Was That Supposed to Hurt?

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

dad and daughter

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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

Image by Jan Steiner from Pixabay

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

Image by 41330 from Pixabay

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

Image by 41330 from Pixabay

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.

Michele
SUsanna Wesley motherhood

Legacy of Motherhood: The Life of Susanna Wesley

My Mother and the first three kids.
Mom with my brother, sister, and me

For as long as I can remember, my greatest desire was to be a mother. And why not? God blessed me with the greatest examples of motherhood that a girl could have. My own mother was a portrait of motherhood. She had 6 children and countless foster kids. And she loved them all well. She told us often how wonderful it was to have children. Unlike many women today, she dreaded the end of summer and sending her children off to school. She wanted them around her feet, pulling on her skirt tails. There was never any doubt that she was proud to be a momma.

Godly Grandmothers

And then there were my godly grandmothers. Oh my goodness, if I could live up to their lives I would be so proud, but that would just pull me down from the heights of glory because they were all of the humble kind.

One thing my Grandma Dawson was proud of was that I was her namesake. And once I learned what that meant, I was proud of it too.
If you look at my father, uncles, and aunt you know that she was a great example of motherhood. She was a servant of God and man. At her funeral, my Uncle said, “You could always find her on her knees, either in prayer or serving others.

"You could always find her on her knees, either in prayer or service to others." #motherhood #grandmother #legacy Click To Tweet

Grandma Dawson (Amanda Leona) was also named for her Grandmother Amanda Hukill. Though I never knew her, she left a legacy of perseverance and faith enough for all of us. I can look to her whenever I think I have had my share of trials because she dealt with more than I ever have.

I look to her whenever I think I have had more than my fair share of trials. #leavingalegacy Click To Tweet

So Many More Legacy Builders

So you can see that it was easy for me to want to be a momma myself. It seemed the greatest accomplishment to me, it still does. Early on, I began reading about others that have set an example that has passed the test of time. Jackie Green’s book Only One Life speaks of many women who have left a legacy for us. There are two Susanna’s that have stood out for me as perfect examples of motherhood (physically and spiritually), Susie Spurgeon, whom I have already written about and Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley.

#Motherhood The greatest accomplishment. #lleavingalegacy Click To Tweet
Susanna motherhood

Susanna Wesley, Wife of a Minister

Susanna, wife of Rev. Samuel Wesley, Sr. and educated herself stayed right up with her husband (and later, her sons) in theological studies, reading anything and everything in her husband’s library. Her husband traveled often to schools and preaching, leaving her to hold down everything at home. They report that while he was away if the substitute priest was not “up to par”, she would have Bible lessons that evening in her home. This grew quickly from just her small brood to include many of the church members.

Mother of Nineteen

Susanna Wesley had nineteen children but only 10 of them reached adulthood (two of which were John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism). It was important to her that her children, girls included, would be given an education and she did it. All of them began their formal education at home and the girls completed their education under her teaching. She determined to have a dedicated period of study time set aside for each child, individually, each week. (When I think about this now, and factor in that she was likely pregnant or nursing the entire time, I am amazed. Yikes!)

Susanna's unwavering discipline
photo credit: Holinesstoday.org

Legacy of Discipline & Resilience

Susanna managed the gardening, cooking, and housekeeping along with the children’s studies. She kept a regular time set apart for meditation and self-examination before God, keeping of a spiritual journal and strict adherence to the Sabbath. Susanna, known as a great prayer warrior, with a houseful of activity, would pull her apron up over her head to pray; the signal for no interruptions. She expected the same devotion by her children.. to spend an allocated amount of time in Bible study and prayer. She wrote in a letter for her son Samuel:

I will tell you what rule I observed when I was young, and too much addicted to childish diversions, was this — never spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spent in private religious devotions.

Eliza Clarke, Susanna Wesley (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1886), 68

I have often read the writings of young people from earlier centuries and marveled at the depth of thought in young minds. Susanna’s practices, which came from the Puritan heritage, are how such depth of thought can be found. We all might take heed and learn from them.

SUsannah's Devotion to God
www.holinesstoday.org

“Mother of Methodism”

Susanna Wesley, mother of Methodism. Not only because she was the Mother of the founding men, John & Charles, but because she kept up with her husband and sons in their studies. She remained deeply involved with them in establishing the Methodist Church. As I type this, I am realizing that her disciplines stated above were carried into the new Methodist movement. The worship style of Methodism is just that. Methodical and with reason. I also wonder if it wasn’t her Sunday afternoon lessons, that sparked the idea of Sunday School classes for better learning and further teaching. can teach

Susanna Wesley a Legacy of Discipline, Faith & Prayer #leavingalegacy Click To Tweet

Large Shoes to Fill

The Life and Legacy of Susanna Wesley leave much for us to learn and follow. I encourage you to do some research on your own and perhaps take one area to use as an example to follow. There are many sources available for purchase; however, most of what I write today comes from the magazine Holiness Today, September/October 2018 issue which can be read online.

www.holinesstoday.org

What an excellent legacy to follow.

I pray that I do.

Mandy Farmer
summer of legacy

See you next week!

