The Red Barn

Ah, where to begin. Well, I guess I’ll begin by saying that this is still one my favorite things to look back on to this day. My brothers and sisters and I were younger, spanning the ages from about three to twelve.

My grandparents have a big red barn with a great big loft, and it’s full of all kinds of tidbits and treasures for us to play with. Things like red wagons, hay bails, little desks and chairs from when my mom was a kid, her old toys and dolls- you get the picture. Basically a little kid from Indiana’s paradise. My family visited my grandparents every Sunday afternoon after church, and me and my brothers and sisters practically lived out there during that time. And I mean “lived” literally as much as I do figuratively. We had a whole little town going on outside. Full-on Little House on the Prairie scene. We had shops and homes and trading stands and would split up into little families, which was perfectly doable considering there were 8 of just us, and even more including the cousins. There was a little self-reliant town all based in and around the big red barn. There were all kinds of things to use for “food” and for trading and selling purposes. Just to the left of our town was a huge cornfeild. Perfect- there were unlimited uses for that stuff. Scattering the yard were walnuts that had fallen from the many walnut trees, and those we could actually eat. There were “helicopter” trees all over the place. You know the ones- a big gust of wind and all the dried up “hellicopters” go swirling through the air. Those were gathered up and peeled to be used for “beans” and “soups.” Onion grass was the perfect “seasoning,” and if we needed some added protein? Hey, there were plenty of bugs and worms around. Of course, we didn’t really eat these hearty concoctions, but we sure as heck put our heart and soul into cooking them.

I remember grabbing buckets and going down to the creek to get water to keep our town running. We’d carry it back up to the barn, dump some here, dump some there, and then grab the wagon and take it out to gather things we needed for our “homes” and “shops.” One time, the cornfeild had been plowed before we arrived, and fantastically so. Well, fantastically for us, anyway. It was actually a terrible job. The plowers had somehow missed a TON of corn. You could stick your hand down into the piles of broken stalks and pull back up handfuls of kernels. We loaded that wagon to the brim and brought it back to the barn so as to share the wealth amongst each other. That wagonload provided tons of pretend suppers for our pretend-hungry bellies. All stacked on the railings were cans, bowls, and makeshift cooking pots full of “corn chowders” and “vegetable soups” and “salads,” which were all actually pretty much the same thing- bowls of dried up corn kernels and leaves floating around in water.
Days spent out in the barn with nothing but a few old toys, some dirt, and our imaginations were the most interesting and well-spent days of my childhood.

Advertisements

Rubber Bands- Tried and True Friends

When I was about 7 or so, me and my family went to a buddy of my dad’s house. It started out as a regular day. We arrived, went inside, greeted everyone, etc. etc. Little did I know that this was the day I would meet my first pet and best friend.
After we had gotten settled and had a bite to eat, my sisters and I went upstairs to play. We were goofing off, and a toy ended up landing across the room behind an old space heater in the corner. I crawled my little self back there to retrieve the toy, but what I found was far better. It was a red rubber band. It was about medium size, had the perfect amount of elasticity, and was dusted with that white powdery stuff that you find commonly on rubber bands. Truly beautiful. I gingerly picked it up, careful not to disturb him. But quick! He needed a name! Patooney. It was the first thing that came to my mind. So, there I had it. Patooney, my new pet. I carried him around the rest of the day. We just kinda hung around, you know, getting to know one another. Later on, Mom said to get my shoes on- it was time to leave. Oh no. How could I leave without Patooney!? I knew I couldn’t. So, with no questions asked, I put Patooney in my pocket and took him home with me.
We spent a long, enjoyable life together. (It was actually more like a few weeks, but that’s an eternity to a 7 year old. *sniffle.*) But pets don’t last forever, and eventually he was… he was gone. I don’t think I’ll ever know what really happened to Patooney, but what I do know is that friends come in unlikely shapes and sizes. They may come from the most unexpected sources, but you will love them all the same. You never forget your first pet. Rest in peace, Patooney.

Straw wrapper

I was with my youth group on the way to Teen Camp (holla,) and we stopped at McDonalds to get some food on the way. It was super packed that morning. Me and my friends chose a spot next to a really old lady, mainly because there was nowhere else to sit, but also because who doesn’t enjoy sitting next to a sweet old lady? So we ordered our food and sat down. Now, as everyone on Earth knows, when you get a straw you rip off the tip of the wrapper and blow it at the person across from you, am I right? (It’s rhetorical- I know I’m right.) So I tore off the tip, lined it up, and shot it at my friend across from me. I missed, and it landed behind her. Darn. So I got up to get it, like I literally STOOD UP to go get this wrapper, but a huge group of people walked past and when I looked back down, it was gone. Eh, no biggie. What’s one little straw wrapper on the ground of a fast-food restaurant? Well, apparently it’s the end of the ever-loving world! The seemingly sweet old lady looked at me and yelled “Excuse me, young lady! You go find that wrapper RIGHT now!” I didn’t want to be rude and just ignore her. She’s still an old lady, albeit a cranky one. So I got up and looked around till I found it (it had been kicked away in the crowd,) and threw it away. On my way back to my seat, she starts yelling at me again! “I’ll tell you what, if you were my kid I’d blister your butt! You wouldn’t be able to sit down for weeks!”
It was just a straw wrapper! Come on! Now if I had done something like tripped a customer on their way to get their order or something, then I could understand her response, but over a straw wrapper? But no, this is not the end of her rant. An old man who was a seat over had seen and heard the whole fiasco too, and I KID YOU NOT, he got up, came to sit with the lady, and they sat there and talked about me out loud to each other! “Kids these days, where’s the respect? Can you even believe it?” I never said anything back to her after that.
I couldn’t tell if I was scared of her, embarrassed by her, or if I wanted to tell her to get outta my business. I think it was a little of all three.

