As a young lad I seemed to be in trouble a lot. Coming from a family of 7, with 6 other siblings, my mom and dad had their hands full. I honestly do not know how they did it. My little brother and I were the last two of the 7 and gave my mom fits. "Wait til your father gets home" were daily phrases in our house.
What kind of trouble did we get in? Mostly not listening and disobeying. There was the occassional sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar, fighting with/teasing my siblings. We often ate supper as a family and could not leave the table until all our food was gone and we were excused. I quickly learned what our dog, Patches, liked and did not like as I snuck my food under the table. She definetely did not like broccoli, califlower, and cooked carrots. Things I rarely eat to this day. I remember going outside after supper and discarding these vegetables I had snuck into my pockets when no one was looking. I can only imagine what my dad thought when he saw these discarded vegetables on the lawn next time he mowed.
As sweet and angelic as my brother and I were, we were punished quite often. Mom was famous for the bar of soap when we said bad words. Her other favorite was the wooden spoon. She would chase us with it swinging away as we dodged and weaved our way through the kitchen with her yelling "Wait til your father gets home!" She really was not that strong, and I remember having to fake cry as we got whacked. A lesson learned after the one time I laughed as she hit me with the spoon. I think we actually helped her with her agility as she too learned to anticipate our moves. One time I dodged a little too slow and she caught me on top of the head with the wooden spoon breaking it clean in half.
We were often sent to our rooms waiting for the dreaded sound of the garage door opening. This signaled dad was home the real punishment was about to be administered. Dad had three weapons of choice; his hand, the ping pong paddle or the dreaded belt. All administered bare-butted over his knees. When we were up at the lake where we had a weeping willow tree, more than once I had to go select my own switch from the tree. Which is why to this day I dislike weeping willows. When I asked Barb, she said she had the exact same punishments including the weeping willow switch but minus the ping pong paddle!
I remember another incident when we were at the lake. Brother Rod and I snuck out of the house and into the tent of some girls who were visiting our neighbors. We were young enough where it was totally innocent (really), but my mom did not think so. She heard use in there talking with the girls and started beating the side of the tent with a broom. Rod and I shot out of that tent like rockets with our mom in hot pursuit with her broom!
As we got older, much to the delight of our parents, we took our misadventures on the road and terrorized the rest of the world. More than once we had the police and neighbors stop by the house to have a talk with our parents. That is when I learned something about my dad. I would be hiding in my room as my dad talked to the police when I once again ditched them on my dirt bike. One officer wanted to inspect my dirt bike to see if the engine was hot after a chase where I went through the woods to evade capture. My dad simply said "No, you are not going into my garage", thus getting me out of a tight spot. Maybe dad was not so bad after all!
My brother and I were on a first name basis with the Shell Lake police department and one day I found myself on the inside of a cell looking out. I will never forget my dad coming to get me and looking through the cell door. All he said was "How do you like in there James?" Nothing else was ever said, no punishment, nothing. I had to get out of that jam myself with a little help from mom and nothing ever became of it.
As a parent, I carried on some of these family traditions. We did not have a ping pong table or a willow tree, but we did have belts and wooden spoons, but mostly the bare palm on the child across my knee. I do not remember using a bar of soap, but Jessica and Forrest might have different memories. Some parents nowadays would be appalled, but at times, I think we have gone too far the other way. When I am at a restaurant, I sometimes have to resist the urge to take some random kid over my knee as he sasses his mom in the neighboring booth. More than likely the result would be looking out of a cell again and being sued by some Karen for scarring her kid for life.
But those days are over, now adays I find myself sitting in the living room taking pictures of birds through the window missing my mom and dad. We have had a family of Grosbeak frequenting our birdfeeder the last few weeks. And of course, there is the ever-tormenting squirrel to keep Zoey on her toes.
The cattle left this week for their summer pasture. We will miss seeing them in the driveway or the pond but we will not miss the flies. Hopefully they took them with them.
|Along the driveway
Now that the cattle are gone, maybe the deer will come back. They seem totally disappear when the cattle are here.
Our social life has slowed down a bit, but we did get together with neighbors Jim and Carmen once and a visit with some RV'ers who were passing through the area. Steve and Diane Wheeler, were passing through the area so we got together with them at the Bugling Bull in Custer. Steve is the brother of some other RV friends of ours. Always nice to talk to other RV'ers passing through.
|No more dish!
|Cow elk and her baby
|Momma, pappa and baby