Tag Archives: memories

Feed Bag of Memories

1 Aug

It’s time for another thrilling installment of . . .

Grab Bag Special

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  I might have done a bit of my own work on the bangs.  Why are bangs a reoccurring theme in these pictures?

So, did you know that our dad used to raise pigs?  When I left home he got out of the business.  Read into that what you must.

But weren’t they cute?  (I’m talking solely about the pigs now.)  And loud, let me tell you!  On days when I feel the need to complain about the noisiness of my household I need to remember that wicked combination of volume and frequency that could curdle milk.  You know that’s why we drink cow’s milk and not pig’s, right?  No?

Okay, I don’t know why we don’t drink pigs milk.  They have something like 8-12 milk nozzles (I’m trying not to get any unwanted hits here, so please forgive the technical terminology.)  That seems like a pretty rich resource for tapping milk to me.

Back to the picture now.  Let’s focus on that feed Co-op feed bag.  On our Vogelsang Girls’ 5K we ran past the Co-op and the smell of the feed in the air reminded us of some of the best school field trips ever.  There weren’t a lot of options for field trips, so once a year we went into town and toured some of the businesses – the bank, library, newspaper, jail, and of course Farmers Ranchers Co-op.

They always gave us Saf-T-pops with the CO OP logo on them.  The sign of a good field trip location was always it’s free give-away at the end, and that sucker placed the feed store pretty high.  It wasn’t as good as the year that the bank let us go back into the vault and then gave us pens stuffed with shredded dollar bills, though.  I remember bragging that we didn’t keep our money at that bank, so ours was much safer.


I grabbed Rachel.

30 Jul

Remember the cool grab-bag special game that my sister started? Well, I grabbed. This is what I got:

I think that's my mom's handwriting on that cake....

Who is that smooshy-gooshy adorable blob of baby? Well, friends, that is our long lost sister, Rachel. I intend to answer 2 questions in this post:  #1. Is she really lost? and #2. Is she really our sister?

First I will deal with question #2 (I’m almost always backwards…) by answering some other questions. Is Rachel biologically part of our family? No. Was she raised by our parents? No. Did she live under our roof? No. I know, I know. It’s sounding less and less like we can claim her sister-ship. Bear with me. She DOES have a sisterly title. We call her our “schwester”. No, she’s not German, either. She’s a child of the Sandhills, just as us. (There’s a connection, right?) We just coined that term while traversing Germanic countries with her. Look below. That’s us in Austria. They speak German there. Seriously.

10 points to the person who can name the movie we are portraying in this scene. GO.

We grew up with Rachel. No, not in the same house, but we LOVE that girl (and she puts up with us rather politely). We’ve vacationed with her, played with her, babysat her, taught her things (I think…), commiserated with her, hugged her, joked with her, dried her tears (at least we tried), advised her (not advisable), cheered for her, and watched her turn into someone really really awesome. Which takes me directly to question #2.

Rachel’s been lost for awhile. First that darling decided to up and leave the Midwest for seemingly greener (ivy green) pastures on the East coast. Stupid Harvard. After that whole thing was done she eeked a bit closer to us (and much closer to my sister and her schwester) by attending law school at Notre Dame.

We celebrated her Juris Doctorate with Touchdown Jesus.

At this point our dear Rachel was still lost. So lost that she wandered again to the East coast to take some giant test about Virginia’s bars. She liked what she had learned so much that she (and her two kitties) settled in for awhile. I thought we’d never again find her amongst all the culture and clamor of the DC area.

Here’s where it gets exciting. Really really exciting. I FOUND HER!!!!!!!! WHERE!??!?? Sitting unassumingly in the back pew of our beloved church this morning. (Can you think of a better place?) She’s back, friends. Here to stay? Well, we sure hope so.

Humiliation In Every Bag

21 Jul

I brought two boxes of old photos home from Nebraska, from which I have decided to begin a new Blog Series called:

Grab Bag Special

Here’s how we play:  I will reach into one of the boxes and pull out a random photo.  I will scan the photo and upload it to the blog.  I will then apologize for our unfortunate hair, clothing and/or facial expressions and explain the context of the embarrassment.  You will then laugh at our dorkiness and give thanks that you refrained from all mortifying behavior in previous decades.

Let’s begin, shall we?

I suppose the hair is a dead give-away to the time period here.  Do you remember how much of the late 80’s and early 90’s were wasted attempting to acquire that look?  As you can see, Stacy and I do.  That’s probably why we were so tired, we had to wake up an hour earlier than everyone else to sculpt those Bang Bulbs.

