Recently at my moms 81st birthday party many of her ten kids took a moment to remember funny stories from our families past. It was fun to hear stories from the perspective of my parents and siblings, we had lots of great laughs. One of the stories I remember very well took place when I was a young teenager.
Our family was returning home from a rare family vacation to Southern Utah when we saw the clouds form and the pouring rain begin to flood the streets. Two months prior, my dad purchased 50 baby chicks that our family was raising so we would have meat on the table for the coming year.
The closer we got to home the more concerned we were for our half grown chicks. The chickens were bred for their meat not for their brains so we knew these birds would be in trouble. Sure enough, when we arrived home the chicken coup was flooded. Most of the chicks were near death, laying in the water, even though they could have climbed onto their roosting perch that would have kept them dry and safe.
We took all the chicks out of the wet, murky, chicken coup and laid them on the lawn in our back yard. My mom had a brilliant idea. She said “why don’t we spray the chicks off with the water hose to clean them up, dry them off with a towel, and then put the chicks in the oven on warm” We all snickered at the plan but thought it would work.
My brother Mel was funny. He was talking to the chicks as they were getting put in the oven, He said “we will see you back here in a few months, don’t get to comfortable in there.” We all laughed, making this overwhelming task of saving the lives of these chickens a lot more memorable. Not one of the chickens died during their rescue. We enjoyed many yummy dinners from the chickens that almost met their doom much earlier then planned.
I look back on my life on our small farm with fondness. This is were I learned the value of hard work. The days I spent planting, weeding, and harvesting our garden, feeding, and cleaning up after our animals have become priceless memories.
There are many things in life that leave an impression with you. For me one of those things is gum, chewing gum, bubble gum, all things gum related. If you are old enough to remember Bubs Daddy, Hubba Bubba, Bazooka bubble gum with the cartoon strip called Bazooka Joe, and the penny gum ball machine, you were a kid in the 1970’s.
I grew up about a mile from a convenience store. When I would get finished doing my chores around the house, I would walk to the store with my brothers and sisters to buy gum, and lots of it. I loved chewing bubble gum and would blow huge bubbles that would pop all over my face. Sometimes I would even chew two or three pieces at once. Oh, the memories.
It seems like I was always in some competition with my brothers. One of them suggested we see who could chew the same piece of gum the longest. One of my brothers even went to sleep chewing his gum that ended up in his hair the next morning. The gum was so tangled he needed to get an early hair cut.
We decided to make the rule more clear. It was OK to take your gum out of your mouth at night. I remember taking my gum, and putting it on my wooden bed post. The next morning when I took the gum from the post it had wood stuck to the gum. The gum had become extremely stiff from 16 days of chewing that it pulled wood from the bed. I believe my brother Mel won after 17 days.
I got to thinking about gum when I was given a bag of candy that was mostly gum to give to the kids at school. I don’t like giving the kids gum because it is to messy so I chewed a few pieces. This is when my memories started coming back to me when I held gum more sacred. After all these years, it has become more clear why I don’t like to chew gum. I chewed enough gum as a child to last a lifetime.
Several years ago, almost in another lifetime, when I was 11 going on 12. I was on top of the world. I was in sixth grade. This is a pivotal year in school. I was finally king of the school. I had arrived at the top of the food chain as far as kids my age were thinking. I never was a cocky, arrogant, kid wanting to show how big I was to the other younger kids. I was a little awkward socially, never feeling like I really fit in.
One thing everyone had to do in sixth grade was learn how to dance. I remember having a dance teacher that came to our school once a week for a couple of months. After we learned how to waltz we had a school dance where we had to fill out a dance card, asking girls to dance. It was very painful getting 10 different girls to dance with me to fill up my dance card.
When we started learning how to square dance I loved it, except when I was dancing with Wendy Ryan, one of the most popular girls in the school. Her hands were very sweaty. What I liked best was I didn’t have to ask a girl to dance with me. We were just paired up which made it a lot less stressful. For the rest of the story Click Here.