Fun at the neighbor’s house!

Posted: September 9, 2010 in Funny stories

I recently received a birthday present which I must say I have wanted literally since I was a child and had dinner with my neighbors!  CORN SKEWERS!  I will explain as the story progresses.

When I think of myself as a child, the name RAMONA from the Beverly Cleary books seems quite fitting.  I recently saw the movie with my sisters and it made me remember so many situations from my childhood I would “find myself getting in the middle of” before I knew what happened!  My middle sister insisted she was RAMONA, so we must all have a little of RAMONA in us.  That must be why the book series was so popular.

Many of my adventures growing up included my middle sister (I’m the baby!) and our neighbor friend who is one year older than me, one year younger than my middle sister.  We were stair steps apart.  To give you a better image in your mind of the three of us running around playing, here is a picture of us when we were 5, 6 and 7 years old (starting with me on the top step).

My oldest sister was our photographer.  She is now an awesome photographer, but props were not her strong area when I was 5!  I noticed these steps go nowhere and we lived in the country.  There were MANY scenic views she could have chosen.  Nonetheless, it does well-represent the fact that my sis and I were country bumpkins and we lived in a trailor with backsteps in the wrong place.  My neighbor stands out in the pic, perhaps because she wore shoes! 

One of my favorite things to do as a child was to visit at my neighbor’s house.  We had so much fun together even though we often got into trouble.  One time we snuck off to see the horses in the field and my middle sis backed into a horse and got kicked in the leg.  My neighbor and I had to act as her crutches to get her home.  Her leg swelled up the size of three legs.  We were so scared we would get into trouble for visiting the horses without an adult (because that was my mom’s rule) that we convinced my sis to hide her injury.   Needless to say, if your child cannot walk, you will eventually notice!  Mom was moritified, scared and mad all at the same time.  My poor sister could have had a blood clot and we were just worried about getting in trouble!  Our mother had her leg checked out at the doctor and she had a contusion to watch for a few weeks, but no blood clot.  WHEW!  We stopped sneaking off to see the horses after that.

One time we were at my neighbor’s house playing ball.  By this time, my friend’s parents had built a three car garage attached by a breezeway, so the house was very long.  She also had a pool in the backyard with a fence around the entire area, separating it from the front yard.  We were playing ball in the front side yard by the fence and someone accidently threw it over the fence into the backyard.  We were lazy and did not want to walk the length of the house to retrieve the ball.  Since I was the smallest, I was elected to climb over the fence and into the backyard to get the ball.  Grace would have never been a fitting name for me!  My sis and neighbor had to help me over the fence because I could not get over the top without their help.  Just as I started toward the ground I panicked.  Although I had played with the neighbor’s dog before, I had never been in the fence ALONE with Chang, the Chow!  As I pondered what to do and without my knowledge, my shirt got caught in the top of the fence.  My sis and friend convinced me to jump the distance needed to the ground and to be brave.  As I landed, part of my shirt stayed behind.  Buttons went flying!  I was humiliated!  There I sat on the ground trying to hold my shirt together and look for the buttons in the grass.  Chang actually did not get near me, so no mishaps with the dog.  HOWEVER, I could not get back over the fence by myself.  This meant I had to walk through the pool area and breezeway back to the front.  This involved the risk of getting caught by my neighbor’s mother! 

The inevitable happened.  My neighbor’s mom saw me walk by her kitchen window and stopped me as I came through to the front yard.  I was terrified of what would happen now that I was caught.  She surprised me, though.  I guess she could tell I was already traumatized enough and she took pity on me.  She gave me something to wear and sewed the buttons that I found back onto my shirt.  My impression of her changed from fear to admiration from that day forward.  She took pity on me just when I needed it most!

One day I stayed for supper at my neighbor’s house and was introduced to a foreign substance called Country Crock spread!  I had never seen butter in a spreadable form before and was absolutely AMAZED.  I thought to myself that when I grew up I would buy my own Country Crock spreadable butter in a tub to use in my kitchen!  My neighbor’s mom made one of my favorite things to eat, corn-0n-the-cob!  I watched in absolutely astonishment as each family member picked up little corn skewers and neatly ate their Country-Crock dripping corn-on-the cob.  I fumbled around and tried to act as though there was nothing unusual about not eating corn-on-the cob with my hands.  I managed to skewer each end and AGAIN, I decided when I grew up I would OWN CORN SKEWERS, too!

