Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Well, today, I have chosen to participate with Mama Kat's writer's prompt Thursday. The prompt I chose was:
2.) Where were your shoes? Write about an interesting time when you happened to be barefoot. Begin and end your writing with a description of your feet.


When I was a kid, I thought my dad was the smartest, most talented guy ever. He could build ANYTHING. Truth be told, I still think the same about him.

(My dad and my brother, Biege, at his wedding in Dec '08)

He's a drywall contractor by trade, and he built the house that he and my mom live in- the house that I grew up in my whole life- from the ground up. He did everything, from the framing, to the wiring, to the plumbing, to the tile floor and installation of their gorgeous claw foot tub- a relic my mom salvaged from a house that burned down across the street from my great grandmother back when I was around 7 years old.

(The famous claw foot tub that is as big as a twin bed.)

When it comes down to it, when I have an idea in my head, my dad is the first person I think of who could possibly build what it is I'm thinking of- which, knowing ME, isn't always the easiest feat: Giant birds nests, boat-like cradles (see The Roan Inish), laundry shoots that will reach my basement laundry room even though there is no REAL place in the house that makes a feasible path...and the list goes on.

Anyway, as a Drywall contractor, my dad had an easier time of taking us kids to work when we were off track, or on summer break. Often, my mom would insist on it. And we went with him a lot.

Going with Dad to work was great. We spent a lot of time playing in basements that were poured, but not finished. Wires usually hung all over the place, and pieces of scrap wood from the framers littered every corner. We brought our Bucket o' Soldiers and our Bucket O' Dinosaurs and played in the piles of dirt left by the tractors that dug the foundation. We would run through the houses- some small, some impressively huge with lovely vaulted ceilings and round front windows already installed, and claim 'our rooms'. Throughout the shells of those empty houses, my dad's music would drift through, and out to the unfinished yards where we would play, and the voices of both my dad, and his partner Val would occasionally rise with silly lyrics in place of the forgotten ones, or simple communication.

Days at work with Dad started out with us stopping at a gas station to grab a doughnut, a soda and some other candy to snack on before lunch- and then we'd go to some fast food place for lunch, which was, of course the best...except when we went to Weinerschnitzel...which was dad's favorite, but it made me kind of sick. (Except that we could sit on poles with miniature saddles attached to them, which was cool. I don't know what that Weinerschnitzel was before it WAS the Weinerschnitzel, but I think I speak for everyone when I suspect that the saddles were out of place.)

The best days at work were the days that Val brought his kids with him too. Braden and Jordan were kind of like brothers to my brother and I. Braden was a year older than myself, while Jordan was my same age. Biege was, as my loyal readers know, 3 years younger than I.

Many a day we spent breaking and entering abandoned and condemned old houses, swearing they were haunted. (Honestly, I still swear that the rocking chair in the middle of that room was rocking ever so slightly. No, I don't think it could have been the wind, even though the window was broken all over the floor, and it was a particularly chilly and rainy day.) We built miniature houses out of blocks of leftover wood, bent, rusty nails and white, chalky drywall mud. We drew all over the place with red, permanent chalk that the brick layers used to map out their laying patterns. We played many games of Jurassic Park and GI Joe. Rarely did they ever give in and play girly things with me. But that was okay. I was keen on playing boy things.

Sardines was one of our favorite games. It's like hide and seek, but backwards. One person hides, and everyone looks for them. When you find them, you both stay put and let everyone else find you.

Once, there was this great new house that was one of the very first in the beginning stages of a new subdivision. Which meant that all around it was acres upon acres of field. Of course, we're in Utah, so it was FLAT acres of field, no interesting trees or forested areas, just flat overgrown weedy fields.

There were still interesting things there. For example, there was a wonderful old car out in the middle of this field, behind the house that my dad was building. Now, the logistics of how it got there is beyond me, now that I think about it. Who in their right mind would drive a car out there, where there were no houses or roads anywhere near it? (and by the look of this thing, when it was parked there, there WERE no roads or houses for miles) I'd like to think it was the result of some romantic plot gone comically wrong, though the truth will forever be a mystery. At the time, no thought about it ever crossed my mind.

