Fussing and Feuding

We broke up. After almost two years of being together whenever we could, we parted ways angry. I gotta tell you, that devastated me and it hurt him. And we did what all teens do when they hurt. We tried to get back together.

A friend of his told me that if I went out with someone else, it would make him jealous and he would want me back. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But it backfired badly. I went out with a boy older than me who was just back from Vietnam. I was in over my head with him. The things he did for fun were trouble - drinking and drugs and sex...I had learned about and liked all of these when I ran away from home, but he put some major effort into them to forget things he had experienced, I had only done them for fun and love...

It did make my boyfriend jealous, but it made him angry, too. He got his dad to sign the papers to let him join the army as soon as he could and we never saw each other again for fourteen years.

If you really want to get back together with someone, you have to do it WITH them. Go to them and talk it out. Maybe you can heal the hurt between you. But hurting them more will never work to heal things between you. And it feels BAD inside you to know you are hurting someone who cares...so you both end up hurting more - skip that part, if you can.

Wait a few days to cool off. Think about what upset your friendship. See if there is something you can both do differently to move ahead and stay friends. If not, you tried. If you can compromise and move on, you have built a new strength into your friendship by working out a problem together. That works. Hurt only hurts, it can't heal...caring and loving heals.

We didn't get a chance to show we still cared for many years because we were both too stupid to talk it over and work it out between us. He could have apologized for the hurt to me and I could have forgiven him the need to look cool to his friends and this story might have had a different middle altogether. Instead, we let our pride keep us apart.

From here, I'm telling you that pride is not a good reason to loose a friend, ever. Don't be too proud to try. Don't let hurt stop you from trying to heal it....you only hurt yourself...


Dog Day

One day, while Mom was in town, we were playing out in the yard, all five of us and our dog. He was in the road for some reason, either chasing a ball or coming back from the creek, I don't really remember. He was just a little hound and we all loved him.

A blue van came over the hill and hit him right in the middle of the road. They slowed down and then sped off and left us standing there in shock.

I was fairly fast on my feet and knew this needed the Mom. I sent one girl to call her and I asked one for a blanket, I slowed down and looked for traffic but I was to him before they could reach the house. I didn't care about the cars that might come, I cared about that dog. I told the sisters and brother left to stay back and sent them up the hill to flag cars for me.

I dropped there in the road beside him. He was screaming dog pain and it ripped my heart. I looked him over and knew moving him would hurt, I had to wait for the blanket and my extra set of hands.

I spoke, I know, going, "Oh Ozzie I am so sorry, it's going to be ok", and such like that in a calm voice. Then I reached out my hand to comfort him, just to touch him on the head.

He bit me.

I stared at my hand and then the pain hit. His lips were drawn back and he growled and shook his head. That ripped my hand more. I tried to pull it back. He had his jaw locked down tight. I started crying, too.

I couldn't get him to let go and I finally hit him in the nose and yanked my hand as hard as I could to get him to give it back. I needed it to get him on the blanket.

Now he let me go when I hit him. I cradled my hand and ran back for the house with blood all over it. I called the other kids in with me and we left him lay there alone. I knew then and I know now that dog loved me but it was blind in its pain and bit on instinct. I knew the kids would be risking a bit and called them away.

While I tended my hand and the littlest girl snuck back out the upstairs window and found him where he had dragged himself. Mom got home. We loaded up and headed for the vet.

The poor dog had no bite left in him by then. My one hand was wrapped in wet towel but I held him on my lap and used the other one to touch him and I talked to him in case he could hear. "I know you didn't mean it, I'm sorry I hit your nose. It's going to be ok. We are going to the vet." and all the other things a girl might say to comfort her pet.

We had to put that dog down.

Mom took me to the doctor then because I wouldn't go until the dog was taken care of and I was screamingly sure of it. She accepted that from me, even after she saw my hand. I could wait while the poor dog needed help right now.

It was not Dad's good night to come home. Five sad crying children and a mother at the end of her rope.

I couldn't use that hand for awhile. I had tears in the palm and knuckles. I had scars, they don't show much now, but at the time they made me shy about reaching out that marred hand.

The neighbor dog started coming down and they gave him to us. He wasn't Ozzie, but he was neat and ran through our days with us. Our hearts accepted him for himself. He had lots of tricks. When he got old he used to fall on his side and have little sizures. We would pound on his chest and he'd get up and stagger a minute and be fine.

