Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 18 of 2016 - Collaboration Between Siblings

There is this really awesome benefit to having a lot of siblings.  The first and foremost, there was always someone to play with.  In Romeo, we lived in a small neighborhood full of young families with small kids so there were many playmates.....Everyday was a play day... Times were different.
My sister Sue and I were very close!  

When my mother got pregnant with Matt, it became obvious that our small house was bursting at the seams.  So my Dad, planned an addition which would add a large family room, increase the size of the one bedroom that all four of the "girls" were in and give him the garage he always wanted. No more digging out the car so you could go to work in the winter or scrapping frost or ice off the windshield.

So he got the plans going and before we knew it we were breaking ground for the footings.  The day they dug the footings, my sister Sue and I rescued a salamander which the crew dug up in the process. We named it and put it in a cage and were bound and determined that we were going to keep it. I believe it was that day that we decided that cold blooded creatures were not so bad after all. That evening, Dad convinced us that we should let our new pet go after he asked us, "What will you feed Sandy( the salamander's new name)?" Of course we did not know. "You don't want it to die do you? You would have to feed it .... and your mom will never let it come in the house.  It will freeze in that cage outside...." his list of reason why we should not keep it grew.  He convinced us that it was OK for us to have played with him all day but now it was time to let it go.  So very reluctantly we did. I am sure that "Sandy" was happy to be free once again after being played with all day!

I can not remember if the footings  and concrete slab were pour in the fall of 1963 and the building was set to start in the spring or if they poured the cement early in the spring and then we had a snow storm...but in either case...Here is the tiny house on Fritz drive ..... footings poured, slab in, 2x4 delivered, rafters....

Snow to hamper progress...

The garage and the family room going up...

The next spring and summer, Sue and I, along with many of the boys in the neighborhood, discovered a swampy woods to the east of our neighborhood to play in.  We found the swamp had a very large population of cold blooded reptiles which we decided would make great pets.  So we started to adopt them.  The boys in the neighborhood made catching them look really easy so we gave it a go.  After all, if you are playing with boys...you need to learn how to do what they do and you can not act like a girl!   At first we tried stepping on them just behind their head... before we tried picking them up... Occasionally it worked but most times they slithered quickly away. Then the boys showed us how to use a forked stick to catch them and then it got really interesting and much more successful! 

At first we brought our new pets home one at a time...One in her pocket and one in mine!   The next time we went to the swamp, we took a brown lunch paper bag.  Then a brown grocery bag... Then it was a shoe box.....All the while we are filling old hamster cages, old aquariums, boxes and old mailboxes... I don't remember whether we clued mom in on our new rescue mission or not.  They were outdoors not in the garage.. Often in the morning we would go to see how our pets were doing and they would have all escaped...but we had become really good reptile hunters so we would head back to the swamp and do it all over again. 

One day we decided to put some of our newest pets in our mailbox for the mailman to find.  As you can well imaging we did not think this thru very well....Then we got this hair brained idea to have Pam go check to see if the mail had come.......Oh now that was a truly bad move.  To this day she is traumatized by this event.

She went flying into the house screaming and in seconds flat Mom came flying out the door.  "Janet Lou and Susan Lynn, get in this house!"  she yelled.  Funny how you always knew you were in big  trouble when Mom and Dad used your whole name when they called you! We could feel it...It was going to be bad. " Go to your room and stay there!" she commanded.  "Just wait til I tell your father about this!" she scolded.  This was the first times that I remember Mom saying,  "Just wait for your Dad to get home..."

Well, we went to our room and waited... and waited and commiserated as we awaited our fate....Before long I am telling Sue ..."it's your fault cause it was your idea."  She said, " well you thought it was a good idea too..."   The truth is both of us knew better....We knew not everyone in the neighborhood liked garter snakes like we did. 

Dad finally came home.  We stood in front of him and neither one of us ratted the other out.  We both equally took the blame and the punishment for our little stunt.  Go tell your sister you are sorry and you better mean it!  We were instructed to go let out all of our pets and never bring one home again.  Ever! 

It is my belief that this is the first time, that we learned what being a sibling was all about...I could have blamed her for it but I didn't, she could have blamed me for it but she didn't... There would be  times as we became teenagers that one of us did something we probably should not have and thought that it would slide by and no one would be the wiser...Dent or scratch in the paint of the car...taking the car when you were not suppose to....going someplace that was off limits when you were suppose to be at your friends house....I am sure that you all have little infractions from when you were  a teenager too....  Times that we could have blamed each other for or someone else but...we never did.  Dad would line us up  and say who did this?  And we would not rat on each other...We all got punished...  The innocent ones were not very happy with the guilty party but that was a good system of checks and balances.  It did not happen often but when it did we stood by each other.

We have many story of sibling collaboration to share so until the next time.....



1 comment:

  1. GREAT...I read this late at night...and had nightmares. I will have a response!