THE PIT

“The Pit” is  somewhat well-known amongst the residents of Carlisle. All our close neighbors know about it, of course. It is strange, though, that I’ve even heard someone at school mention it in conversation, and they’ve never even been to my house! So what is this, this “Pit?” Well, friend, you’re about to find out.

My brothers used to dig random little holes all around our yard, and people would constantly find themselves stepping in these holes and twisting ankles or at the very least, getting a scare. Plus, they were just unsightly! Dad would tell them not to dig anymore holes, but somehow, mysteriously, more holes would appear! It wasn’t our dogs. They aren’t really the digging type. “Boys, did you dig another hole?” Psh, of course they didn’t. I mean, it’s absurd to think that maybe little 9 and 10 year old boys dug more holes even after Daddy told them not to, right? (If you couldn’t read the sarcasm there, then this is a little side note for you; that was sarcasm.) So after the “mystery holes” kept appearing, Dad had finally had enough. He took a can of spray paint and went to the far corner of our yard, and sprayed a giant circle in yellow. This was to be the digging spot. If one must ABSOLUTELY feel the pressing need to dig a hole, it had to be within this circle and nowhere else! The first day that the circle was painted, practically the entire family was outside digging holes within the yellow circle. I mean come on, it’s a free-for-all! Can’t find a shovel? Who cares? Here’s this stick! It looked for all the world like we were just blatantly ignoring child-labor laws. After a few days, of course, the hole-hype died down, and less and less progress was being made on the hole. But every once in a while, the urge to dig again returned, and a few of the boys would go outside and dig for awhile. It was getting pretty deep, but then it’d rain or something and the hole would slowly start to fill back up with mud. When this happened, the boys would rush outside and dig again! Anyway, after filling and being emptied, and filling and being emptied again, the hole has gotten deeper and deeper, and has now acquired the prestigious title of “The Pit.”  I’m not sure of it’s exact dimensions, but the title isn’t used lightly!
Ps- I’ll attach a picture later!

Shower Time

Have you ever noticed how much we think during shower time? I take like, 45 minute showers (on a good day,) and I spend the entire time contemplating my life. “Man, I wonder why we all have 5 toes. Does the pinky toe actually serve any purpose? I wonder what I’m gonna wear next week to the mall. Why is this water so freezing one moment and so hot the next? Ooh, I remember that embarrassing thing from 5th grade. Way to bring it up again, brain.” But I’ve realized that this can be very helpful! You know those times when you are trying to make a legitimate decision, but you can’t decide what you should do, or you are too busy to really stop and think it over? Just hop on in the shower. It’s not like you can really get distracted in there, cause I mean, all that’s there is yourself and a loofah. I’m sure that when you come out, you’ll know what to do. It’s like magic.

Dusty Water

Dusty water? What the heck?

Dusty water is the phenomenon that occurs when I leave a drink sitting out uncovered for more than about 15 minutes. I’m aware that what I’m about to say is probably irrational, but If my drink has been sitting on the counter for even a few minutes after I last drank from it, I’m afraid that a layer of dust has settled on the surface, and this is absolutely unacceptable! I always have to dump it out, rinse the cup, and refill it. Is there anyone else who feels this way? Maybe it’s not just me…? Well, even if it is, you can say what you will. I’d rather rinse out my cup than drink… *nervous gulp*… dusty water.

Gravity.

Sometimes my tears fall up-wards…

Let me explain. It’s not that I cry teardrops that are gravity defying and float off into space, (oh, how I wish,) but I perpetually find that my eyelids are wet. O.o What a strange phenomenon! When it’s allergy season- the season everyone HATES- my eyes are always very watery. Then I feel this… this dampness start from the corner of my eye and go out all over my eyelid! I can dry it off but to no avail! It always comes back. I decided to write this on my blog for you all today because the eye juice is making it’s way to my eyelid as I type this very story. I think I’m an alien child. If this happens to any of you, contact me at 812-THE-COMENTS-SECTION. (I am aware that that’s too long… shut up.)