I like to think I will always be able to reach out and help, no matter how scarred up the hand I have left to do it with. I have had lots of dogs since then, and accidents that happened. I never left one with out my help, even with my fear.

Can you see the sadness in hurting each other in pain? If you love each other you can get through it, knowing the pain and love are both real but one stops and the other is always.

Even a scarred hand can show love for a friend. Keep reaching out your hand.


Life is hard for me to track. I have a way of filing things in my head where I can't seem to relocate them. Somethings come back to me with time and others are just gone it appears. It makes it hard to get things in sequence.

I know this blog has been all sweetness and light and I would love to keep it that way but life is not like that. Mine wasn't, anyway, it was vivid and turbulent and out of the norm for kids I grew up with. I thought so at the time, I may be wrong. I think lives are filled with turmoil for teens but we don't know how to talk about it so we don't know everyone is dealing with it. Freeing teens up to talk is something I do that I like about me. They know I am straight and that I actually lived through something like they are dealing with now. It gives them hope of survival.

My parents were not all sweetness and light, they were humans with five off spring and worked to support them. That left me, as the oldest, in charge of the kids and the house a lot. It also grew me up a little more mature than some kids my age. One of the lures of the boyfriend was that he was also an oldest child of five and we understood that there were times we just needed to be kids, not in charge of anyone, not responsible for anything and free to romp.

During this transition time from 13 to 15 a lot got crammed into my life that I can't put in sequence. School was worse and worse for me. Classes were easy but boring. Other kids, except for five or six friends, were mysteries to me as to behaviour and tastes in entertainment. I was never happy being where I was and doing what I was doing. It seemed like I always wanted to be doing something else.

Dad went from being a drunk mechanic and musican on weekends to being saved by Jesus and starting a teen hotline for kids with some others from the church. There was a lot of church in our lives normally, as far as we were concerned. Now there was even more. Mom was thrilled and they were getting along better than ever.

Because of political boundary changes my boyfriend went to another school after eighth grade. That meant I had to work to see him and visa-versa. There was school skipping and hitchhiking included in that phrase. I was lucky in that I had study hall and lunch back to back so I had a two hour time frame to run over to his town, visit while he was on lunch and make it back without missing classes.

Now it gets rocky. We broke up around my birthday one year. I remember it as the week following because I learned he had taken another girl tobogganing on my bday. When I confronted him all hell broke loose. What a fight! We stomped and screamed our way around the lake and through the fields and I threw his ring into the weeds. It was a real tear jerker.

I was devastated and he was shocked. The guys were ribbing him for being pussy whipped and egged him into taking the other girl, a known easy lay, out to get some. We had not gotten to that point yet and it was all important to him to be seen as a man. For me it was a trust issue. I was betrayed by him. I could not see his need to conform with the guys being more important than us. It was a whopper of a hurt for both of us.

Mom set me up with a kid from the church for a date. He was very nice but it didn't work. I went out with a dark haired boy and had to beat him off with a large stick all night. I got home intact from that one by being meaner than he was horny. I started hanging in the next town over - away from the the other next town over where the boyfriend hung out. I met a girl and we got to be friends.

The boyfriend and I got back together for awhile. I made the decision to go all the way with him because he was who I loved to have touch me and he was who I loved and I believed he loved me. We had to work some pretty fancy cons to get to be alone together again. Both families were watching us like hawks now.

Life is not predictable. If I have learned nothing else I know that "Go for it!" should be our most used phrase to encourage each other with. Do it now, don't wait. If you love it, do it. I'll be back soon. I need to get this little project wound up.


Sex education for girls

Things are different now, I hope, for kids learning about their bodies and how they change. We had one talk with the parents and some really vague information in science and biology in school. REALLY vague. I had a baby brother to go with the three sisters so I knew about boys and how they were different from girls. I saw my dad naked by accident once, too. I walked in on my folks having sex once, that was a bad rush all around!

My parents sat me and my sister down and discussed the mechanics of sex one evening. Inspite of their obvious embarassment they got through it and the sis and I were all "Not ME!" icky and yuck about it. Too gross for words! But they did it. We understood it.