Hostess Honey Bun Saved The Day

My mother had had enough. She was sick of me and my brother fighting, and not getting ready for school. So without delay, she launched down the hallway to our rooms. The determined pounding of her feet let us know her last nerve had been frayed and we were on her “list”.

Photo Credit Free-Photos

A quick side note. I had a very active imagination as a child. I loved to read books late into the night. In fact, I positioned my bed right up against the door to my room. This way I could lean out of my bed and catch the nightlight from the hallway! HA! And, I could hear if anyone approached from either way. If I did hear someone, then I could stealthily slide my book under the top cover and feign sleep. The next paragraphs are dedicated to my childhood imagination, groomed by years of the late night reading.

Today there was no hiding! We did not have Mary Poppins making her way up the hall, no sir! This was a Momster (mom and monster)! A sleep-deprived infant toting toddler dragging mother, who was about to channel her inner ugly mother and my brother and I were public enemy number one.

If I Have To Tell You One More Time

Photo Credit Free-Photos

She stood between our rooms, her eyes darting back and forth between me and my brother, me and my brother. With teeth gritted, eyebrows raise she said “GET. DRESSED.” “GET. YOUR. SCHOOL BOOKS.” “PUT. ON. YOUR. COATS. AND GET. TO THE BUS!” The “get’s” had their g’s and t’s emphasized, and the s’s had serpentine tones. This exchange assertively delivered while burping my infant sister and assuring my toddler brother that his breakfast was coming.

If smoke could have rolled up from underneath mom it would have. As well as the gates of Hades open wide to receive the world’s most bickering brother-sister duo.

As quickly as she appeared, she had gone back down the hallway. Cooing to my infant sister with my little brother scurrying alongside. I glanced again to see the gate of Hades close and the smoke retreat back with it.  Phew!

I thought of asking if a breakfast invitation was included before our departure, but thought better of it.  Frantically I grabbed my clothes and put them on, tied my shoes and began fretting that I was going to miss breakfast.  I NEVER missed breakfast.  This was a first for breakfast withholding punishment.

This is the part where you leave

My brother finished dressing and met me in the hall.  I whispered that we should not worry about the ceremony of brushing teeth.  He was in total agreement, he hated brushing teeth.  So we walked together to the kitchen where mom was busy with breakfast for my younger brother.

A quick glance from her told us she was not budging.  There was no invite to the breakfast table.  With a sweep of her hand, she told us to get out and get to the bus.  We hesitated knowing it was Wednesday.  On Wednesdays, she always gave us 50 cents before leaving the house so we could buy a treat at the store on the way home after school.

Mom made no further eye contact.  So with slumped shoulders and lowered heads, we walked into the foyer and grabbed our coats.  As I reached for the doorknob and glanced at the ledge by the door I spied our money for treats.  OH JOY!  Wait… how was this possible?  She must have left us money before our rivalry ruckus.  A little light of heaven shown upon us at that moment.

We greedily grabbed our money and made our way out the door, down the street, and to the store.  Walking up to the goodie shelf we scanned them for something breakfast like, and there it was.  The Hostess Honey Bun.  A taste of Hostess baked delight.  This was a small, cinnamon type roll with a good coating of frosting immortalized on top.  We knew we struck gold.

Glancing at the clock in the store we knew we had about two minutes to skedaddle or we would miss the bus. We paid the clerk and quickly made our way out the door.  A short stop at the trash can to remove the cellophane wrapper was all that stood between us and breakfast. We bit into the Honey Bun and relished every bite.  Between bites, my brother and I discussed our luck in having our treat money waiting by the door.

Lesson learned

The ride on the bus to school went fairly well.  The delicious, but sugary Honey Bun left us thirsty.  By the time we arrived at school we both made a bee-line for the bubbler (that’s Wisconsin talk for water fountain we can discuss this regional term some other time) and drank like camels.  We parted company and headed for our classrooms.

The ride home on the bus was uneventful, perhaps more reflective than anything.   I started feeling really guilty about ruining her day with our bickering.  My mom was a busy mom.  She basically had two families.  My brother and I were born in 1971 and 1972.  Then she took a 9-year hiatus.  Second thought… I would say she had a TOTAL lapse of memory and found herself right back at square one with additions in 1979 and 1980.  After that, she made sure the production line was shut down permanently.

Hopping off the bus we made the trek back home.  My brother and I walked into the house somewhat cautiously but were greeted by our mom with a warm smile.  We even got a hug.  When she asked how our morning went I stated ( I was the reporter/informer) that because she had left us money on the ledge by the door, for an after-school treat, we simply did the reverse and treated ourselves to a Honey Bun breakfast instead.  To which she raised her eyebrows and just said “Mmm.”  I was never really sure what her “Mmm” meant.  I’d like to think the “Momster” got a guilty conscious about sending her children off with no food.  A Friesland Hansel and Gretel, if you would.  So she left us the money to ease her conscious.

Just in case all this talk of Honey Bun has you hungry, they still make them!  I have yet to find a local store who has them, but you can ask your local grocer if they are able to order them or  Amazon.com has them available also.

 

Michele