From the Wayback Machine (continued)

For those of you who may be landing from a search engine - Please read the previous post before continuing. For the rest of you, apologies for leaving you hang so long!

I walked over closer to the window to make sure the stick propping it up really belonged to my stick horse. I couldn't really believe my parents had taken my horse apart just to hold a window up! There was no doubt. The chipped brown paint matched the brown mane on my horse's head.

I didn't reflect on what might happen, I was only almost five. I just reached out and grabbed the stick with my right hand and braced my left on the window sill. Now, I wasn't especially tall for a 4 and a half year old girl, so I could only reach about one third of the way up the stick. It did not give me much real leverage. I gave a test tug on the stick; Nothing. It was in there and well anchored. I leaned back with my weight on my right hand and gave a little bigger tug; no results.

I was getting frustrated. I wanted my horsie! looked the problem over and thought I saw how to make it work. I had to push up about an inch to get the bottom of the stick to clear the sill and then pull it out. "OK, I can do that," I thought.

I tossed my hair back out of the way to see better, brought one foot up to the mop board on the wall and got my toes on the edge of it. I braced the other foot right where the floor and mop board met. I shifted my grip on the rod and wrapped my left hand over the inside edge of the sill. Jumping from my floor foot to the toes of the foot on top of the mop board, I pushed up, hard, on the stick. My right foot came up off the floor and, for a second, I was up there only on the toes of my left foot, and my left hand. The window rose a little bit. I took a deep breath and pushed harder with my right arm and felt it raise a little more. I looked down to see that I had the end of my horse clear of the sill and yanked the stick out of the window.

I must have been more balanced than I thought because I had the stick clutched right in front of myself when the window made a horrific noise, slapped down in the frame at the speed of light and trapped the fingers of my left hand between the sill and the window. I was still perched on the mop board. I know because I had to step down before I could try to pull my hand out.

(I hate this next part. If any of you have dealt with this so it doesn't completely panic you I would like to know your trick. )

It went like this, jerk stick, bad noise, window falls, tried to step back, realized I was stuck. Shock hits. NOW I feel the pain burst and spread like a huge firework went off in my hand. I took a deep breath to scream and couldn't scream and couldn't breathe. I felt like I had a great big plug of air caught in my mouth and nose. I probably turned blue from not being able to exhale and inhale again. It lasted impossibly long. I kept trying to breathe. I started stomping my feet in my panic, one, then the other, as fast as I could trying to shake my breath loose. It was useless.

Then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, the scream I was striving for burst out like a siren and I had no control over it whatsoever. I screeched at the top of my lungs forever. Then I was panting, sobbing, screaming, running in place and, finally, breathing just to scream again. But nobody came.

In a family with (eventually) five children you learn to distinguish between annoyed shrieking, angry fighting screeches and intense pain screaming reliably by the third child. Believe me, this screaming established a new high for screaming in pain. It threw my parents into emergency overdrive.

My mom dropped Ar, 9 months old and Cee, almost 2 years old, into the playpen in the dining room as she flew from the bathroom and raced up the stairs. She was headed for the room I shared with Vee.

My Dad jumped out of bed, pulled on his jeans and slammed out the door of his room to run down stairs. That woke my sister Vee up and she joined her startled cries to those of the little girls down stairs. We were NOT in harmony.

"Where is she?!!" Dad shouted.

"I don't know!!" my Mom wailed back.

Mom was running to look where I should have been. Dad ran out the back door where it sounded like I was. Not finding me, they both ran back the way they came and started banging doors open all over the house to find me. They looked in the closets and the basement and Dad had run all the way around the house. I was no where to be seen, but, they sure could hear me!

If you go back to the first Wayback entry and look at the picture you will see that the garage sat back from the front of the house. The window I was trapped by looked right out at the garage wall. The echoes went over to the garage from the glass I was screaming against. It made my screams sound loud through Dad's upstairs window just above that one, like I was outside. The sound was stopped at the solid wood door to the room I had closed behind me to avoid discovery. I was being muffled by the door. My folks weren't incompetent, they just couldn't get an audio fix on me.

It seemed to take hours for someone to find me. When Mom finally threw the door open it flew so hard that the knob made a hole in the wall. She ran in and started trying to raise the window with me screaming and dancing relentlessly below her. She hollered to tell Dad where I was as she struggled to get the window up and comfort me with words as best she could at the same time.