But look at little Rachel.  Isnt’ she adorable?

This was the summer of 1990 and we were on vacation in New Mexico and West Texas.  At our stop in Carlsbad Caverns I decided to become a professional spelunker.  A decision based solely on my fear of tornadoes.  It was either that or move to Alaska.

We also took a day trip to a little town in Mexico where I bought what I considered to be the COOLEST black leather jacket in the whole world.  Complete with fringe.  I hope to never find a picture of that one on a Grab Bag Special day.

Do you know what confuses me most about this picture?  Mom.  Or maybe that’s Rachel’s mom Georgia.  Either way I want to know:  Is she asleep, too? Or just leaning over so Dad in the front seat can take the picture?  And, if that’s Mom, where’s Georgia?  And if it’s Georgia, where’s Mom?

You see, I know that Dad and Rachel’s dad were in the front seat because that was the Unspoken Rule of the Car.  Men in front.  Women in back.  It was also the Unspoken Rule of the Holiday Table.  Men at the Living Room Table.  Women at the Kitchen Table.  I remember once when our cousin tried to buck the system.  Scandalous.  But I think overall she was the one who suffered.  The rest of us womenfolk didn’t have to endure the conversation about corn yields and swine infestations.

I suppose that wraps up our First Edition of Grab Bag Special.  Thank you joining me on this trip down a steamy, dreamy, mesquite-lined memory lane.

Summer Olympics

30 Jun

It’s been really hot. Summer just jumped out from behind a bush and slapped us. Very rude. I will spare you my complaints about heat induced lethargy, unavoidable sweat pools, and seatbelt burns. Instead, I will focus on the beauty of the intense heat. What? Yep. Beauty. Beauty that I found in watching my two eldest boys frolic like maniacs in the sprinkler. Isn’t it astounding how just a bit of cool water, fresh air, and perceived unsupervision can launch two imaginations into a dervish of creative activity? My boys were the winners of new Olympic events (water relays, sprinkler head stands, and some sort of spinning/running/somersaulting aquatic avoidance dance). They laughed and ran and cheered one another on and lost all trace of any reality based moping. This got me reminiscing. Ah, yes. I’m nothing if not sentimental. You all saw that when I tossed my wedding cake in the weekly trash. It’s difficult to zone in on specific memories of summer playtime because my bitsy brain is flooded with them: rainstorm dancing, ditch swimming, mud puddle racing, Quonset tanning, cow tank swimming, sprinkler pageant-ing. There are so many. I’ve set my mom on a mission to unearth some of the photos of these beautiful events. Alas, the fear of wasting one of those precious 24 allotted photo slots in a film canister has left us with a limited supply of photographic documentation. Be prepared. As the summer continues it is my hope to regale you with details of summer on a farm with my sister. For now, enjoy a picture of the final round of Sprinkler Head Stands:

For those of you who know how much Joe stands on his head you will be shocked to find out that Owen won this particular event - or so the photo conveys.....

Freezer-burned by love

14 Jun

Oh, am I an excited blogger today! My life is a brilliant compliment to my sister’s last two posts (the one where she discusses my parents’ anniversary and their lack of need to celebrate and the one where she has surprising and maybe inappropriate things in her trash can).

We are currently defrosting our deep-freezer. We’ve never done it before. Don’t judge us. We’re just not very good at those mundane “upkeepy” things in life. It’s a point that needs improvement to be sure, but I digress. Back to the freezer. We’re finding a lot of neat old stuff in there: neat old round steak, neat old popsicles, neat old casseroles (from when Charlie was born…), you get the gist. The neatest (and OLDEST)???????? Our wedding cake top. Yep. Here it is on our garage floor:

Ah, so beautiful.

We’ve been married 8 1/2 years. Guess we missed the boat on the whole “celebrate your first anniversary by eating the top of your wedding cake” thing. Really, as my sister pointed out before, I wasn’t raised to make a big deal out of such events. Don’t get me wrong – we PRETEND to. One of the reasons we got married on New Year’s Eve was so that we could pretend to have anniversary plans and therefore ignore other traditionally New Year’s Eve-y social events. Anti-social??? Yes. Yes, we are.

So, how did we celebrate such a momentous thing as finding a bit of our wedding cake preserved like Mr. Disney? We considered reenacting the cutting of the cake where traditional couples lovingly shove the confection into one another’s mugs (which, by the way, we so gracefully refused to do at our wedding), but fear of dental damage to the bride prevented that act. So I’ll show you what we did:

This defines romance.

Yes, we laid on our garage floor and sucked face.

Then we chucked the thing.