Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Uphill, Both Ways

Recently, I just turned fifty-four years. At one time in my life I thought that was extremely old. Then I turned fifty-four, and it didn't seem so old. Turning fifty-four gave me pause to think about my father who died at the young age of fifty-four.

My father was a country boy through and through from the tip of his cute little nose to end of his toes. He lived on a farm in Princeton, Missouri. He listened to country music. He knew how to country dance. My father had a country boy attitude. He was full of country sayings.

My father passed time when he was young like all country boys. He rode horses, helped with the farm, went hunting, and caused mischief. I remember my aunt telling me about when my father and uncle would go "frog giggin'". My father would make my aunt put on a heavy coat, and he would shoot his BB gun at her. If she yelled, "Ow!", he knew the gun would kill frogs.

I was extremely fortunate to grow up in a home with parents that accepted my brother's and my disability without a single grumble. There was never self-pity. (If there was grumbling and self-pity, my parents made sure we never heard it.) We were given the opportunity to do everything that other kids our age did. When friends of the family were camping and riding motorbikes, my father made sure that our family did the same. He built motorbikes with sidecars to accommodate our disability. I don't ever remember feeling depressed that I couldn't do what my friends could do because, I knew, all I had to do was tell my parents that I wanted to something and they would figure out a way to make it happen. My father was a visionary, and I believed that with his genius I could do anything.

My father never spanked us. I only remember him taking his belt off, snapping it, and threatening to use it, once! The only thing my father had to say was, "I am so disappointed in you!" When he said that I would crumble. Sadly, for my mom, my father left all the disciplinary actions to her.

My father always had interesting wise words of wisdom and odd sayings. We always heard the familiar, "When I was your age . . . . . . ." I remember continually being told, "When I was your age I had to walk to school every day. I had to walk five miles uphill in the snow."

We would reply, "Really, Dad, uphill, both ways?"

"Yes, I lived in a very hilly area," he would explain.

"And always in the snow?" we would inquire.

"Yes, I only went to school on snowy days. I had to work in the fields the days it didn't snow."

My mother would chime in, "Don't let your father fool you. He rode a horse to school. The horse knew the way so well that your father slept both ways, and it wasn't uphill. And it definitely wasn't in the snow."

My father had a unique way of describing people and events. I had a friend in high school that loved my father's saying. She would write down what he said, and she would tell him, "Someday I am going to write a book of your sayings." She didn't write a book, but I am happy to share them with my readers. Here goes:
  • He was shaking like a dog shitting razor blades.
  • She is homelier than an old mud fence.
  • That boy could eat corn on a cob through a picket fence.
  • It is colder than a well digger's ass in July.
  • It is hotter than nickel night at the whore house.
  • It is a vicious circle, like wiping your ass on a hoop.
  • He is so skinny he has to run around the shower to get wet.
  • You can't carry a tune in paper sack.
  • She was so ugly we had to tie a pork chop around her neck before the dogs would play with her.
I don't have many memories of my father. If I had known he was going to die at such a young age, I would have been sure to take "mind snapshots" of my father. Remember it is never too late to take "mind snapshots" of your family and friends. Don't forget to make memories.

Paco's Perspective

How's this for clever sayings?
  • Flip is dumber than a box of rock .
  • Lights are on, but . . . . . . . .
  • There are bats in the new kid's belfry!
Don't stop me now, I am on a roll.

The Flip Side

Paco twirls like . . . . . twirls like . . . . . . . .twirls like . . . . . . . ,okay, I give up!

1 comment:

  1. My uncle Basil used to say crazy things like that too. I can't seem to remember any of them now, and that makes me so sad. He could really make me laugh. I'm glad your friend wrote them down.