We’re Not “Normal”

imageI don’t know why, but this little wall hanging has always tickled my funny bone. One of my older sisters (I have six of them, for those of you who haven’t been around here long enough to have seen other posts on it) purchased it for me up north around 10 years ago, during one of the years when several sisters, our families, and my parents would rent a great camp for a week up on Fourth Lake in the Adirondack chain of lakes.

We continued to show how “normal” we were as adults when we all were home for one of the reunions we used to have periodically, since several of us are spread around the country; Pa and Ma asked us all to participate in a commemorative family photo session, we shocked the photographer when Pa suggested we do one shot where we were all making crazy, funny faces. So there we all were, in dresses, stockings, and heels, with Pa in a suit and tie, sticking out tongues and making crazy expressions (except for the sisters who were laughing so hard they couldn’t do it). It’s one of my favorite pictures, and if I can scan a copy of it (and get permission from my other sisters to post it publicly, LOL) I’ll share it at some point. 🙂

So I guess that’s part of the reason why the little wooden plaque above just seems to capture the quirkiness and fun of life growing up as part of a pile of rambunctious kids. Being all females only added to the “color” of our lives (and having only one bathroom with the whole house on a well that would run dry periodically made things even more interesting. My father tried to institute really short “Marine”-style showers, but that didn’t fly).

tumblr_m08fgrLNES1qbrsgvI can still remember “counting off” when we got into the van (to be sure we weren’t leaving anyone behind). And I remember in the early 1970’s, watching my older sisters (I was second-to-youngest) in the back room, putting “dippety-do” on their hair and putting in big rollers.

The squabbling about who got the bathroom when was kept hushed and to a minimum, thanks to no one wanting to raise Pa’s wrath and have him institute a “schedule”. He did when necessary, but usually he tried to let us work it out, to learn how to work together. That was sometimes accomplished with talking, but other times it happened with a few well-placed pinches, body-blocks, pointed glares or raised eyebrows, LOL.

There was also an epic water fight, once, that happened when a group of us (all teenagers at the time) were supposed to be cleaning the kitchen but got into some kind of verbal conflict that escalated into physical battle with full-blown spraying of the water nozzle and thrown buckets of water. That particular incident is so amusing for me to remember that I memorialized it in the fiction of Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven. 🙂

I could write a book with all the hundreds of crazy, fun memories of those times to inspire me (oh, wait, I did, LOL).  Maybe I’ll post that scene as the next “sneak peek” from the book.

So how about you – are you from a prim and proper family, or a bit of a rough and tumble one? Any fond memories from family lore? I love hearing them, so please share in the comments!

Fear and Loathing in My Kitchen

I come home from work to face villains in my kitchen.

It’s been a long day, and I felt quite virtuous to have contained myself to a salad and some plain roasted chicken for lunch.


First the open bag of potato chips sits there, staring at me with a “Come hither” pose.

I resist and pull back in terror. But before I get more than one step away…

leftover pieI shift my head just a bit, and there is the single piece of apple pie leftover from Sunday dinner. It’s lonely, desolate, and exuding the need to join me (maybe with a nice cup of tea).

“No!!!” I shake my head and back away even further.


Just as I’m certain I’m in the clear, the dark, chocolately goodness of last night’s leftover brownies sings a siren song to me, inviting me to taste just a crumb. “A little bitty crumb won’t hurt you,” it whispers in a seductive purr.


In the end I succumb to half of the piece of pie. So far I’ve held off from devouring the rest, but who knows how long I will be able to be strong? Eating a celery stick isn’t going to cut it. I suppose I could drink some water, but that ruby port over there is looking far more enticing… 🙂

Anyone else have nutritional struggles, especially when you’re really trying to be good?  Sigh…