Dad ran in, grabbed the door and slammed it shut behind him, which is when I noticed the hole in the wall. That scared me because I thought I would be in trouble for the hole, too, and I took my pitch up an octave. That scared them because they thought I was hurting worse, if that was possible.

Believe me, my Dad was a strong man. One time, he and a pal were working on a Volkswagen Beetle. His friend was working under it when it fell off the jack! Dad just grabbed the bumper, laughing the whole time, and held the car up while his buddy put the jack back under it the right way. I knew HE could help me.

Dad moved Mom back, stepped up to the window and put all his strength, with both hands, into trying to shove the sash up. Mom was trying to comfort me and hollering at Dad to get it up and he was hollering at me to hush and hollering at her to shut me up and get out of his way. My fingers must have been just chubby enough to really wedge the window and he could NOT get it to go up. Now I was really scared! Dad couldn't save me! The screams went into a syncopated rhythm.

Three kids crying, one screaming under his feet; wife hollering; He lost it. Dad stepped back from the window and turned like he was pitching baseball. His fist went up over his head and all the way around, just like "Around the World". It came back up as he stepped forward and slugged that window right in the center of the cross bar! His arm went around again, Mom snatched me back before the window could fall, and he put that same fist right through the solid oak door! BAM!

Things get fuzzy and blank for a little bit after that. Mom had scooped me up but was hollering at Dad for breaking the door and something about the Doctor. I remember being VERY impressed because the window had stayed up. Dad had rammed it till it wedged right at the top of the frame and then I think I passed out for a little while, probably for lack of oxygen.

Next thing I know I am in the front seat of the car and Mom is hollering at me to stop screaming. My fingers were wrapped in a cold, wet rag and hurt like I could not believe!

I don't think it was even 8:30 yet but it seemed to last a lifetime for me...

Stop back, the day's not over yet.

From the Wayback Machine

I used to call this my worst day ever. I thought I got it out of the way young and nothing would ever be worse. Like most children, I was wrong. It is still very near the top of the list of my bad days.

When I was little we lived is a faded yellow two story house with a small garage near the back. It was at the bottom of one hill and across the street from the top of another hill. There was a big catalpa tree and a big box elder on either side of the front and 2 more big trees out back. I drew this picture so you could get an idea of the layout.

Across the street a dirt path ran through several rock piles, down to the big trees and over to the back door of the old stone church on the next block. There was only about 6 feet of "hill top".

One day, my Uncle, who was 9 years older than me, gave me a blue glass Duncan Yo-Yo. For those of you that missed that yo-yo craze, this was a class A number One gift - especially for a girl only 4 and a half years old. Duncan was top of the line - the coolest yo-yo you could have. The glass ones were the fastest and smoothest spinning you could get. (just remember, I was 4 going on 5, NOT a reliable source for reviews). I had only owned this treasure a few days but I had lived with it in my hand practically every minute. It gleamed in the sun and sent blue flashes every where when you flipped it down in the light. I loved it. Really!

I woke, one day, to a bright, sunny morning. I was the only one up. At that point in my life this was my favorite time of the day. I decided right away to do my favorite thing. I dressed quickly and ran outside. I was all by myself, no little sisters to watch! That was joy. I hopped down off the porch into the yard and walked over to a sunny patch on the front walk. The dew on the grass left streaks on my sneakers and the world's freshest scent in my nose. The sky was spotted with puffy, white clouds and the sun shone on all the world. I stood in the sun working on "Around the World". I might have done better if I wasn't trying to see every blue star flashed against the house from the blue glass wonder in my hand.

"Hey, what'cha doin'?" I startled. I heard the voice but saw no one! I looked around and spotted my neighbor boy, Jay, climbing up the path across the street.

"Nothing," I answered, "just playing with my yo-yo."

I flipped the yo-yo into my hand easily and strolled across the yard, and stopped at the curb. I very carefully looked both ways and listened for cars from the top of the hill behind me. Street crossing 101 was enforced vigorously by my parents. I was ALWAYS careful. I saw no cars and heard no cars so I crossed the street to meet him.

Look what I've got!" I said as we met just below the top of the hill. There were no trees over here to block the sun and I flourished my marvelous yo-yo with a twist of my wrist to make the blue flashing stars dance on the rocks and grass around us.

Jay's eyes got round and his hand slid out, palm up, all by itself to ask for a turn. "That is so neat!" he exclaimed.

I tossed it a couple of times, to show it was my toy, but the second rule I learned as a child was "Share nicely!" so I handed it to him and told him, "Here, have a turn."

