Family Fun


 
When it comes down to it, there’s nothing as wonderful as family, except of course, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Life is meaningful and rewarding because of family ties.  Our family of origin shapes our values, morals and important life principles during our childhood and then in our adult years, we draw on precious memories that transport us across the years – memories that last a lifetime. As I reflect upon my childhood, I remember the following incidences that still bring smiles and even laughter when recalled:

My dad’s name was Paul, so to avoid confusion everyone referred to my brother Paul Robert as Bob.  No one ever called him by his given name.  During roll call on his first day in kindergarten my brother did not respond when the teacher called his name.  That evening he matter-of-factly said to my mother, “Mom, guess what?  A boy in our class has the same name as dad and when the teacher called his name he did not answer her.  What a dumb boy!”

It’s miraculous really that mom survived our early years. I am the middle of seven kids, and I along with two brothers was born one year apart. We were the mischievous trio.  Jeff was three, I was four and Bob was five when we dumped oatmeal, sugar and flour in the middle of the kitchen floor and mixed them together.  To put it mildly, mom cried and dad…well!

Grandpa Chandler was lying in his lounge chair under the maple tree in his front yard, reading the newspaper and smoking.  After a while he flicked his still lit cigarette into the grass.  Curiosity got the best of my sisters, Brenda and Sharon, when they saw the smoldering butt.  Sharon asked, “Grandpa, can I take a puff of that cigarette”?  Grandpa, who was not really paying attention said, “Uh-huh.” 

Both girls took a deep drag.  Mom was inside the house when total bedlam broke out in the front yard.  Two girls ran into the house running, gagging, crying, choking and coughing.  As I recall, both turned a funny shade of green!

My brother Dan was demonstrating his bicycle riding techniques while Aunt Linda watched.  After reaching a high speed, he stood up on the pedals and yelled, “Hey Linda, look!”  In that split second the handle bar came off in his hands.  Dan of course lost control and wiped out on our gravel road.  Aunt Linda laughed so hard that she lost all bladder control!

Late night visits to the outhouse were common while visiting our grandparents’ farm.  Occasionally, we boys used the side yard especially when it was dark outside.  My brother Jeff and I strolled out into the light of a full moon one night to use the “facilities.”  An electric fence used to contain the livestock was close by.  Jeff said, “I dare you to…”  I took his dare and let me put it this way:  I quickly discovered that water is an excellent conductor for electricity.  I was knocked on the ground!

Ask most anyone who knows me.  I’m not mechanically inclined.  One late afternoon dad decided it was time to teach me how to drive the tractor.  I knew nothing about the “H” principle of driving a stick shift, so I grinded the gears something terrible.  By the time we reached our driveway, I was so shaken that I not only misused the clutch but I failed to steer properly.  I ran head-on into our newly constructed picnic table in the front yard.  When I finally stopped the tractor and got off, I beheld in terror, our table lying in a splintered heap!

What about your childhood?  What stories do you tell when family gets together?  What memories continue to bring smiles and even laughter? 

The next time you get together with your siblings or other family members, take a stroll down memory lane.  Recall your unique funny stories.  Laugh out loud!  Life is too short and passes by too quickly not to include these times of family fun.

  

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