I get tired of thinking about the Lemons. I like thinking about memories.
Over the years, we had many different kinds of animals growing up. Dad had a couple of hogs that my sister and I called Thelma and Louise that disappeared one day. We had the most amazing pork chops a few weeks later. I don’t think we thought too much about it. I think we were too young. We had our share of mangy mutts. A couple of horses, one that jumped the fence to visit the neighbors and the other that when let out would usually end up drinking out of the pool. I had some ducks that I loved and our share of chicken. It was just something to normal for us to have animals running around.
One year, my Dad had the bright idea of getting a calf to feed out. I was around 13, I think. I always felt I understood animals better. I still do. I wanted to be a large animal vet but that dream was crushed later. So anyways, it was nothing to walk out into the pasture and hang out with the horses or other animal we had at the time.
I decided I would go feed the horses and the calf before I went back to the house. We didn’t have a great stable or barn to store the food. Nope. It was stored in an old Cadillac in the pasture usually surrounded by bees and wasps that buzzed around Johnson grass and other tall weeds.
I had scooped the feed for the horses and had them eating and while scooping the cubes for the calf, I hadn’t realized that it had come up behind me. When I turned back around, I was blocked by this calf trying to get in while I was trying to get out.
I didn’t have much experience with cows. None, really so I didn’t know what to do. Horses I would have shooed out-of-the-way so I tried the same. The calf didn’t budge. Great. I’m stuck. I tried pushing on it with my arms and then my foot and nothing. It weighed more than me.
I guess looking back I prob could have given it a good flick on the nose or grabbed its ear but I just had no idea what to do so I decided since it was hungry I guess I would feed it. I started scooping food with my hand, hand-feeding it. When it finally got distracted by the food that had fallen in the grass, I made my escape. I grabbed the bucket and slammed the door and set the bucket down where the cow could finally eat.
“You don’t know what you are asking of me! You want just three? THREE!?! Really? The most memorable? There are so many.”
I lean over and grab a file poking a little further out of the mental shelf. I hold it up shaking it. “See this file. This is just from my Freshman year of college and you want me to break down the most memorable moments… EVER?”
I disappear down the aisle labeled The Younger Years. File folders, video tapes, cassettes.. no DVD’s or CD’s down these aisles. Knick knacks are here and there. Teddy with one pale eye and one black is hanging out on one of the shelves. I’ll know it when I see it. Ah! There it is. My pink Precious Moments Bible with my name and a lamb on the front. I open it up to John Chapter 3.
On The Wings of a Dove
I had finally done it. My eyes were closed along with the rest of the Vacation Bible kids and I had raised my hands. I wanted to know Jesus. After the prayer was over, the kids who hadn’t raised their hands were herded out of the church. Miss Lynn came and sat next to me in the wooden pew and asked me if I would like to know about Jesus and told me how brave I was for raising my hand. She read from the Bible and showed me the scriptures of God’s Promise and Jesus’ sacrifice for me and the rest of world. I was so young and it was a lot to take in but I remembered John 3:16 from Sunday school. The big wooden cross that hung above the baptismal area seemed to glow a little brighter.She asked me if I understood and I shook my little head. With a smile, she said that we should pray and we scooted out of the pew and knelt on the floor. I laid my elbows on the red fabric of the cushion on the pew and brought my hands together like her. I closed my eyes and we prayed.We asked for forgiveness. We thanked the Lord. We asked for his blessing over me. With an AMEN, I felt God’s Love.
Closing the Bible, I set it back on the shelf. Now I have to look for the second Moment. I think I know where to look for this one. “It’s not going to be my favorite.” I say. It will make me sad, but it’s important. There is an aisle labeled hobbies. “You wouldn’t think it would be down this aisle, but it is.” There is a copy of a poem on the wall, I wrote years ago. An old fishing pole is propped up in the corner. Shoe boxes and books scattered everywhere.
“I really should organize this better, but I’m always digging through it for something else I need.” I say over my shoulder as I start looking through some shoe boxes. Then I see it. A red folder with not much in it which would probably not mean much to anyone else but I know what’s in it. I open the folder and there is a copy of I’ll Fly Away, Where the Roses Never Fade, On the Wings of a Dove, and some seeds of a flower my Great Grandmother had scattered around a local pond. Memories float up like fire flies, but I grab the one of the brightest and music starts to play.
