This would be the last Christmas on our land. The land where we had chopped firewood, planted trees, dug a pond, raised various animals, and pulled weeds out of a huge garden. In a few months, when the trees, weeds, and cornfields would be full and green, we would move 15 miles away to a city of 13,000 people. For now, it was still business a usual, opening gifts on a cold December morning.
Justin wants candy. He dreams of chocolate bars, strawberry taffy, and those weird peanut butter candies that only show up around Halloween in unmarked wrappers (a bit suspect if you ask me), but Justin has a problem…
I didn’t know it at the time, but in January of 1981 my life changed forever. I was three years old and my parent’s marriage was entering its fifth year. Friction had turned into fire, and it was clear that my parent’s marriage was in trouble. My dad knew he needed a change in his life, and that change came in the form of Christianity.
This is all wrong. I’m looking away from the camera, I have no idea what I’m doing with my hands, and I don’t know what I’m doing with my mouth, but I don’t think we can count that as a smile. The brick wall in Uncle Mark and Aunt Elsie’s basement is a nice touch, but when is the last time someone looked cool in a rocking chair? Okay, let’s see if someone else in the family can show us how to look cool in a photo. Continue reading “How to Look Cool in a Photo”
You could close your eyes, do a trust fall, and feel like you were floating on the ocean for about 10 seconds.
You could jump on them when your parents weren’t looking.
The 24–48 hours of anticipation as you waited for the waterbed to heat.
Watching your parents freak out when the mattress sprung a leak.
What’s a simple thing from your childhood that brought you joy? What’s a simple thing that currently brings you joy? Can you think of more simple things that bring you joy? The next step is to spend more time doing those things.
My parents purchased the freezers pictured above for a total of $30—I’m told they looked pretty sweet after a cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. They were eventually moved to the makeshift shed attached to the side of our trailer. The night of the fire, the upright freezer (I’m standing next to it in the photo) was defrosting. My dad had placed a shovel under the cord to create a hump which prevented water from running down the cord and into the outlet. It was one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments that we’ve all had in our lives. Continue reading “Did I Ever Tell You about the Time I Almost Died in a Fire?”
When is a garden too big? Is it too big when you have to use a farm tractor to till it? Is it too big when you have to divide it into two gardens? Is it too big when you have to use a week’s vacation to pull weeds? My parents say a garden is too big when it fits all of the above criteria and there’s only two adults and one four-year-old child to tend it. Continue reading “When is a Garden Too Big?”