Niaeve is not the right word and ignorant isn't the right word, but some combination of both applied to me in my youth as far as boys went. I had my first peer kiss at 13. The neighbor boy and I went in the cabin and my sis and his friend stood look out. It was a dare you situation and we were going to kiss! It was all the horror you worry about, bumped noses, how to breath and then a closed lipped, dry and chaste touch on my lips - it was over. Then we switched off. They didn't take any longer and the later report was the same...boring, no bells and whistles, nothing.

I had held hands with some boys by 13 and that was really as far as it went. Kissing was too complicated for me and too intimate.

That was the same year my period started. I was at the Labor Day Street Dance and it was one of the rare times I wore a dress. Mom had made us all matching sun dresses and we wore them down town that day. While we were listening to our friends band I realized something damp was running down my thigh. I reached down and touched it discretely and my finger came back bloody. I gathered up the skirt in one hand at the side and shuffled with my legs together to find Mom. She and I went home and she fixed me up with a pad and a belt.

There had been no symtoms, no cramps or anything and I was totally surprised. Mostly though I had been embarassed as I was in the middle of a large crowd and everyone wanted to know why I was leaving. I couldn't answer because I didn't know. I told them I didn't feel well and ran off to get it fixed. Somehow the period thing got skipped in the sex talk and at school it was run by so fast it didn't stick in my head or I didn't believe it would happen to me.

Now I was a woman and I had been kissed once. Then I met the boy that could flip all my switched into overdrive. It would have been a risky business but we were both virgins and afraid of being laughed at so we really went very slowly into our friendship and mating.

Most of that first summer we would hang out with all my rotten sisters or his or our friends and were rarely alone together. Once in a while we would ditch all the kids and get off in the boat or along the side of the pond.

We were alone on the west side of the pond one day, sitting near the lagoon in lots of shade. Our bobbers were, as ordered by Mom, out far enough she could see us reeling in once in a while and we were shoulder to shoulder as we leaned back against a friendly tree. We were holding hands and making eyes at each other instead of talking.

We had reeled in and cast out again then reseated ourselves without getting our lines tangled up. We laid our poles beside us and I rotated, with his willing help, to lean up against his chest for a hug. I pulled back a little and looked right into those eyes only a few inches from mine and froze like looking at a cobra. Our faces moved together, our lips met, moved, melded, molded and melted. There was even a tongue flick! Wow!

We broke off, panting from the intesity of our response to that first electric intimacy. I couldn't look at him, I felt like my whole soul was naked with my love for him and he was breathing like he had just run a mile at full speed. We didn't need anyone to tell us we were over the line. I spun away until I was shoulder to shoulder with him again and we picked up our poles. Not a word was said for what seemed like a long time. We were thinking.

I knew that if hand holding could get me sweating and stammering, and hugs or an arm around my shoulder or waist could make me feel like I was not breathing that I liked the boy plenty. This kiss, though, that set me back on my heels. My chest hurt from breathing too hard, I was all quivery and, what I later called, gooshie inside, my lips throbbed with wanting another kiss. OH, ya! Did I want to kiss him again! What a feeling, what a rush, not stars, like the movies but a heat and a rythym and a yearning that I knew only he could fill. I needed slaking!

So did he. I was too uninformed to notice but he was suffering an agony of embarrassment because of his body's response to one kiss. While I didn't see it, I was watching my bobber, he was freaking that I would think he had no control over himself. Or that "that" was all he wanted.

We sat and suffered our private hells of teen angst for a good ten minutes, peeking out the sides of our eyes to see if the other was grossed out or what. Then I turned my head and gave him a soft kiss on the cheek. "That was something." I said.

"Really?", he asked as he leaned back a little more and turned to look back at me. I let him read it in my eyes and then said, "Yes.", in a quiet voice.

I could see something in him growing. I think it was self confidence. He gave me a look I was to know well in my later life but that was new to me that day. Roughly translated it meant, "My woman. Want woman." LOL. I knew what it meant and I leaned slightly in as he reached across with his far arm to take my shoulder and spin me into his arms again. I loved laying across his lap and being held in his arms that way. He tossed his hair back and pulled me up to kiss again.

We practiced a lot longer this time. When we got to hot to handle he stopped and helped me rise turn and lean back on the tree. We reeled in and cast again. The heat and tension in the air between us was electric and undeniable. And that was just kissing.