Jay was taller than I was and could yo pretty good, for a boy. He popped it up and down a few times then tried "Walking the Dog" but it was too rough on the dirt path for it to work very well. Next he tried "Rocking the Baby" but the yo-yo wrapped itself around his arm and smacked him in the elbow. He made his face stay still, mostly, but he winced a little around the eyes. I knew it hurt.

Untangling the string, he rewound the blue marvel and the light flashed in my eyes once. "One more trick, then it's my turn again, OK?", I requested.

"OK. What do you want to see?" He asked it like he could do any trick in the book. I, quite predictably, asked for "Around the World" as it was the one I was trying to learn. So, Jay dipped and retrieved the glistening glass yo-yo three times to get the string tightened back up and went for it.

For those of you who don't yo, this trick sends the yo-yo out from your hand to the end of the string, then you give it a fancy jerk and it is supposed to make a full revolution back over your shoulder, past your leg then back up in front of you, in a big circle, before you snap it back into your hand.

He started out OK. It went out, it went up and it went over - but it never made it back to his hand. CRASH!!!! There was a rock about knee high to us and a foot around just behind his right foot. Now, most yo-yo's would have been fine. They might have come apart at the spindle but you could fix them. That's not the program with a glass one. Little, brittle shards laid about that rock in a starburst pattern and all that was left on the still swinging string was one tiny piece on each side of the spindle.

Jay's mouth was hanging open and he looked horrified. I am sure my face echoed his dismay. We couldn't believe it. I felt my mouth turn down, I started to tear up and Jay cried, "Oh, Val, I'm really sorry!" I knew he truly meant it but then, I thought, "Uncle gave me that! I'll never get another one!" It was a shriek inside my head, then I just got angry. Right NOW!

This all took just a split second or three. He no more than got the words out when I wound my arm up like Popeye and nailed him a solid one, right beside his nose. His mouth made that open rainbow shape, his hand jumped to his face and he started to cry. I was already crying. I couldn't believe I had slugged, not slapped but SLUGGED my best friend.

Crying, I snatched the string out of his other hand, screaming at him the whole time that he was mean and did it on purpose because he didn't have one. I knew I was lying even as little as I was. He turned and ran down the hill for home with me shouting mean things after him. Stunned, I watched him till he was lost in the trees at the bottom of the hill. I turned woodenly and ran up the hill for home.

Tears were soaking my shirt and I could hardly see with my face screwed around to cry my heart out. Still, I stopped at the top of the hill, looked as best I could and listened for anyone coming down the hill before I ran across the street. Up the walk, up the steps, across the porch, I stumbled, still crying loudly. I yanked the door open, let it spring closed behind me and ran up the stairs to my room.

I mourned that lovely gift but my real hurt was that I had hurt Jay. I had never hurt anyone before. My hand could still feel where the knuckles hit his nose and cheek bones. I knew he would never talk to me again. I cried over that for a time and when the sobs finally subsided to whimpers I went to the bathroom for the routine.

Mom always had us wash our face and hands with cold water then brush our hair after we cried. I don't know why, but even now it seems to put me back together after a cry. So I did the routine, walked back to my room and decided I needed my stick horse. He was my favorite toy before the yo-yo arrived and I wanted the comfort of him. We would ride the range and rescue wagon trains. We would forget all about this bad thing I had done.

My mom had made us all stick horses for Christmas that year. They were bi-colored men's hunting socks with button eyes, yarn manes and embroidered mouths. We all loved them. We rode everywhere, the back yard, the hill, the front yard and around to the side of the garage. I couldn't find mine. Well, where could he be? He wasn't in my room, not anywhere, even under the bed. I started to look for him. Not in the bathroom, not in the hall; I went downstairs; not in the kitchen...hmmm. Living room? Nope.

Well, he wasn't in my room, not anywhere. I started to look for him. Not in the bathroom, not in the hall, downstairs - not in the kitchen...hmmm. Living room? Nope.

I could hear Mom in the downstairs bathroom getting the little girls dressed. It was safe, so I went in the little girl's bedroom off the living room. I looked around , under the beds and still didn't see him. I turned to leave and THERE he was - but just his head! It was on the floor in the corner by the door. I was horrified! I searched around for the rest of him frantically.

This was an old house back then. It's hard to believe it still stands today. The windows wouldn't stay up without a prop. There was something broken inside them. We always had a stick or something holding them open. I was gazing out the window at the side of the garage after looking in the closet when I realized that the brown stick in the window on a diagonal was the rest of my stick horse!.