As you can see from the picture I posted at the beginning of my post, for my 37th birthday, I finally own corn skewers!  My oldest sis bought them for me.

Incidently, my neighbor made Velveeta Shells and Cheese instead of plain ole macaroni and cheese…another fanciful idea this little country bumpkin was impressed with at the neighbor’s house!

I think the moral to this story is not that you should covet your neighbor’s skewers because clearly you should NOT…Instead the moral is that you never know how your actions will impact a child’s life.  Always treat other people’s children as though they are your own.  I believe God expects us to help each other.  A little kindness goes a long way!

Laughter is good for the soul!

Teresa in Stitches

This picture is myself (the shortest girl) and my middle sister Lavonda posing for my oldest sister Tina’s camera as we did so many times over the years.

Teresa and Lavonda

Teresa and Lavonda

When I was a little girl, I was quite fascinated by music.  I guess more than anything, music was an escape for me, a way to deal with things in my life that I did not understand.  Since this is my funny blog, I will not dive deeply into that subject.  I simply want to emphasize that my two favorite people to sit with as a very young girl at church were the pianist, Peggy and the organist, Phyllis.  I literally would take turns every other Sunday sitting with one or the other.  I learned so much about music by what Phyllis taught me.  I have probably blogged about it before, but since my mother did not go, whoever I sat with had to keep me quiet.  Phyllis used an unusual technique for this task.  She took me along with her to the organ during altar call and would quietly whisper the names of the chords as she played.  She may not have realized, but I was listening to EVERY WORD.  In particular, the C chord was easy for me to remember.  It was my building block I later used to teach myself to play the piano.  Before you start thinking stearn thoughts about her for occupying me by teaching me music during altar call, I was VERY young at the time and she just did this to keep me occupied and quiet.  She also did it because she knew how much I loved gospel music.  She played the piano for myself and my sisters to sing specials quite often during those days.  There was really nothing she liked better than serving the Lord by helping others.  She is still this way to this day.  She was a kindergarten school teacher, too.  She was not yet a mother, but had a mother’s heart.  She now has two grown children (which makes me feel OLD as I type this sentence!) and just as I expected, is a WONDERFUL mother.

NOW, I do have a point to make in explaining how dedicated Phyllis was (and is) to the church.  She has always been in charge of the children’s plays.  Because I always sat with the musicians, whenever it was time for musicals or plays, I was inevitably drafted by Phyllis to participate.  This was actually VERY difficult for me due to being very shy in front of the audience at church.  However, because I had such respect and affection for Phyllis, I always took whatever part she said I must do for her.

This is what led me to being a CRACKED BELL one year! 

I remember nothing of the play other than wearing a suit to make me look like a bell with a crack in it.   Oh yes, this plus my solo…I had to sing!  I was terrified of singing a solo in church, had only sang with my sisters.  I was very young, maybe 1st or 2nd grade, around age 7 at the time if I had to guess.  BUT as I said before, I always agreed if Phyllis asked me to take part just because she was so good to my sisters and myself.

I must have really nailed the solo, although how I am not quite sure because I do not recall ever having that great of a voice as a child.  Most likely the song was just suited particularly well to my voice.  The reason I give myself such a compliment is not meant as bragging, it is to tell you that my mother received a phone call from a man who lived next door to the church named Lebron Burns.  He was a very accomplished pianist, had played for professional singing groups for many years and really knew the business.  He called because he wanted to take me under his wing, so to speak, and give me singing lessons.  He said he saw great potential in me and would do this at NO CHARGE to my parents!

What Mr.  Burns did not realize evidently is that I did not do anything without my sisters!  I was the BABY of the family!  On the scheduled appointment date for my first voice lesson, accompanied by BOTH my middle sister AND my oldest sister, we marched off to Mr. Burns’ house for OUR free lesson!  We were VERY EXCITED!  Well, I was more nervous than anything and figured he had me mixed up with someone else in the play, just as sure as anything.  I also was thinking I wish he would give me free piano lessons instead of free voice lessons, but I was too shy to ask him.

