Three Things You Can Do with Five Kids, One Dog, and a Badminton Set

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L to R: Sheila (13), the Dog, Shelly (13) (May 1981)

1. You can play badminton with the dog. I don’t think my twin cousins ever got past the problem of their dog holding a badminton racquet.

Continue reading “Three Things You Can Do with Five Kids, One Dog, and a Badminton Set”

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When is a Garden Too Big?

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Dad (23) and me (4) tilling the soil with Grandpa Smith’s tractor and plow in April, 1981.

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?”

Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Christmas 1980

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Santa Claus, Christmas Day 1980

On Christmas Day, in the blessed year of 1980, Santa Claus came to town. Well, not to town exactly, but to our trailer in the country. We didn’t have a chimney (I’m still not sure how Santa managed to get into our home without one) and I was under the impression that the jolly old fat man delivered gifts at night. Anyway, let’s get to the story. Continue reading “Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Christmas 1980”

Sleeping Inside of a Football Shaped Toy Box and Other Things That Happened in the Summer of 1980


This was my “chicken house”. It was created as a football shaped toy box, however, not satisfied with using things for their intended purposes (and not a fan of sports), I (3) turned it into my own special place of rest and relaxation. I feel like this explains a lot about me as a child, and an adult. I think we were fully moved into our new home at this point, however, it’s difficult to tell, because it appears that the Mitchell’s house and our trailer both had the same carpet. Weird. Continue reading “Sleeping Inside of a Football Shaped Toy Box and Other Things That Happened in the Summer of 1980”

Digging for Water and Building a Well House

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There were four attempts made to find water on our new property in the summer of 1980. It should be noted that each attempt was a separate fee. This was the first attempt. If you look closely, you can see my dad (22) and I (3) standing near the rear of the truck. This style of well digging truck doesn’t really dig as much as it pounds the dill into the ground. Continue reading “Digging for Water and Building a Well House”