I was ashamed to realize that I was reviewing my scanty sex ed and that it not only didn't gross me out but if that was so much better than just kissing and kissing was that much better than hand holding, I was getting mighty curious.

It was near the end of our first summer, almost fall. We had found a new way to enjoy being together and we found it didn't wear thin with the passing of time, but grew harder to control and more intense as we got better at it. We were just getting into what was called petting when it was time to go back to school. With going to different schools and the time it took from us and the chores and babysitting and lawn mowing/raking/shoveling it was harder to find time to be together. It was quite awhile before we decided that we were going to take the big step.



Today is the first 'real' day of summer. For us, back then, summer started as soon as we could get into the pond without turning purple. The goal was to be the first in to swim, it was a macho/pride thing. We tried to get in on one sister's birthday in April. Sometimes we made it, sometimes we copped out and waited until the other sister's bday in May. We might make it anytime in there but we were usually the first kids to go swimming every year.

As soon as the temps hit 60 we were into our shorts outfits and swim suits. We were not the kind of girls that needed fancy stuff much, Mom was lucky to keep us in shoes. It was a big gripe of our Dad's - that we never had shoes on. Even as we got out on our own he would give us grief for running around bare foot. In fact, the last time I remember him saying something to me I was in my early 30's. I don't know that we were nudist material but we were in line for naturalist membership back then. Unless Mom caught up with us our hair hung free and we wore just enough to keep legal. If she caught us and had the time, our hair was pulled back and up until we joked we were half Chinese and we threw a shirt on over our swim suits.

Being out in the country we usually got away with a lot less clothing than town mom's could let their kids run in, even then. Mowing the yard in a bikini was just what we did, no big deal. Never thought about predators or pedophiles back then, just comfort. Mowing the yard was a big job and it seems like it was always hot when we had to do it. The grass clippings would stick to our sweaty legs and we would head for the creek or the pond after to cool off and clean up.

One suit that sticks in EVERYONE's mind was the year Vee got the navy blue suit with a yellow hand on one boob and one bun. There is a photo of her and I in our new suits that day. We were hamming for the camera. It was a bold suit for the time but she was a bold girl and is still a bold woman. I had a purple and white jungle leaf patterned suit that had just a little more material in in than hers.

The mate told me he rode his bike by our house one day and saw a flash of golden hair flipping in the breeze and spotted me mowing the yard in that suit and knew he was going to marry me. The next day he was down at the pond fishing. I met him down there when I went to see who was using "our" pond.

He wore a sleevless t-shirt, shorts and sandles. He was taller than me and had wide shoulders, a solid build, heavy biceps and thighs with matching calves and was looking hot to me with his rich, dark, thick auburn hair, parted on the left, long lashes around hazel eyes and a stern, somber look on his face. I didn't know then that he was shy and for defense used that look to keep people away from him. I just thought he looked kind of grumpy. But I went up to him and then I knew who he was so I just said, "Hi Mate, long time no see."

We started talking then. It was hard over our shyness and the heavy sweating and panting we had to ignore. Yes, we had that effect on each other from day one. All I ever had to do was see him and I was "on point" and he was "on, full speed ahead".

As we reached the hand holding point we always had sweaty palms but it was easier to slide our fingers in the secret patterns that excited us so much back then. When we got to our first kiss one day, sitting next to each other under a tree on the west bank by the lagoon, I think we dripped on each other from our chins. Man, could he kiss! Mmmmmm oh yeah! Those cupid bow lips were friendly and agile!

Just like our reunion in later years, we were joined at the hip from that day on. We lived about six miles apart on the same road. The rest of the summer was spent riding our bikes and meeting at either house or at the big lake in the middle to be together. There was a lot of swimming and fishing and just talking.

The mate is the only kid I knew who told me what he wanted to do when he grew up and then did it. He didn't want to be just a guy with a tank, he wanted to be the man that told the guys in the tanks what to do. I couldn't know then that he would accomplish this, with honors, but he did. He was one of the rare ones that continued to do what he said he was going to in his life.

Back then it was just an overwelming attraction for both of us. When you add in teen age hormones its amazing we were as controlled as we managed to be over the years. I was 13 and he was 14/15 then. For two more years everything I did included calculating how it affected our time together or our plans for the weekends.

This was our first summer of love. We didn't waste any of it.