Needless to say, Mr. Burns was NOT expecting THREE girls for the voice lesson!  He had offered to give ME free voice lessons.  Shock was an obvious reaction that registered on his face, but he tried to mask it after just a few seconds went by.  He and his wife quickly ushered us into their home and to the piano.  As he got out the song “He’s Still Working on Me”, he told us he had one very important rule which was “ABSOLUTELY NO CHEWING GUM DURING VOICE LESSONS!”.

UH-OH!  My shy self  had a piece of gum in my mouth at that very moment.  NOW the normal response would have been to ask for something to wrap it in so I could throw it away, correct?  Well, for some reason, no doubt due to my embarrassment, nerves and general shyness, I decided I had better just hold my gum during the lesson so as not to be CAUGHT chewing it. 

For the NEXT 30 MINUTES, I held that piece of chewing gum that I had been chewing upon arriving at Mr. Burns’ house!  I literally do not remember one thing he taught us that day during the lesson EXCEPT to never chew gum while singing.  More specifically, I learned to NEVER hold a piece of ALREADY CHEWED gum in my hand for 30 minutes while singing!  I was mortified once the lesson was over because every time I tried to open my fist, all I could see was a big gooey mess of gum EVERYWHERE. 

Fortunately, no doubt divine intervention played a part, Mr. Burns’ wife was an observant lady and had figured out what I had done.  She also had realized my embarrassment over the situation and that I did not want anyone to know what was going on.  She took me aside and she got peanut butter out of her pantry.  She began smearing peanut butter all over my hands as though it were handsoap.  I thought this quite odd, but sure enough, before too long, she had successfully cleaned all the gum off my hand!  I was SO RELIEVED!

As for the singing lessons, we were never asked back for another lesson.  I suspect it had something to do with the lessons being free and meant for only one of us.  I did not mind, though because I preferred to sing WITH my sisters when we were little, not solos.  I actually have an ear more for playing music than I do singing anyway, although I have sung in Concert Choir throughout school years and also in church my entire life. 

As for gum, I suspect the Burns’ had a good chuckle after we left that day.  I no longer chew gum.  This is not because of the singing lesson, but one could see why such an ordeal would give a child gum-o-phobia!

Laughter is good for the soul!

Teresa in Stitches

Blind for HOW LONG???

Posted: May 30, 2010 in Funny stories

Someone told me a joke the other day about a blind man.  I did not think it was in good taste, but it reminded me of the time I got in trouble for laughing about something relating to a blind man.  Remember the story in the bible about the blind man who had always been blind and Jesus made the clay mixture for his eyes and then told him to wash in the pool of Siloam to be healed?  This is the story I am referring to…

Jason stacking wood before graduation

Jason stacking wood before graduation

My First Encounter with Jason:

This thought about the blind man in the bible led me to think of a friend from many years back during youth group days  in church.  His name is Jason.  I will get to the blind man story a little later.  For now, I will give a background of how Jason and I met and a little info about our friendship as teenagers.

Jason’s family started coming to my church when I was maybe 16 years old.  Jason quickly fit in with the youth group, and he invited so many friends to church that our youth group doubled in a very short amount of time due to his influence.  Because I worked so much, I often missed out on events and did not get many opportunities to actually make acquaintances with the newer members of the group.  I had never talked to Jason, but had wanted to befriend him since he started coming to church.  I often came across as snobbish to people who did not know me because of my initial shyness.  The youth group had a party in the back room of the little country restaurant that I waitressed at, so I finally had an opportunity to actually personally meet “the new guy, Jason”.

My friends at the restaurant all knew how shy I was and they noticed this “new guy” quite quickly because he was cute.  They did not understand that I was so shy I did not know how to even approach him to become friends. They started planning and scheming.  They wanted me to do something to get his attention.  I refused until  my coworkers (Lisa the waitress, and Brenda and Vicky, the cooks) finally figured out the one thing that gives me courage.  They DARED ME!  They dared me to make a MOVE ON HIM before the end of the party!  How funny this is now that I am writing it because I have never even told him that this is why I said what I did that day.  I am not Ms. Suave, nor have I ever been!  However, I do love commercials and usually can remember them quite well!  I remembered one in particular at the time and it was my only hope of getting out of this with any dignity in front of my coworkers, and at the same time being able to still face Jason at church in case he ever DID talk to me again! 

