Tag Archives: childhood

Fancy Football

When I was a kids the only time I ever wore a dress was for church. It took major convincing to get me to where a dress for school. There was one particular day when my dad was successful, I really have no idea to the reason why anymore. It was this peach colored dress with a white doily looking collar, (I don’t know how to describe it, and in the 5th grade who cares anyway). I had these dainty looking little white shoes on, so not fitting my personality. Every recess the boys would always play touch football with our teacher Mr. Hutchinson (until someone broke his arm anyway). I usually played with them. Today was no different, though a number of them scoffed as I walked up in this frufru dress claiming I wanted to play. I have no idea what Mr. Hutchinson was thinking, he was good at poker faces, and agreed that I could play if I wanted to. Needless to say that boys think girls can’t play football and I was usually avoided anyway, but today in a dress I was especially scorned.

Finally I had my big moment, I was wide open and the football was flying through the air. I jumped up and snatched that ball, kicked off my shoes and took of running. I think those poor boys were so surprised by the peach blur not many thought to come after me. So here I was, barefoot, running down the field with my mudsplattered dress flapping around me. There were a number of boys who made a valiant effort, but I just cruised into the touchdown zone without giving them a thought. I threw down the ball in the true touchdown victory, jumping in the air and celebrating.

It should just figure that the only time I ever did make a touchdown was when I was wearing a dress. Oh, by the way, I think my teacher just shook his head and laughed, and boy did he and I have fun rubbing it in the boys faces that a girl in a dress ran them into the ground.

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Filed under Goofs, Humor, Personal History, Youth

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

I used to think I didn’t get into too much trouble or didn’t drive my poor mum completely batty. I tried to puzzle over where my Dot got her crazy antics and quirks. Then this morning a horrifying thought was revealed to me.

It all started with her shirt. Actually two of them. She was wearing her black school t-shirt with her white t-shirt underneath.

“Honey, you only need one shirt, go take one off.”

“I can’t mom.”

“Why ever not? Is it stuck?”

“No, silly.”

“All right, then why can’t you take one off?”

“I need to wear the black one in order to keep the white one clean.”

It took quite some reasoning with her before she would take off one of the shirts. And then I remembered my poor mother.

“Julia, why do you have 5 shirts on?”

“Well, my other shirts got dirty, so I just put on a clean shirt on top of the dirty one.”

Well, to me it made sense. Why waste time changing right? Of course I think there were times when I just added layers for the fun of it.

So my horrifying thought? I am much more responsible for my daughter’s crazy antics than I thought. And Mom, if you read this, I am so sorry for all that laundry I caused you. Oh boy, am I ever sorry. And now its time for me to go change loads . . . again . . . . .

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Filed under Children, Dot, Goofs, Humor, Parenting, Personal History

Duck Ponds and Buried Treasure

I grew up on a small farm in Pennsylvania. We had 15 acres which housed fields, woods, marsh, and ponds. There was a hill in the backyard which was perfect for sledding and at the bottom was our manmade duck pond, barn, chicken coop,and cornhutch. In on of our fields was a solitary hill which rightfully earned the name, “The Lump”, complete with trees. It wasn’t a farm for income but mainly for teaching us kids responsibility. I guess it has something to do with dragging your kids out of bed at 6:00 in the morning in the dead of winter to feed the animals and break the ice out of the water buckets before leaving for school. That farm holds a myriad of memories.

I was a swimmer, I dearly loved the water and any chance I had to take a plunge I did. I think I gave my mother grief by constantly diving into the nearest body of water, suited or not. One hot summer day, I believe I was around 4 or 5, shortly after my dad and brother had dug the duck pond (with some mechanical help I believe) I was dearly wishing I had a way to cool off.

My two older brothers sauntered up to me, “Why don’t you go for a swim in the pond, that’s what its there for.”

I eyed them warily, “I thought it was for the ducks. It’s awfully dirty.”

“It’s not that bad. If it’s good enough for the ducks, its good enough for you.”

Now that comment would typically set off warning bells, but to a five-year-old-water-lover it was a green light. It never occurred to me to ask, “Then why aren’t you swimming?” I just dove in clothes and all and swam happily for quite some time. This was not a clean pond, it was quite disgusting really. I was so proud of myself afterwards and so excited that I ran up the hill to the house calling for mom. She came out and seemed to look around for her youngest daughter but all she could see was a disgusting mud and duck poop ball.

“You didn’t! You did!” she gasped in horror.

I was not permitted to set one toe in the house and was immediately hosed down, for probably a good 10 minutes. I never swam in the pond again but it didn’t deter us from having the occasional barrel race. We had these big empty metal oil drums that we would float in the water and sit on then we would paddle across. I’m sure we fell in from time to time. We just changed and hosed off or bathed before mom could catch us. 🙂

I wasn’t always in trouble, and most of my trouble was innocent happenstance. Being the youngest though I was often underfoot. I had two older sisters and two older brothers and often found myself the oddball out and would attach myself to my mom.

It was fall, and I was 3 and we had just sent everyone off to school and I was moping because I didn’t get to go yet. My mom is a genius, taught school for a long time, and knows tons of things about bugs and animals that kids love to know about. She is very creative and is always ready to whip something out of her sleeve. To me it was nothing short of magical, and sure enough on this fall day she worked her magic. She pulled out the little red wagon, a lunchbox (which I was sure there was something yummy in there), and some shears. Then she put my hair in pigtails and I put on my red sweater and we headed off across our field to the woods. I insisted numerous times to know what we were doing, but she kept her secret locked away. The woods were ripe with color and I delighted in the numerous colors and leaves I found as we entered through our gate.

“We are going to make a path” my mom said. And we set to work. She cut branches and underbrush away and I piled it into the wagon. After sometime I was visibly wearing down.

“I think there is buried treasure here” Mom said.

My eyes glowed and I scanned the ground, “There! By the tree!” We walked off the path a little ways and mom provided a small shovel and we dug a hole big enough to line with rock and fit the lunch box in. We pretended we were pirates who had just found a secret treasure. I eagerly opened the lunchbox, “Chocolate!!” I was so excited I almost passed over the real treasure but my mother guided me back to it. There lying in the bottom of the lunch box was a Book of Mormon. We sat down on the side of the trail, and I ate my chocolate while my mom read to me. When we were done we boxed everything up and buried it, for another day.

I don’t know if that box is still there, or if I would even recognize the spot. We went back to it frequently, each time on some adventure or magical journey. The real magic is in the memory and the love. So don’t be surprised if you visit my house and find my back yard full of holes. 🙂

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Filed under Farm Stories, Goofs, Humor, Personal History, Writing