To a girl of around 11 years old (and of course the 11, 12, and 8 year old boys with her), this car might as well have been a buried pirate treasure.

It was an old VW Beetle, though there wasn't a scrap of paint left on it. The old thing, in it's entirety was brown, dull rust. There were no tires, no windows, and no doors. The seats, though they were torn, and I'm sure there was a nest of mice living in the stuffing of the back bench, were there, and still properly installed.

This car was MY sardines hiding place. I actually fell asleep in the thing while the boys were looking for me. Braden found me first, and by the time Jordan wandered out there, where the rest of us were crouched so as not to be visible through the glassless windshield, Braden had a better idea than playing Sardines.

"I dare Brae and Biege to walk back to the house in only their socks."

Well, duh, we took the dare. I mean, what 11 year old wouldn't?

Besides that, at a glance it just looked like a lot of dirt, rocks, some soft grass and maybe some wild flowers or wheat shoots here and there. So we did it.

And we stopped half way across because what we didn't notice when looking at the growing things between the house and the old car was that it was choc full of stickers- you know the kind. The kind that HURT and scrape your skin, and stick to your clothes. And by the time we got half way across, our socks were no longer socks. They were a mess of white fabric puckered and pleated together by so many stickers that you almost couldn't even see the fabric itself.

Braden and Jordan gave us piggy back rides back to the house, where my dad promptly called us to go home. And he seriously flipped when he saw our socks.

I can't say I blame him. I did then, but from a parent's point of view, the words "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?" come to mind.

Well, I already told you what I was thinking, and, for an 11 year old, I still think it was sound. It made sense at the time, to walk across a vast weedy field in our socks. (Note to self: Remember this when your pre-teen walks into the house with some strange behavior having made a mess of his life. To an 11 year old, different things make sense.)

By the time we got home, Dad made us both sit on the porch and pull out every last sticker from our socks before we were allowed in the house. It took us hours. But my bare feet felt warm on the cement of the front steps, and I certainly learned my lesson. Never again did I go shoeless across an empty field. Barefoot, yes. And I did walk across a small flowing river while on a camping trip with some friends, just to find out that those wet socks were the only ones I had packed...but never again did I subject myself to a pair of socks full of stickers.

Anyway, the next day, I didn't go to work with my dad and brother because I was still mad at him for making me pick out all the stickers, as well as horribly embarrassed about my idiocy.

Jordan didn't go either, I learned, and I wonder if Jordan and I had gone, maybe Braden and Biege wouldn't have burned down the entire several acres of field. (But that's a story for another time.)

~Shrugs~ Boys and their dares.


Jeanette said...

Ouch! I hate stickers!

Anonymous said...

Great story. What is it about having brothers that makes us so determined to take on every dare? I have the best memories of playing sardines with my friends, too! Thanks for bringing those back.

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

I had one brother but he was not into dare so much, I thought the barefoot prompt was so hard but you made it easy to read and intersting good idea. NIce funny memories.
I am having a giveaway at my blog if you are intersted stop by

Ginny Marie said...

My grandparents had a giant claw foot bathtub, too! But it was cast iron, and we just couldn't keep it when they died. I really wanted it, though!

I chose the same prompt! It's fun to remember being a kid!

Natalie said...

The tub is awesome! Okay, that was just a little sidenote :)

This is a really great story! I never had brothers that were my age (mine are 10 and 12 years younger) so I never got these kind of dares! I probably wouldn't have done it anyways since I'm a big chicken.

You really know how to tell a story! I could also hear that rocking chair rocking...

Yankee Girl ~ Missy said...

Great story thanks for sharing!

Lourie said...

I love the way you told this. I kept thinking the shoes would end up in a wall somewhere. Haha. But socks full of stickers is quite amusing too. We do some crazy stuff in our lives.

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

What an awesome story! I ADORE that big ole tub --- until I had to clean it, of course!

Annette Piper said...

I think we have the same thing here - they're called 'sticky beaks' and woe betide anyone who gets too close in an open weave!

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