I waited until the party was over and everyone was walking out of the restaurant.  As Jason walked by the coke machine, approaching a long counter that led to the exit door:

 I said, “excuse me”.  He said, “yes?”.   I said, “are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?”  He grinned and laughingly said, “why yes, they are!”  I said, “thank you!” 

It was a perfect moment.  I felt as if he had my back in front of my friends because he played along!  He KNEW THE COMMERCIAL, TOO!

I assumed I had done enough to fulfill my dare and it was all over, did not actually strongly hit on him, just sort of made it into a joke (with two cooks and one waitress within OBVIOUS earshot to make sure I DID actually say SOMETHING).  To my humiliation, he then walked to the cash register at the end of the counter instead of out the exit door!  Suddenly the other waitress that had been in earshot vanished and left me standing there redfaced to have to go see what he wanted.  I cannot remember now what he needed at the register, but I managed to stumble through helping him (it was NOT part of the plan to talk to him immediately afterwards!) and then I quickly retreated to the cooks to see what they thought of my line!  They loved it and were impressed I had thought of it.  I did not tell them that I just was glad to break the ice and at least speak to him, no intentions of anything else.  I had to save face in front of my coworkers, you know how it is!

Jason mowing before graduation

Jason mowing before graduation

That was the beginning of several years of friendship with Jason.  Oddly enough I realized my humor was nothing compared to his.  My Bugle Boy line was probably exactly like something he would have done.  He asked his parents if he could start a bible study at his house on saturday nights.  He invited all the youth group, so after work I went to Jason’s parents’ house every saturday for several years.  It was like a second home for so many young people during this time.  Others literally moved in!  His parents were very welcoming and cooked breakfast for us every single saturday.  We always had our bible study, but we also did improv comedy and ended up with some really crazy funny home movies, we just played like little kids, we also played and sang music together.  I played the piano usually at the beginning of the bible study while everyone sang.  Jason and several others played the guitar.  His dad played the mandolin, so music always filled the house.  Each time someone had a birthday, I often made a theme cake for that person. 

Guitar Lessons:

For Jason’s birthday one year, I made him a guitar cake.  He asked me if it was really his.  I said “yes”.  Before I could take a picture, he pulled a pick out of his pocket and played the strings, BREAKING THEM because they were made of icing!  I said “WHY DID YOU DO THAT, YOU RUINED MY PICTURE!!!!”.  He said “because you said it is mine.” HA  That is pure Jason.  The kind of funny like Seinfeld.  His cake is pictured below.

Jason's Guitar Cake

Jason's Guitar Cake

At some point along the way Jason started giving me guitar lessons.  At first, it went really well.  I learned all the basic chord patterns quite fast.  Then he wanted to teach me bar chords.  I have very small fingers and my hands cramped up even then (I know now it is because of this psoriatic arthritis) and the bar chords were VERY difficult for me to hold.  I learned he was quite impatient if I was having difficulty.  He would smile and act all patient, then suddenly with no warning that I could see, he would reach over and take my fingers and CRUSH them into the guitar strings and laugh sort of crazylike!  Then he would say “I think this lesson is over for today, sorry”!  He then would apologize alot, but I thought it quite funny actually.  His little cousin often would be there over the weekend.  She was maybe 4 years old.  She loved to listen in on our lessons AND TALK TO US, but he did not like for her to do this because he had a hard enough time just not breaking my fingers.  He loved to tell her if she did not quit talking and LEAVE US ALONE, he would use the capo and capo her lips shut.  She would run screaming from the room, go down the steps and grab the Andy of the Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls, then stand at the top of the steps and SLING IT DOWN THE STEPS.  She would say “that is YOU JASON!”.  He would tell her if she did not be quiet he was going to dunk her head in the toilet (maybe I should not have told that part…he never actually did it, that I know of!).  She would go screaming furiously down the steps to get “Andy” again and then run back up and throw his “voodoo” self back down the steps as though that would teach him.  Finally his mom would come get her and calm her down and we would either continue our lesson, or give up again for the day.  We would end up listening to calming music (poor Jason…HAHAHA) until time for church because my lessons were usually between church services.  He introduced me to Twila Paris through these “calm down” sessions and the song “How Beautiful” became my favorite song.  She is an amazing artist. 