Where the Roses Never Fade
A two hour car ride down to the final resting place. I have on the same blouse as I have worn to the others. It has become a part of these kinds of days. It’s so hard to say goodbye. I didn’t really get to. I came back and you had already flown away. You are the last of the Greats that I got to know. Ladies were first. Both of my Great Grandmothers left this earth and then Great Granddad left. You, Great Grandpa, were the last to go and it hurts so much more. I feel like a chapter has ended. I’m not ready for change.
We all gather under the tent. Hickory has his arm around me and holds me close. I have cried until my eyes have gotten puffy but luckily I didn’t go into quite the hysterics like I did with Great Granddad. The pain is still the same though.
We pray. They lower the casket. Like my Mother has allowed my sister and I to always do, we pick a couple of the roses from the arrangements. We can’t have our Great Grandparents back but we can hold on to the roses until they fade. We sing I’ll Fly Away and a slight breeze carries the tune over the cemetery. Goodbye for now, but not forever.
I let go of the memory and watch as it and the rest of the fireflies fly up into the rafters to be replaced by a sprinkling of rain. I stare at the wet spots on my shirt where it has made it darker in places. Sigh… Every storm runs out of rain, and then the flowers can bloom again another season. It’s a sad memory and one that still clings to me. Things have changed, but not all change it bad. “I’ve got one more to find for you.” I say and close the folder.
Back out of the aisle and into the hall. Again I talk aloud. “Now these memories seem like days ago, but this one feels like minutes. “Hard to believe it was back in…” There it is. “2010.” I walk right up shelf with the big W on the side. OSU orange and OU crimson patches on a quilt reside on one of the shelves but I reach past that for the photo album by the patent leather black and white boots and flip to the page I want. The whole room goes dark and I hear a machine start clicking real fast and a bright light comes on like a train is coming through. I turn my head and I’m transported…
Your Love is Extravagant
Dressed in white, we stand hand in hand. I look up into Hickory’s eyes and smile. My friend sings Casting Crowns on the steps while a guitar is being played.
Our families are now our family. Moms and Grandparents lit my path and Daddy walked me down the aisle and now I have made a promise to this man. I love him so much and he must love me so much too, because he has also made a promise.
The cross behind us seems to be glowing brighter.There are no words needed. This moment is je ne sais quoi. It’s intimate. It’s powerful. It’s the beginning of a brand new chapter.
A flash of a camera and all goes black. I hold the picture from the moment. “I could shut my eyes and live in that last moment forever. The happiness and joy of it all… But our love has grown.” I close the album and head back for the main desk to turn off the lamp. “Can’t stay in here too long. I’ve got plenty of other memories to make.”
Everyone who sees the house I grew up in falls in love with it. I guess it’s pretty special to me too. I always dreamed that one day I would have a house similar to it, only one story. I grew up in a pretty good sized log cabin. If that house could talk….
When you first pull into the horseshoe drive way, you are greeted by a pack of dogs ready to lick you to death and a cat that will most certainly be decorating your car with paw prints in the dust you have accumulated from going down the dirt road. We were never ones to let you make it to the front door to knock unless it’s Saturday and we were sleeping in. No, we would come out to greet you and help you make it in before you were completely bathed with doggie sugars.
Up the great rock steps and onto the wooden wraparound porch you would step where there is an inviting porch swing or a rocker. Whichever tickled your fancy? If it’s nice we would hang out on the porch or go inside and cool off or warm up.
When you step inside on the rock entry, you are greeted even further with Mama’s thrifty find of what looks like a mauled skunk that looks like it’s trying to run down the beam it is on. Bless her heart, she thinks he’s cute. There is a bar to put your things on and a spacious living room wrapped all around with rock. You can see upstairs into the loft and the window up there shines a beam of light into the welcoming living room. I used to stand there and watch the dust particles float through it. A dusty road leads to a dusty house. Mama says if you wipe something off and come back in 5 minutes, you will have to wipe it off again.
Mama loves her candles and burns them when she can. It usually smells like vanilla or apple pie. There was never a room left untouched by Mama’s decorating hands. The whole house is decorated in western theme with a dash of sentimentality. Great Grandpa’s bayonets on the wall and Daddy’s largo statues sit on the coffee table. It feels very homey and rustic. If my sister and I were home, we would be running down the stairs to go play outside. We hardly came home clean. Mud pies and looking for frogs and four leaf clovers. That’s what this little blonde and red head girl would get into.
