It can probably be said that I was always sassily truthful in my younger years. I am probably lucky to have survived many a spanking from my dad’s 2×4 hands as well as “long-distance” kicks to the seat of my pants from dad’s Frankenstein size twelves.
Can’t believe I just said that
I can’t remember the circumstances under which I received my due penalty of a sound spanking from my dad, but spanked I was. I can still feel the sting on my hind end. Almost as if I could see the red spreading out on both “cheeks”. It stung but what came next( I am belly laughing as I type) was pure sass.
After dad had finished spanking me and turned me up off his knee, I looked him square in the eye and said “Was that supposed to hurt?”. There seemed to be dead silence in the room as my mouth closed, and the statement finished.
I could see my dad’s eyebrows raise, the skin between his eyes began to furrow and his jaw began to set. I was quite sure the fiery gates of Hades had opened up behind him and smoke began to pour out from underneath his chair.
In no time flat, my mother appeared out of thin air and yanked me from the living room so fast I thought my eyeballs were left mid-air and my shoes in place right there on the living room floor, directly in front of my dad.
Fire on the mountain, run girl run
Like a flash, my mother had grabbed me, was into and through the kitchen, opened the door to the pantry/coat room, out the door to the back yard, and set my shoed feet on the garage floor.
There we stood, I and my mom. We stayed in the garage for some time. I chose to stand and wait out whatever we were waiting out because my hind end was not quite ready to be sat upon.
My mom chose to keep a careful eye on the garage door. I tried to admire the wood support beams and various sparrows that had found their way inside and made nests as well as “deposits” all over the family car. It was not a time for talking. That much was clear. So I occupied myself with my imagination as the time ticked away.
Upon further review
I guess enough time had passed, so mom took me by the hand and we walked back into the house. She sat me down at the kitchen table and fed me a snack. I chose to sit half and half, one cheek on and one cheek off. That way it hurt less.
As I ate my snack my mother walked back into the living room. My dad was still in there, but now the T.V. was turned on and the smoke from Hades had receded.
I could hear hushed voices talking, then an occasional assurance from my mother that ” this was a normal part of growing up…”. I continued to munch happily on my snack. After finishing my dad asked to speak to me. I told him I was sorry I sassed and that I wouldn’t do it again. I’m quite sure that probably wasn’t the last “discussion” he had with me either.
When dad got in some t-r-o-u-b-l-e
Fast forward a few years. I’m in 5th grade and having trouble spelling the word “impossible”. My dad worked and worked with me and my spelling list. Back and forth we went, taking the whole test over and over again. I am sure my mother’s eyes were rolling as she was a teacher and here my dad was “teaching me” to spell.
I had come to a point of exhaustion and my mother told me to go sit in the living room a few minutes before returning for the last spelling test. Having had a small break to rest my head I returned to the kitchen. Mom had started washing dishes and dad said I only had to spell impossible. And IF, I could spell impossible, I could have a (wait for it…) PONY!
Gasp! Oh my goodness. I was pie eyed at this giant promise. I loved horses. My mom said I had “horse fever” and that I drove her nuts with all my horse questions and begging.
My mom was now strangely silent, standing erect at the sink, hand still dangling in the hot sudsy dish water. She stared blankly through the window out into the street.
My dad was certain that this would be great motivation, but he also was betting I couldn’t spell impossible as I had missed it 6 other times. I am sure confidence was on overload for my dad, but I was about to win the biggest spelling bee of my entire life.
I’d like to buy a vowel please
Smiling, my dad asked me to spell impossible. Smiling back, I stood and delivered. Impossible. I.M.P.O. ( paused for a moment thinking to myself). Is there a double S or just one? Hmm. S. S. I. B. L.- this is probably the point where my mom began to wad up her dishcloth.
She knew d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r lay ahead with one more vowel. E! Yes! Yes! I spelled it right! Right, Dad? I-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e! Impossible. My dad’s head hung low and at that very second a very soapy dishcloth flew past my face and hit him square in the head, followed by “RUSS!”.
I was asked to leave the kitchen as my mom proceeded to chew my dad out. There was absolutely no place we had to go with a horse. We lived in town, had a relatively small yard, and least of all, mom was not getting caught up in horse chores with two little ones still in diapers! Then I heard her tell him he needed to fix it.
Hope seen trotting away
I could tell by the conversation in the kitchen, things were not sounding so good for dad, never mind the fact that hope on having a pony was trotting away as well.
Dad explained that he made a promise he could not keep. He was sorry, but there would be no pony. I sat dejected on the couch, tears rolling down my face. I was robbed!
Time has a way of mellowing hurts and jokingly I would remind him of his thievery but it still seemed to pain him each time I mentioned it. That got me some great mileage though, as I could talk him into riding the neighbor’s horses with me.
One of the best memories of my dad is just me and my dad riding horses out in the country. Riding through woods, fields, and over the old railroad. Great memories to fill my mind with his absence.
I will never forget the time his stirrup came undone and flew off the horse or the time his horse decided to stop, drop, and roll with him still in the saddle. Luckily he just walked right off before the horse decided to roll. Good times to be thankful for.
Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends, great memories of a good life.