I realized pretty quickly that a capo is a MARVELOUS invention, maybe not to make little girls be quiet, but so I did not have to learn bar chords!  I decided to quit lessons after I felt I had the basics down because those bar chords just hurt my hand too much.  Even now if I have a guitar for very long, I can play after a little practice and pick out melodies, but I still have to use a capo.  Jason may not realize it, but his teaching me the basic chords have helped me SO MUCH now in the past few years.  I married a bluegrass banjo player eight and a half years ago and as a violin player who never played bluegrass, I have sat in many jam sessions where I did not know the songs. SO I simply would watch the rhythm guitar player and when he changes chords, I knew what to do on the fiddle.  I am so glad Jason was patient enough to teach me the basics before I drove him mad! 

Jason cutting wood before graduation

Jason cutting wood before graduation

The Blind Man:

Perhaps BOTH the best AND worst moment we ever shared together was when we caused our preacher to literally pause the sermon and preach at US.  US as in “me and Jason”…we disrupted the service in the middle of the message!  In our defense, however, it was because we were the only ones paying close attention. 

As I mentioned about John 9 above, this is what the pastor was preaching on this particular sunday morning.  As the preacher started to read John 9:1, he read it as follows (note, I will put in BOLD where the preacher accidently misquoted the scripture…AND note how odd what he said was…AND FUNNY!)

John 9

 1And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his MOTHER’S birth.

Now it is one thing to be blind since you were born, but to be blind since your MOTHER was born is really something I have NEVER HEARD OF…until that morning.

Jason and I happened to be sitting beside each other that Sunday.  This turned out to be a VERY BAD IDEA because as we looked at each other with recognition of the misquote, and the assumption that everyone else in church had also been paying attention and would laugh, we both started laughing OUT LOUD without abandon!  BAD IDEA

The preacher stopped cold.  He was speechless and just stared at us as we tried to compose ourselves.  Literally NO ONE BUT US WAS LAUGHING!.  Hello people, were you not in the same room as us just now, did you not hear that this guy was blind since his mother was born???  Maybe it was not as funny as we thought it was???  Our church was not that small, either…200-300 people each sunday morning at that time if I am not mistaken.  Jason even had to get up and leave the auditorium until he could regain his composure. 

Once Jason rejoined the congregation, the pastor pretty much stopped in the middle of his sentence and totally changed subjects.  He started preaching on reverence and honoring the scripture and all sorts of things to pretty much put us in our place for our outbursts.  Jason and I had actually started sitting together because we both liked to take notes and were trying to stay away from anyone who talked during the service so that we could hear better and pay attention.  Of course this was not something we shared with others, or something the pastor would be privy to necessarily.  We took church very seriously and simply assumed EVERYONE would see the humor in the mistake of the passage reading.  We felt so bad after the fact because the pastor misinterpreted our lack of ability to get ourselves under control under such an unusual circumstance for irreverence.

Afterwards, Jason humbly apologized profusely to our pastor and I also told him I was sorry.  I really wanted to explain exactly what happened, but I could tell that the pastor was too upset still, and probably would not see the humor at that point.  Hopefully if he reads my story today, he will finally understand exactly why we laughed and that it slipped out before we could stop it.  We were in no way trying to make fun of HIM, just the idea of someone being blind that long. 

The Pictures of Jason:

I told Jason’s mother that I wanted to write a funny story about my friendship with Jason and would love some funny pictures to show his humor.  The pictures throughout the blog are the pictures of Jason that she sent me of him on graduation day and also of one of his proms.  Obviously they are staged and he was a silly, crazy boy back then!

Jason doing yard work before prom

Jason doing yard work before prom

He really is crazy, but in a good way!

In case anyone is wondering, NO we never dated.  My mother’s maiden name and Jason’s last name is the SAME, so I have always wondered if we might be related even though we have not found a connection.  PLUS he never asked me.  I actually enjoyed just being his friend, more of a sisterly kind of feeling.  I am pretty sure I made his groom’s cake when he got married to his high school sweetheart!  He now has a house full of kids and I hope his household is as blessed as his parents made his during his teenage years.  Although this past month while my hubby and I have been practicing our fiddle and banjo together for two upcoming events, I told my hubby I should have married a guitar player, I was TOTALLY joking and definitely want to keep my banjo picking hubby of whom it is SO HARD to play a fiddle with! I also told him I bet he wishes he’d married a guitar player, too and we both had a good laugh, then I called my cousin who IS a guitar player and he is going to play with us at one of the events. 

