Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Little Things, Part III

Even more odd childhood memories!  Will it ever stop?!

We had wooden stairs at the homestead that led up to 4 bedrooms.  There was an exposed nail head in the corner of one stair riser, and the wood around it made it look like an eye.  When I was really little, I thought it watched me going up and down the stairs.  For the 18+ years I lived there, I couldn't help looking at it every single time I climbed the stairs - well, at least during daylight hours.  That was also the stair step you had to skip when you got home after curfew because of a very noisy squeak.

I barely remember my oldest brother living at home.  John graduated high school when I was around 4 years old.  My clearest memory of John being home is this--  Before Mom and Dad installed facilities upstairs, we only had one bathroom off of the kitchen.  On my way downstairs to the bathroom one night, I missed the top step and bounced all the way to the bottom.  I let out a blood curdling cry.  Mom, Dad, Joyce and Denny ran down to see if I had indeed cracked my head open.  Luckily, I just had a lot of bumps and bruises.  The next morning when he got up, Mom told John what happened during the night.  He looked at me, chuckled, and said, "I thought I heard something."

One day, Mom told me that we had to go into town to pick up a "Lazy Susan."  I seriously thought I was getting a little sister.  I ignored the 'lazy' part.  I remember Mom trying to explain to me what was really going to happen, but I would have none of it.  I was too excited about having someone/something new to play with.  I was really disappointed when we came home with something that looked like this:

We lived in a farmhouse, and farmhouses get mice from time to time.  Mom had traps and poison posted in strategic locations (away from where I could get to them).  One night during supper, a deranged mouse scampered out from behind the refrigerator and ran in circles in the middle of the kitchen.  We watched him for a minute until Dad put an end to it by stepping on it - with no shoes on.  Barefoot.  That was one of the few times Mom let me off the hook and didn't make me eat the rest of my dinner.  

Like I mentioned before, Mrs. Thrush was our music and art teacher.  I think I was in 5th grade art class when she instructed us to draw a profile self portrait.  Having glasses, I drew mine like this:

She said it should look like this:

My 10 year old self was correct, but she insisted.  I was very upset by this because for the first time, I realized teachers did not have all the answers and were not always right.  I know, I know...  it's time to let that one go.  

The first thing I remember wanted to be when I grew up?  An archaeologist.  I loved digging around in dirt, and I was fascinated by anything I found.  I was wandering around in a field on the far side of our pond one day and came across the footprint of some sort of long-gone building.  Poking around out there kept me busy for hours.  I found one little piece of metal, probably from some sort of tool.  That's it.  But it was the thrill of the hunt that did it for me.  (Come to think of it, I'm still like that with clearance aisles and garage sales - digging around all day for the one wonderful nugget.)  I think I would have pursued archaeology as a career if it weren't for all the stupid science classes.  Talk about a killjoy.

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