Pontoon Boat Disaster

(re-run) My parents didn’t swim. When we went on vacation at Clear Lake, and Dad wanted to take us out in a rented pontoon boat, my mom objected.  Dad won in the end, and the five kids put on our life jackets. I think my mom did, too. I am sure my dad didn’t wear… Continue reading Pontoon Boat Disaster

Grandma’s Basement

(re-run) My grandfather and his dad built a house into the side of a hill. The main floor had three small bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room and stairs to the kitchen below. The kitchen looked out over the hill down to the creek and had windows and a back door with a screen door.… Continue reading Grandma’s Basement

Getting Away from all the No, No, No’s

(re-run) My mom, bless her heart, had to keep five children in line, mostly by herself.  She did this by keeping everyone in his or her place, as in, “No, you can’t do that!” I just found out that my younger sister also wanted to play clarinet in the band, like I did. But I… Continue reading Getting Away from all the No, No, No’s

Social Butterfly

I remember it as clearly as yesterday. The visual part is a little fuzzy, but the words are still there, fifty plus years later. I was in the basement where my mom was doing yet another load of laundry. “There’s a slumber party Saturday night at Lisa’s. Can I go?” My mom put down the… Continue reading Social Butterfly

Participation Trophy

My millennial children like to make fun of themselves for all the participation trophies they earned in childhood, for soccer, basketball, softball, baseball.  Two of them recently ditched the trophies. One of them kept hers. “Why did you guys give us trophies for everything?” Child # 3 asked. “The pendulum swung the other way from… Continue reading Participation Trophy

Worst Kindergarten Teacher Ever

She was thin, blond, and beautiful. When Mama left me in her care, I was enthralled with her, my very first teacher. Her name was Miss Tatz, and she was the lone teacher in the community building at Urbandale Lions Park, an overflow situation for the school district. Even though it was sixty years ago,… Continue reading Worst Kindergarten Teacher Ever

The Heirloom Box

My great grandmother had passed away.  Mom and Grandma were going over to the house, and Sis and I got to go with them, because we were the oldest kids in the family. I didn’t remember my great grandmother except for when she was in bed, dying, her white hair spread over the floral pillowcase.… Continue reading The Heirloom Box

Behind Closed Doors

I read a great memoir about a girl’s tough childhood, with violence, danger, and an abusive older brother. I recommended it to Facebook friends online. A friend said she didn’t like it because she didn’t think the book rang true. “The Mormon part or the survivalist part?” I asked her. “Neither.” She didn’t think anyone… Continue reading Behind Closed Doors

Pontoon Boat Disaster

(re-run) My parents didn’t swim. When we went on vacation at Clear Lake, and Dad wanted to take us out in a rented pontoon boat, my mom objected.  Dad won in the end, and the five kids put on our life jackets. I think my mom did, too. I am sure my dad didn’t wear… Continue reading Pontoon Boat Disaster