Grounded Again! A Story of Youth.

Quite honestly, I was grounded often, and unfairly excessively as a teenager. I really felt like my parents got this sick joy from it [insert: evil laugh] because they grounded me with such relish.

Surely, it wasn’t because I would sneak out at night; take my stepdad’s car on a joyride, get caught driving my mom’s van to school, or steal liquor from their stash of Scotch Whiskey (all in my magical year of age thirteen). Nah!!

I did get caught at most of those things and more (eventually), but none compared to the grounding that occurred days after my sixteenth birthday.

My parents gave me a rockin’ car for my sweet day in August 87′. A 1984 Mercury Cougar; aka, the silver bullet. She was bewitching! I was in heaven – a teenagers dream – not only my own car, but a really nice one.

Their only rule? I could not pick up, nor see my boyfriend Mike, who they did not approve of. He was from the wrong side of the tracks and had bi-racial parents. Plus he was cute, charming, and corrupting; according to them. In other words, a normal teenage boy.

So I got my new car and I drove straight to his house to pick him up (of course!). We went to the car wash giving the silver bullet a blinding gleam. Then, as my parents wished, I took him home, advising him, he wasn’t allowed in my car. Sorry (thanks for the car wash), seeyalaterbye.

Next stop, the local swimming pool to see my friend Jason. He was a lifeguard. We were “just” friends. I took him for a ride (since HE was allowed) to all my girlfriend’s houses. We had a great time showing off my new wheels (and hot lifeguard), and I didn’t mind the new rule at all (heh).

I returned home, and there, waited MOTHER. By the look on her face, I was in big trouble and she knew. She knew!

Without a word, I was busted. I crumbled under her piercing gaze. I didn’t even bother trying to lie when she asked if Mike had been in my car. I admitted to my car wash guilt.

Grounded – again!

How she found out, I have no idea. Mike had only been in the car ten minutes and no one had seen us. It was not fair, after all, I had barely broken the rule *sniff*.

My punishment – six months restriction from my car. No driving whatsoever, not even to school for my Junior year. SIX MONTHS.

Even worse, as a High Schooler, I was required to ride the bus to school. Not that I couldn’t walk, or get a ride. I could have. The school was less than a mile from home and easily walkable. But no, this was part two of my punishment – riding the bus when I had a car in the driveway and a driver’s liscense in my wallet. The horror! I couldn’t even pretend I rode the bus, and not. My parents were drinking buddies best friends with the bus driver, who stopped by to report every night.

Talk about humiliating….that was the longest, hardest, most miserable six months of my life. Officially, it was only four months. For every room I cleaned spotless in the house, they minused off a day. It was brilliant child labor. Then I went to France for a month over Christmas. When I returned in January, they gave me the car back. I guess they felt sorry for me. Thank goodness!

The worse part of it all, was when I finally asked mom how she knew. She told me my girlfriend’s mom told her when she called her house looking for me. She had glanced outside seeing lifeguard Jason in the car, not boyfriend Mike, and mistakenly told her the wrong guy. Arrrrgh!!!

This post inspired by: Mama's Losin' ItI chose prompt number four: 4.) The craziest reason I ever got in trouble as a child.

Sighting Home

**photos by Angelia

One-hundred and seventy-eight miles Northeast of my residence, lies a small Oklahoma town. Outside of town is an even smaller slice of country life; a blip on the map. Therein lies my home of childhood, at least most of childhood. It is different now. The trees are taller, the windows more obscure behind the smoky glaze of age.

Knickknacks have come and gone, although some still stand their place of posturing on the shelf. The carpet replaced; from laminate, to shag, to wood. Bathroom faucets spray from an unfiltered spout in a rough sideways fountain. The kitchen window no longer overlooks an in-ground pool. The pool long filled in. The back-yard tree canopies the view, casting over the window, a green filtering sunlight shade of leaves.

The small shrub plants a foot tall are now tree size.

The country made Bees love them.

Such beauty at work.

In harmony.

In peace.

Maybe they see you, and wonder your purpose as well.

A happy cottage beckons it’s promise of playful cheer.

Spring flowers long past their bloom bake in the sun, awaiting the turn of season.

Three hours of driving to sight home. Three hours to revel in the brisk nature, city sidewalks just don’t encapsulate. Sentiment, and wonder alive through the lens.

Joie de vivre cradled in a ripened era.

I, literally, could not put my camera away.

Home, not just from the dusty gravel road, but from the 55mm lens of grown-up aspect.

Little Arthur and the Rabbit Hole

Yeah, just like Alice, except I was called Angie growing up. Then again, my brothers decided to nickname me, Little Arthur. Why? Who knows! It did start with an A and I was pretty little (for a little sister that is), all of eight years old. I’m kinda fond of it now, but back then it made me madder than a hatter, which is exactly why they called me that.