When we got a little older and the hair pulling started so we got our own rooms. Mine was painted blue and my sisters purple. There were Grand Champion horses everywhere. Sis was more into Barbies. Daddy was fixing the North Wall of the house for a while and had a ladder that he left positioned by my bedroom. One of our barn cats would climb up it during the summer and eat cat food that I would bring upstairs and place on my window ledge. To think that if my Dad did that now, it probably would cause more concern than back then.
I don’t think it’s ever quiet except for in the winter. You hear cars go by on the road, frogs and crickets at night lulling everyone to sleep. There is no attic just a roof so when it rains, you get to hear the pitter patter or the thundering sounds of sheets of rain. When the wind blows, the whole house creaks. Sometimes when we don’t have rain for a long time the roof shrinks up. The problem is there gets to be a few holes and we have to dig out a couple of pots, but when it gets good again the holes go away.
There’s a fireplace for the winter and a great big swimming pool for the summer. We had a couple of horses for a spell. Nature was right at our back porch and sometimes on the front. The tales that porch could tell…. We had our share of pets growing up which lead us to having our own graveyard. Daddy would never tell us where. We just knew they would live the rest of their days playing together in the pasture.
We always had some event planned. Two couples were married there. Countless family get togethers and pool parties. Pickin and grinnin’s, birthday parties, and fourth of Julys were all thrown. There was never a dull moment in our house. It was full of love, laughter, togetherness, and friendship. I can only hope that one day when I have children, that their childhood will be filled with some of the same joys.
Write a post that includes dialogue between two people — other than you. (For more of a challenge, try three or more people.)
Photographers, artists, poets: show us a GROUP.
“GIRLS!!!! Are y’all about ready? Your Dad has a surprise outside for you.” Mama hollers from below.
We both shuffle to put our socks on. Two pair before we grab our warmest shoes.
“Do you know what it is?” I ask.
“I don’t know, but I saw Daddy going down in the pasture to get something.” Sister says.
Pulling on the warmest jacket and finding something to cover our little hands, we scurry down the stairs. Mom is already bundled up, too. She inspects both of us to make sure we are covered good and hands up both a beanie to put on. We look warm and I’m already burning up.
“Alright.” Mom says. “Let’s go see what your Dad is up to.”
Out the door, we fly. Too excited to contain ourselves. Our front yard is a winter wonderland. The trees all hanging low with snow and the dogs are jumping everywhere having a good time.
Dad has his old brown pickup truck, named Brutus, pulled around front with smoke billowing from the exhaust. There is something tied to a rope at the back and Dad is checking it to make sure it is tied tight. He stands up and with a twinkle in his eye, he smiles a big smile.
“Are you girls ready for some fun?” He asks.
“Yeah!!!” We both exclaim. We are bouncing up and down and looking at the blue car hood tied to the end of the rope.
“Are we going to ride on it?” Sister asks.
“You sure are.” Daddy says.
Sister and I climb on and sit.
“No. Now you have to lay on your belly and hold on tight to this rope here.” He points to the piece of excess rope that is tied around the other that is secured to the truck. “I’m gonna go real slow but you guys need to yell when you are sliding toward the ditch or I’m going too fast.”
“OKAY!!!” We both say in unison.
Mama and Daddy hop in and open up the window on the back of the pickup. “Are you ready?” Dad asks.
“YES!!!” We both yell and Dad eases it forward onto the dirt road.
We both scream with glee and the dogs yip and run along side.
“Faster, Daddy, faster!!!” We yell.
Holding tight, he romps on Brutus a little but slows back down. We start to slide a little toward the ditch but we don’t notice. Dad slows right down and laughs at us having fun. He gets out and puts us back in the middle of the road. Back in the truck he gets, and we are riding on our magic car hood again. We wave at the neighbor kids as we go by. Daddy takes us all the way around the block and the dogs even get on with us. It was so much fun.
Like most snow in Oklahoma, it only lasted two days. The next day, Daddy had to go help plow a parking lot and we had to go back to school. It was all we talked about at school those next few weeks. We were the kids with the cool Dad on the street.
My first post I did on movies were from the early 80’s. I obviously can’t cover ALLLLLLL of them but I wanted to be able to tell you a story or share a scene or something about a few movies from that time period that were part of my family entertainment growing up.
I’ll never forget as a little kid walking down the stairs to see Dad watching something on the tv and asking what he was watching. His reply was the One- Eyed- Monster. Needless to say I wasn’t into monsters and since I didn’t realize he was referring to the television, back up the stairs I went.