This is all before eight o'clock in the morning on a beautiful day. I'll have to continue the rest of this day tomorrow, it's late.



What is outside? I hear this question a lot from younger people. Outside is the place between you and the car, you and the bus or you and the school. It is not just for walking through. There are fascinating things to be found or done outside.

Why would we be outside? Wasn't it cold and dirty? Where was the Internet, the Nintendo 64, X-Box, Game Boy, Play Station and the T.V., VCR and DVD?

There was no public internet at that time, not even dial-up. Our telephone was black, square and had a dial on it you had to spin to dial a number. Our phone number was 318. Yes, only 3 digits. Our ring was two short and a long. It was a party line. That meant that up to 5 families used the same phone line. They all had a different ring. You had to pick up the handset and listen for a dial tone. If you heard a voice talking you hung up and waited till later to make your call. If it was an emergency you could ask them to hang up so you could call the doctor or the police. They would know if you lied because most of them lived on the same street as you did. You can forget a dial up net connection!

Forget about satelite or cable connections through the T.V. The large, wooden case for the T.V. had a small screen in it because larger ones were harder to make. The screen was a big vacuume tube. You had to walk over to it and turn it on then turn a knob to the correct channel. No remotes. "It's her turn to change it!" was a common whine back then.

When you got it turned on, without blowing a tube or a fuse, you had to wait for the inside vacuume tubes to warm up. A little blue dot would show in the center of the huge picture tube to let you know it was on. You could count to ten or fifteen before it would suddenly expand into a large, white, snowy screen that would begin to have voices on it before it showed a picture.

rabbit eared antenna
Once you could see the picture you turned the rabbit ear antenna to get a better picture. There were THREE channels to choose from, even though the knob had more numbers on it, and they all had to be tuned in differently. So no Internet through the T.V.. There was hardly any T.V. through the thing! It would not run any game systems, either.

Electronics was a new field for science. As for all the fun toys you have, they weren't invented yet when I was little so we went outside to play.

Outside in town and outside at the farm were two different places with completely different rules that had to be followed at all times.

In town you had to:
Never talk to strangers.
Never get into a stranger's car.
Stay away from the street.
Stop, look and listen before crossing the street.
Never run into or across the street.
Never throw a ball toward the street.
Never throw anything toward a house.
The last two limited throwing games severely.

If a toy went into another yard you had to walk over, using the sidewalk, go to the front door, knock, and wait till they decided it was safe to open the door. You then said "Hello Mrs. Neighbor Lady. May I please get "your toy here" out of your yard?" If they said yes you could walk in their yard around to where the offending item landed and pick it up. You had to go back out to the front walk, say good bye if they were standing there and use the sidewalk to go home. This was called "respecting your elders and respecting other people's property". They were free to say no or ask you to send your parent over if there was a serious problem with repeat offenses. You did NOT want that to happen!

Outside at the farm was a whole different ballgame. You couldn't cross the road, really, there were only fields over there. You did have to stay on the right to walk or ride down to the Great Grama's house. The "strangers rules" and "throwing anything at houses" were the same here but there were different ones that were more important.
Never chase the cows.
Don't scare the chickens.
Stay out of the pig's pen, the tool shed, the strawberry patch.
Walk between the rows in the fields.
Don't play with the tractor.
Never get in the field with the bull.
Watch out for poison ivy, oak and sumac (pronounced shoe mac).
Ask before getting Uncle's toys out.

In addition to remembering all that I could not let the little kids break any of these rules. I was the oldest. I'll cover that more, later.


First Warning

This blog will cover the parts of my life I can remember. I will strive for more or less cronological order. I am going all the way from the time I was small to the present. There will be kindness, cruelty, adventures, meanness, active sex - mine and others, drugs, drinking, smoking of assorted kinds, and probably some foul language. Will you run or will you stay? Your choice. Do NOT whine if you are offended.

From the original child to my early teens when I lived as a rural farm girl just learning about sex we will continue to the months I spent as a runaway, my return as a "hippie" and the conflict it caused. The second exodus, that lead to self sufficency, will cover to pregnacy, married with children and extend excruciatingly through destroyed ex-wife and mother. We will then follow the wandering accoustic entertainer/hitchhiker through the US, several relationships and one more marriage that topples before we reach my currently stable and content life.

It was an amazing trip.

Herstorical Notes

I have begun excavating my life for posterity. There will be no editing for socially acceptable phrasing or actions. If you can't deal with reality or are easily offended by grapic depictions of life I suggest you move on to a more gentle blog.