My brother Lonnie was eighteen months older than me and my oldest brother Jay was three years older than me. Lonnie discovered the rabbit hole one day when he was (can you guess?) chasing a rabbit when it darted out of sight. It disappeared in a fluff of tail. We were all fascinated to find this gem of a passage hidden at the edge of our front yard. We stood and pondered it for a long while – trying to get brave enough to enter the land of no return. Where did it go? And what awaited us down there?

We lived on a street that dead ended, in a country community outside of Ada, Oklahoma called Pickett. This place was probably home to under a thousand people. It boasted a school and mini mart. No traffic lights at all. About five miles away was the “big” town (featured in John Grisham’s An Innocent Man – notoriously that is). Ada, home of Blake Shelton, and approximately twenty thousand other not as talented folks. I still remember from town to our house, we crossed three bridges until our street, just past the last bridge on the left.

The last crossing was over the biggest river. The tale (true or not I still don’t know, nor will I ever) entertained that this particular stretch of river was home to vicious water moccasins and a thirty foot long Alligator Gar (or was it fifty?). An Alligator Gar is both Alligator and Fish, in other words, a BIG MOUTH with lots of teeth in a long alligator jaw that swims with its big FISH TAIL. It lives in the water among the cotton mouth snakes swimming and hunting for prey – like little tasty girls. This scared the willies out of me. I stayed well away from that river and was even on edge when crossing the bridge. How the boys fished there? I’ll never know. I think they wanted to catch that Alligator Gar and become legends.

In case you haven’t figured it out….we lived very rurally. Like I said, at the end of the street, literally, our driveway was the end of the road. In front, and to the right of the road was deep woods. Virtually impassable on the right side, although we tried many times but the brush was just too thick. Forward from the driveway/road, a forest of trees, but these were more sparse, with a pathway that led to a mostly dry riverbed. You could get all through the woods via the riverbed and never get lost. There were turtles, snakes, and HUGE spiderwebs. At the time, none of that bothered me in the least. I grew up with brothers, right? I got my ewww on a few years later when my tomboy days ended.

We spent endless hours in those woods stomping all around, discovering nature, dirt, and hide and seek at it’s best. Seriously, can hide and seek get any trickier than in the woods?

But the rabbit hole was something special. More special than climbing the Oak Tree in the front yard, reaching the tippy top just as a gust of wind bent the thin branch clenched in tight fingers, threatening to blast your grasp and drop perilously to the bottom.

More special than walking the field behind the house where more snakes lived than in the woods probably because they feasted on the mice. I swore I heard rattler tails.

Even more special than the spacious back deck where you could play with your camper Barbie vehicle like they were REALLY camping, because – well – they were.

It was even more special than trekking behind the field past the blackberry bushes to the cow pond for a dip. Just don’t get in a mud fight with your brothers because you might find out later – that wasn’t MUD.

Yes, the rabbit hole was the escape and the refuge. It was a magical place to enter. The tunnel was just about the right size for me to crouch down inside. It then dropped to a canopy room that was delightful; covered and hidden. I imagined many tea parties there with a certain busy rabbit. The back portal led to our favorite part of the trail descending to the river bed. Funny I could never find that entrance from the other side, I could ONLY get there through the rabbit hole.

Growing up country was dirty, free, and enchanting. I’ll never forget my favorite hang out – the rabbit hole – with some soft hopping friends that I hope didn’t mind my intrusion.

My favorite childhood memory? The many adventures in our all natural playground. Maybe that’s why I am so carefree as an adult. Maybe that’s why I love geo caching and discovering new treasures. Maybe that rabbit hole opened our minds to endless possibilities as we courageously sought new paths. Or maybe…..growing up in the Oklahoma dirt? Wasn’t so bad after all.

Mama's Losin' It
My writing prompt: Childhood memory time – Write about something you loved to do as a child.

Sleep Sweet

Or like the dead, your choice. Me, myself, and I, sleep in sweet peace AND like the dead. True story.

I’ve known about my – shall we call it? – sleeping ability. Yeah, that’s it, for a while now. Notice I did not call it a disability. To me it’s not. I go to sleep. I sleep like the dead. I wake up, go to work, or whatever. No insomnia, never had it. No slight noise jerking me awake at o’dark thirty.

Sweet sleep. Most times. Unless, I have nightmares. I have a standard recurring one. I watched Red Dawn so many times, that I have a dream where aliens encounter like the Russians. Their ships descend, and they rappel down on the terrified people.