Yes, God knows what friends we need at just the right time.  Although I have not talked to Jason in years, I am thankful for my friendship with him nonetheless.  We all have friends that we know we can count on no matter how many years have passed, or miles, or whatever gets in the way.  I am sure if we lived closer, he could play guitar with my hubby and myself.  That would be nice!  I am hopeful we will all have a bible study reunion this year.  I miss the whole gang!

NOW just so as to not leave the bible misquoted, I have copied the correct scripture below for your reference:

John 9

 1And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

 2And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

 3Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

 4I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

 6When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

 7And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

 

Laughter is good for the soul!

Teresa in Stitches

My VERY FIRST DATE!

Posted: May 11, 2010 in Funny stories
Tags:

I always have stories in my head to add to this new blog, but have not been in much of a “funny” writing mood lately.  I was just now talking to my friend Misty on facebook about her cat that used to use the toilet instead of the litter box.  This led my mind to another memory…my first date! 

www.citikitty.com

I know, I know…a cat using the toilet makes me think of my first date??? Must have been SOME STRANGE DATE…no, not really.  It just happens that the young lady I was conversing with is the sister of the young man I went on my very first date with when I was 15 years old.  Thus the connection of the memory AND the idea now for my next blog entry about my very first date!

We all remember our first date, right?  That memorable moment when you FINALLY get to go somewhere WITH A BOY!  YAY.  Well it is supposed to be a “yay” moment, but for me, not so much.  I remember it more as a stomach churning, nauseating evening that seemed to never end.  This is not meant to offend the said boy who was in attendance that particular evening.  It was merely how I felt at the time.  The whole thing was my middle sister’s idea in the first place.  She, along with her friend David got the “bright idea” to set me and David’s brother up on a date and tag along…I suspect TO MAKE SURE WE ACTUALLY WENT!  I was very, very shy for some unknown reason when I was 15 years old, at least when it came to boys.  I specifically recall making every excuse in the world why I SHOULD NOT GO just before time to leave.

SO here is where I tell how the evening turned into one of the greatest nights ever, right?  WRONG!  I remember very few things about that night.  I remember our home phone ringing in which I highly suspect that Chris (the DATE) was also trying to get out of going on the date.  The conversation was between my sister and David.  However, they were not letting us off the hook.  They were DETERMINED to make this happen!  Did I mention I was VERY SHY when it came to guys?  Well now I’ve mentioned it twice just to really drive that point home.  The closer time came for “the date” to happen, the more I just wanted to run away from home. 

I do not remember if the boys picked us up, or if my sister drove us to meet them.  I know we did not have dinner with the boys.  I have NO CLUE what movie we saw, either, but I DO remember that we went to a movie.  One thing I will never forget is what Chris said to me during the movie.  Chris looked at me…and said…”do you want some popcorn?”.  I said “no thanks.”. 

THAT IS IT!  Literally this was the ONLY exchange of words we had the ENTIRE EVENING!  David and my sister did ALL the talking before and after our brief exchange.  Is that not the funniest thing you have ever heard?  My stomach hurt so bad…all just to lead up to the moment that I said “no thanks!”.  At least I did not have to worry about Chris holding my hand, much less kissing me! 

I also remember that after the movie, we went to the hospital to visit Chris’s dad.

Yes, THAT IS RIGHT! My first date was A MOVIE AND A TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL!  You have to admit, that is memorable to say the least!

I guess I did not give a background here.  My sister had been friends of David for quite awhile and I being the “tag-along youngest sister” went with her when we visited his house on several occasions.  During these visits, we became good friends with Chris’s parents and his sister Misty, too.  We were invited over to watch movies, and then eventually for most every holiday, too.  I would play the piano while people sang, that sort of thing, so my sister and I were practically part of the family EXCEPT for the fact that up until this night Chris and I had NEVER SPOKEN TO ONE ANOTHER!  SO when I found out Chris’ dad was in the hospital, it actually was the best part of the date because I ALWAYS enjoyed spending time with him and was worried about him!   Hey!  I just had another memory.  I seem to recall Chris decided to STAY AT THE HOSPITAL instead of leaving the hospital when the other three of us left.  Does that mean I was also DITCHED on my first date??? Oh no!  This explains alot of issues I’ve had through the years!  Just kidding if you are reading this, Chris!!!