Televisions themselves and I, seem to have a history but anyone growing up in the 90’s did. It usually took atleast 2 people to carry one in, and a hernia to boot. The older televisions were much worse I suspect. I remember going down and spending the night at a friend’s Grandma’s house down in Ada. She had an one old television on top of the other cause the sound worked on one but the picture worked on the other. Now that is redneck right there!!! I love it!!!
So here are the nostagic movies from the late 80’s:
Milo and Otis-We never owned this one but I’m pretty sure I was nuts over this one. Like watching it over and over and over. Maybe thats why we never owned it. About a cute orange tabby and a pug growing up together on a farm that end up going on an adventure together. What’s not to love?
Top Gun– If you don’t know about Top Gun, you have been living under a rock. One summer, I went to the lake with friends and nicknames were given out to some of the boys. You should watch this one if you don’t know about the nicknames. Who could forget about this scene??
The Money Pit-Tom Hanks has made alot of movies, but this is one of the ones where you just laugh. Shelley Long and Tom play in this movie as a couple trying to renovate this really cool old house. This thing is huge but everything goes wrong before it goes right. Hilarious. I love this one part where he is laughing like a donkey at something that has just went horrible wrong. How many times have you felt like doing that? One of my favorite scenes is where he gets stuck in the floor. He’s on the second story and steps on the rug only to sink down and get stuck to where he can’t move.
Can’t Buy Me Love– Before Patrick Dempsey was hot, he played this nerd that mowed this popular cheerleaders grass. She got into a bind when she spilt some wine on her Mom’s jacket that she didn’t have permission to borrow and a deal was made that if she helped him get popular, he would pay for a new jacket to replace the old (which was alot of money.) Needless to say, the deal ended up going terribly wrong. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS MOVIE.
Dirty Dancing-6 words: Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Need I say more. If you like dancing movies, this is one of the top movies you need to watch. The ending is pretty epic too.
The Land Before Time– Recently my youngest nephew has become fascinated with dinosaurs so you can imagine how proud I was since this was also one of my favorite movies that I did own growing up. Pretty sure the tracking got worse the more I watched it. I absolutley loved brontosauruses because of Little Foot and hated T-Rex. I still don’t like T-Rexes though.
All Dogs Go To Heaven– I’m a sucker for dog movies if you can’t tell. I see this one on occasionally and can’t watch it. I know I will cry at the end. LOL.
Prancer– This movie is about a little girl who helps nurse one of Santa’s reindeer back to good health. The scene where she is feeding him sugar cookies is one of my favorite parts. Sam Elliot is in it as the misunderstanding father. I’m a huge Sam Elliot fan so it has to be good!
Turner and Hooch-Another great Tom Hanks movie. And that dog!!! Tom Hanks plays a detective who decides to use the dog’s owner to find his killer. Funny movie and the reactions he has with the dog is just as every owner feels when it comes to unruly pets.
Always– I love Steven Spielberg movies, but who doesn’t. Richard Dreyfuss is in this one who plays a Fire Fighting Pilot who dies and is trying to make everything alright before he crosses over. If my Dad had a list of favorite movies, this one is on it. It’s easy to see why. John Goodman Plays in this one.
Driving Miss Daisy– To this day I still hear people being referred to as “Driving Miss Daisy”. A good movie about a relationship between an elderly woman develops over the years with her driver. Great Movie. Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy play in this one.
Field of Dreams– I used to run around saying “If you build it, they will come.” Still to this day, that analogy is stuck in my head on occasion. Recently over this blog. Kevin Costner, which I have always loved, plays a farmer who keeps hearing this voice. He builds it alright. He builds a baseball diamond and ends up with a nice surprise for his hardwork.
Steel Magnolias-A cast with Sally Fields, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Shirley Maclaine… The list goes on and on. It’s a movie about close friends who are there through the good and the bad. Enjoy the unforgettable lines.
So the last one on the list for 1989 is actually a mini-series that came out that year and later became available as a set. I have sat through the wholllle she bang in one sitting and it is on every Country Boys and Girls list of movies to see. Atleast it should be.
Lonesome Dove-About a bunch of Cowboys who move cattle from Texas up to Montana and share in the good times and the bad. When I was little I remember the scene where they were crossing the river and a pit of snakes killed one of the cowboys. I always thought of that scene when I was around a snake. Ick!!! If you know what a poke is, called a girl named Laurie- Laurie Darlin’, then you know all about this man:
Robert Duvall was such a charmer and Tommy Lee Jones lives up to why he plays a great cowboy or a Sheriff in alot of movies.
What experience have you had with late 80’s movies?