It gets a little weird after that, because the safe ground we run to is a cemetery. The cemetery residents come alive, crawling from their graves sites, and pushing up more than daisies. Well then, NO where is safe. I guess that’s the moral of the dream. That, and don’t let your children watch Red Dawn, Night of the Living Dead, American Werewolf in London, or Alien movies at a young tender age. Mkay?

All that, and not to mention as a little girl, I would wake up at night convinced there were demons in the room with me (shudder). The only way I could go back to sleep was to sing the ONLY Christian song I knew (we didn’t go to Church), which was from choir, called My Lord. So you can see why I don’t wake up at night. I just don’t. I sleep. I learned at young tortured age -thanks mom and dad – to JUST sleep. No matter what, SLEEP.

As an adult, this is really awesome. I hear about so many people, (via Facebook) that have all these sleeping problems. Not so for me, I lay my head down and I am out. BLISS, pure bliss. Nothing can wake me up. In fact, I used to set three alarms in different parts of the room. Now, thank goodness, I only need one and it’s set to crickets. I assume crickets wake me up because it’s not the freeway sounds I’m used to.

The freeway is right out the back door. I don’t mean it’s out the back door, down the hill, through the meadow, and THEN there is the pesky, noisy highway. No. I mean out the back door, ten steps to the fence, over the fence is the access road, and RIGHT next to the access road, separated by an illegal exit from a traffic jam a grassy embankment, is the FREEWAY. The noisy truck roaring, trailers banging, tire wheel crunching freeway. It bothers me not a bit, because? I sleep dead sweet.

So get this, I wake up two nights ago, yeah I know, I actually do arouse (in my defense the window was wide open). I hear sirens, somewhere around 4am. They started off way in the distance and get louder, and louder, and louder – then rrrruppppt. They stop. Like right outside behind my place. Then I hear another siren, rrreeeow, rrreeeeow – closer and closer – errrooowwww, rruupppppt!

My thought was, ohmygosh, they are right outside! I should get up, go look, and see what is going on. I promptly fell back asleep. THEN, I wake up again (barely) my puppy is in her crate, shaking it. It’s LOUD in the room. Salem barks, and puppy Anna is making this sad little noise between a bark, a yelp, and whine. Merufferrrffft. Merufferrffft. It was the oddest thing I have ever heard. Of course I tell her to shut up, so I can go back to sleep – which I do. I’m convinced it was self-induced because – I’m just sayin’ – demons could have been around, YIKES.

Next day, I see my roommate John, my niece’s boyfriend, all excited he is like, “Hey, did you hear that last night?”

Suddenly I perk up, because I realize, I did hear something and it wasn’t just the sirens was it? (or demons?) I tell him about the sirens. He says, “Yeah, I heard them too. I could see emergency lights flashing through our window. I get up to go see, when it sounds like a PLANE is landing on top of the house.”

I’m like, “NO WAY!!!”. It hits me how Anna was shaking, and scared out of her mind, SHE wasn’t shaking the crate, what was passing over us was shaking the crate, and the whole house. I CAN’T BELIEVE I SLEPT THROUGH THAT.

John told me how freaked out he was – it was sooo loud – all the walls were vibrating. He went outside. Sure enough, several emergency vehicles, and a helicopter – ON THE FREEWAY. He checked the paper the next day but couldn’t find out what happened (obviously an accident).

But I know what really happened. I slept through a friggin’ helicopter practically landing on our roof. WOW.

Most of you know Jason is diabetic, type 1, takes the shots. AND it is possible (and has happened) that he could go low in his blood sugar (need insulin), have seizures in his sleep, and go into a coma. Yeah, a coma. Unless, say his wife (this happened too) wakes up, calls an ambulance, and saves his life.

So imagine, his reaction upon hearing this story, “What happens if we get married, and I go into a coma? Who is going to wake up, and call the ambulance?”

For once, my special sleeping ability IS a disability. FAIL. However, my only answer, because obviously – my track record is very bad – I have FAITH. I have faith, that I would wake up, or Salem would wake me up. I have to believe I would know. Just know, supernaturally.

If a ghost can use an alarm to wake me up, ha, I just got why it used an alarm, since that is the ONLY thing that would wake me up. Then by gosh, I can be woken up. I would sense danger…. I just know it. I believe that. I trust God. (let’s not even mention NOW with him living ALONE, what happens NOW? Same thing FAITH)

So, Jason, don’t worry my friend. Sleep sweet, if the times comes, I won’t let you down. (but if we get married, we should totally get another dog just in case) I’m really proud of myself, how I obscurely threw that in.

P.S. Sydney slept through it too. Yeah, if a tornado comes, we’re doomed.