There you have it!  The entire contents of my first date!  A MOVIE. A TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL. NO FOOD.  VIRTUALLY NO CONVERSATION…It was my own fault I did not get popcorn.  I wonder how different the evening would have been  if I had said “YES, I WANT SOME POPCORN CHRIS!   YOU READ MY MIND!”.  I probably would have simply gotten sick from the butter and had even worse memories, like throwing up during the movie.  Whew! I am glad I said “no thank you”.  I would have loved a candy bar, though. ;O)

Incidently, the next semester at school, Chris got a steady girlfriend AND also was changed to the SAME lunch period as me.  We started sitting together at lunch and all three became good friends!  We talked up a storm with NO STOMACH CHURNING AT ALL!  GO FIGURE!

Chris, if you read this, I hope you enjoyed remembering our magical moment when we first exchanged…WORDS  as much as I enjoyed writing about it.  I bet you dont even remember our conversation! HA

Folks, if you leave a comment as anonymous because you are not a homestead blogger, please leave at least your first name if you want me to know who you are.  I keep meaning to post this as a few have left comments as though they assume I know who they are, but I do NOT!

Laughter is good for the soul!

Teresa in Stitches

UPDATE May 20, 2008: I was at my sister Lavonda’s house last weekend and she told me she had read this story and loved it.  She remembered the evening as well.  I told her that after I wrote it, I wondered to myself if Chris took me to the hospital as proof to his father that he HAD actually taken me to the movies so his father could “PAY UP”!  I would not have put it past his dad because he sure did like both myself and my sister.  I just wish if that were the case, Chris would have split the money with me (NOT SAYING HE WAS PAID, JUST “IF”).  HA

 
I absolutely and TOTALLY know that I will never – ever – EVER wear a wrap-around skirt AGAIN. That being said, I have a good reason for this nearly lifelong style decision!

 

As a young child at age 8, I played the violin. Our elementary school offered a Strings class of which I had a passion to be a part of each semester. I eagerly awaited time for class and lugged my violin back and forth to school on the day that our Strings group met with our teacher for our lesson. After school, my oldest sister who was in high school would walk down the long hill from her school to the elementary school and meet me along with my middle sister. I am the baby of the family and I would love to add here that my two older sisters SORT OF looked out for me.  This was at a time in our lives before my oldest sister had a car. 

From the elementary school, we walked to my grandmother’s house where we stayed until my mother picked us up after work and took us home. The reason we walked was the school did not allow students to ride the bus to homes within a mile to the school.  It was still a pretty long walk even if it was less than a mile. 

My violin case was a hard-shell case with a little handle in the center. It did not have a shoulder strap on it. Therefore, I found it particularly difficult to carry both the violin and my books on that long walk to my grandmother’s house after school on the days of Strings class.  I was a small child for my age for quite a few years.  

On one particular day as I was having a VERY difficult time struggling to carry my books and the violin together, much worse things were to come.

To make the story even more interesting and because I KNOW if my sisters read this, they would be DISAPPOINTED if I did not mention the BOY!

I had a classmate that lived on the busy road near our grandmother’s house. My sisters liked to tease me about this boy simply because he was always so nice to me. I honestly cannot even remember his name at the moment, but he was walking ahead of us on this particular day. He kept turning around and yelling “Hi Teresa!”. He offered to help me carry my things, too. I I refused his help.  I purposely slowed down so that he would walk ahead of me. I was getting more and more embarrassed as my sisters were having more and more fun teasing me about this classmate. As an adult, I now realize he was most likely simply a very nice young guy who wanted to be friends AND saw my struggle, but at the time I just wanted him to SHUT UP and LEAVE ME ALONE. Yes, I said it…rude of me…but I only said SHUT UP in my mind.  I said it with body language, too by slowing down, but not in any other way.  I was a pretty shy child, too.  On this particular day I never once said hello in return to him.  I ignored him as much as possible.  I also ignored my sisters as much as I could.  They soon were several feet ahead of me.

This young boy gave up trying to be hospitable to this ice queen of a child as he had finally reached his driveway.  He went inside his home and we heard no more from him.

