t have the details.  That is, until I read my Best-Friend-Blogger’s post this morning, and that’s when I knew I must change directions.  That’s the way it sometimes works for me:  the details flow through my fingers when I’m not paying attention, and I focus on a weed.

When I was a little girl, the pastures were full of flowers:  Milkweed, clover, grasses, mustard, coffee, dandelions, cornflower, picker bushes, rambling rose, and Queen Anne’s Lace.  Me and Bonita and Vickie went on adventures in those fields.  Every step was full of different smells and tastes.  Of course we tasted things.  Mom told us we could die or get a stomach ache.  We never did.

The front view of a Four-leaf clover.

The front view of a Four-leaf clover. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clover grew way down low under the clothesline.  Deanna tried to find a four-leaf clover, ’cause Continue reading

Would you like to ride on a Star? Carry Moonbeams home in a Jar?

I can count the times on one hand, maybe even leave out the thumb, the number of times my family went to an amusement park when I was a little girl.  When we did, it was like rolling up all the fun of a week-long vacation into one day.

Of course, I always went to the County Fair in August, but I only looked at the rides.  For one thing, I was busy with Lady Bird, in the 4-H show, making sure she kept her tail clean.  Dad took to us kids to every single display of old-fashioned tractors, trucks and tools  He said, “This is what we used when I was a little boy.” He had that happy grin on his face, like he was sharing something super-interesting, that no kid could live without.  Why would I care about something that happened such a long, long time ago?  Those tools were rickety and rusted looking, and some of the needed horses to work.

Mom told me when she and Dad were dating, he liked to take her to the Fair, too.  Once a hawker was gathering people around to tell them about a treatment for hemorrhoids.  He shouted out in that special carny voice that’s way louder that a normal voice and each syllable is pronounced distinctly, so you know exactly what he’s saying; that same kind of voice Mom used when she’s angry, and she wanted me to know she meant business, only a carnie left out the angry part.

“Many people are embarrassed to tell their doctor they have hemorrhoids,” the carnie shouted.  “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”  Dad and Mom saw the crowd kind of shuffling around and looking down, like Continue reading

Lessons from the Tooth Fairy

Remember what it was like to lose your first tooth?  It seemed to take forever.  At my house, the tooth fairy took forever to come to my house; she made no overnight delivery.  I learned a lot about delayed gratification when I was a little girl.

Of course Deanna lost some teeth way before I did.  She always did everything first.  Anyways, after the Tooth Fairy left her a quarter, I checked my teeth everyday.  Vickie had a loose tooth, but that didn’t count, ’cause hers got knocked loose when my swing hit her in the mouth after I pumped way up high and jumped out.  Vickie’s tooth dangled there for what seemed like forever, before I even got one loose tooth, but it never came out.  That’s how I knew how to start wiggling mine, just checking to see if one was loose.  Deanna got a whole quarter for each of her baby teeth.

The first tooth to get loose was on the bottom, middle.  It wasn’t really loose, but it squeaked a little, so I started working at it, and after a while it was loose for real.  I tried everything to get that tooth out.  Nancy, from across the road told me to tie a string to one end and the other to a door knob, then she slammed the door hard.  That failed.  Deanna said she lost hers when she chomped on an apple.  That failed.  Pretty soon that tooth was so loose, Continue reading

Soldier Brothers

My Dad was in the War, way back before me or Deanna were born, and way back before he met Mom.  His brothers were in the War, too:  Uncle Frank and Uncle Merle, and Uncle Glenn.  Uncle Ellis was in the Korean War.  Uncle Gerald never had to go because the President said Grandma had enough sons in the War.  Grandma said ‘enough is enough’, and even though that made no sense, I knew just what she meant.

Dad told me he was in the War way back before I was even a twinkle in his eye.  I don’t believe that one minute, ’cause I can’t imagine my Dad without a twinkle in his eye.  Same thing for his brothers:  blue eyes like the sky, that danced like they had stars, in broad daylight, if you can imagine that.

Dad and his brothers never talked about being in the war, except that Dad got a purple heart for getting his appendix out, and once Dad found a German shepherd dog that he kept around for a while and that’s how he fell in love with German shepherds.  I asked Dad if the War was scary, Continue reading