Tune in next week for early 90’s movies…(Possibly Part I )
Here I am 27 years old and seem to have these waves of nostalgia when I see something that brings back memories of my youth. Growing up in the country, where you only went to town when you needed to pick up groceries for the next couple of weeks cause gas was too high (HA!! What now?) and beans and corn bread were a staple, entertainment was brought to you by the big tube TV. Bunny ears usually worked but with only about 5 channels, there wasn’t much on. We relied on the good ole video store to bring us entertainment when the sun went down. Your butt had better be cleaning your room or outside playing if it was nice out.
BE KIND, REWIND.
Just the other day, I went into the liquor store that used to be the home of the video store when I was growing up. It is so weird going in there now. Blockbuster was always too far away and prices used to be reasonable at the local store so we would go in and spend a good amount of time finding a rental for that evening along for the next 3 days (3 day rental what is that?). The lighting was always dim and usually a movie was playing on the tv’s above you. I always got creeped out on the Horror aisle thinking that the boogey man himself was going to pop out and get me. When I got my license and went to work for the grocery store in that same shopping center, the guy in produce was dating the girl that worked at the movie store talked about “having fun in the back” and making out with her in there. If those walls could talk, the story they would tell.
So now that you know my age, guess you can figure out exactly what year I was born in. Movies were a big part of my life and still are and really the value that they put on some of them in the bargain bin at Walmart doesn’t do ‘em justice. I want to share with you the movies that I grew up watching along with a story or two. I decided I will start with the early 80’s first and then work my way up.
Those Early 80’s Movies-
The Fox and the Hound– Like all kids out there, we had to have EVERY Disney movie. Mom and Dad had just about everyone in its signature white box. The Fox and the Hound was a good one but was sad for me. Any movies with dogs though and I was all for watching.
The Man from Snowy River– I think any kid that was raised out in the country had to have seen this movie, but I still discover some that haven’t and still I’m amazed. But usually by the time they make it to college, they have been introduced to the greatest horseman there ever was. The music and the epic scene of him coming down the mountain on his horse are forever stuck in my mind and were probably acted out a few times on our horse and later four-wheeler coming down a ridge… This movie was such a big part of my life that my Dad walked me down the aisle to Jessica’s Theme.
Footloose– The music is awesome, the dancing is awesome. Anytime I hear Footloose by Kenny Loggins, I just want to jump onto the dance floor and shuffle my feet to the beat. I still haven’t seen the new one…
The Neverending Story– When we finally did get cable, this movie was on all the time. I don’t think I ever saw it all the way through all at once. It was always this part here and then catching the other half at a different time. We were always headed to Grandpa’s house or something. Kids really don’t know about things like that anymore with the invention of DVR.
Gremlins– I do not recall watching this entire movie. I’m sure it was on the not allowed to watch list but it came on sometimes, and I heard about it from others. I learned not to feed such cute creatures after midnight and what looked cuddly wasn’t always. I did have a Furby for a short, short period of time and the resemblance was just too much. (You see I’m that girl who during scary previews thinks about puppy dogs and kittens.)
A Nightmare on Elm Street– If you make it to your teens without being tortured with one horrific scary movie, you are a lucky one. My sister and I ended up watching this at the neighbors one night and slept downstairs in the living room for the next month waiting for the furniture to turn into Freddy and eat us. I tried not to look at street signs either.
Enemy Mine– It’s an out of this world movie about another planet. Of course, we humans are trying to take over. This movie cracks me up because throughout the years I think about it and can never remember the name of the movie. I always have to look it up. Before the internet was so handy, I would ask Dad what movie was it with the alien and Dennis Quaid… You know where the alien had the baby and Dennis Quaid help raise it??? Good Movie. I seem to have forgotten the name again already.
Ladyhawke– As the title states, it’s a movie about a lady who turns into a hawk by day and her true love that turns into a wolf at night. Set back in the time of castles, and knights in shining armor where the church ruled over the people. Navarre and Isabeau…sigh. Matthew Brodrick brings the comedy to this one as a thief trying to help them lift the curse.
Last but not least-
-A comedy drama about 5 teenagers stuck in detention together one Saturday. Coming from all the different stereotypes in school, they soon realize they have a lot more in common besides just being in the same room together. I think we can all relate to this one.
Next time I will share the late 80’s movies. I hope you enjoy!
In case you’re wondering, I did my homework on this one and pulled up “Most Popular Feature Films Released 1980 to 1989”. I picked out the ones from the first 500. Could spend hours on Memory Lane.