SUDDENLY my sisters turned around toward me because I was lagging too far behind.  They were about to ask me to “HURRY UP!” Instead, they stopped in their tracks. They BOTH started laughing HYSTERICALLY! I had no idea WHY they were laughing, but I finally managed to catch up with them.

My sisters asked me if I was STREAKING for my classmate!!! I wondered what in the WORLD they were talking about!  So I looked down and ALL THAT I SEE besides my shirt are BRIGHT RED LEOTARDS!!!!

My skirt was GONE!

That’s right! I was walking down a major busy road in nothing but a shirt and bright red leotards! I was mortified! I was (and am) a VERY MODEST child. I was NOT in the habit of STREAKING for ANYONE. I had worn a wrap-around blue jean skirt that ties on the side to school that morning.

SUDDENLY I noticed that cars were honking horns as they passed AND some people even yelled out their window at me! I wanted to crawl UNDER A ROCK. BUT FIRST, I had to find my skirt! Of course my sisters did not make it easy for me. They made me go find it, too!

Evidently in my struggle to carry both the violin case and my books, I had managed to UN-TIE my skirt.  It had decided to vacate the premises of my hips and opt for covering the side of the road instead of this modest little girl’s bright red leotards.  Now why in the world my mother would dress me in bright red leotards is beyond me, other than it makes the vivid picture in my mind of that day even funnier as I type this story right now!

For many years after that day, every time my sisters and I went shopping together, whenever we came across a wrap-around skirt, one of us would start laughing and mention the day I went STREAKING. I would quickly pass that skirt up in hopes of finding one that fastens SECURELY with THE LEAST CHANCE OF LOSING IT!

Laughter is good for the soul!

Teresa in Stitches

Bike FEVER

Posted: March 28, 2010 in Funny stories
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I would venture to guess it is one of my sisters who left the comment on the first story here that I should tell stories of my own bike adventures…I may add that story soon, but not today! 

NOW onto the next story in the new blog adventure of TERESA IN STITCHES…

I was never the type of child one would describe as graceful. I would have never made a good ballerina or a cheerleader…and just ask my good friend about trying to teach me to clog! Useless is a more appropriate word than graceful once I stepped into clogging shoes.

Sadly, the same could be said when I first got "the fever" to ride a motorcycle!

I had a similar experience as the story I previously wrote of Jamey, too. As a child, I found myself on a little 50cc motorcycle riding aimlessly in my aunt’s sister’s front yard with no clue how to stop the thing, much less how in the world the bike managed to stay upright while I was in such a dilemna. Fortunately I was not going too fast and my aunt’s nephew caught me, or rather his DIRTBIKE and hopped onto the back, then stopped us both safely.

Although I often doubled on the back of my neighbor’s three wheeler growing up, I never got on a motorized bike again until I was 28 years old.

As I said earlier, on our honeymoon, my hubby purchased a dirtbike. Well, he already owned a Grizzly four-wheeler as well. We loved to take the Grizzly out riding together and he had taught me the basics. I loved driving much more than being the passenger. I had a NEED FOR SPEED!

With Jamey now owning a dirtbike, he wanted to get rid of the Grizzly because he noticed something quickly about me. I had a hard time defining the line between cautious driving while having fun on the Grizzly and driving like a maniac just because it felt right regardless of the outcome.

Although Jamey quickly learned this about my driving skills on the Grizzly, for some reason, he thought it would be a WONDERFUL idea for me to get a dirtbike, too! OF COURSE, I agreed because I missed the Grizzly and was tired of sitting at home while Jamey went riding with friends.  Like the Honda commercials say "I wanna ride, I wanna ride, I wanna ride"!!!

I soon found myself being the proud owner of a Honda XR200 dirtbike. The main problem I found with this bike besides having to kickstart it was that I could only reach the ground if I were on tiptoes! Jamey assured me however, that the suspension could be adjusted and also that I would tend to lean to one side or the other and be able to be flat footed when I need to stop. Thus began my journey of learning how to actually RIDE a two wheeled motorized machine!

After I mastered the art of riding around our yard, his Nana’s yard and his parent’s yard to "Master Jamey"s satisfaction, he finally decided I had GRADUATED! It was time to load up and take our FIRST TRIP TO PRENTICE COOPER, a local hotspot for trail riding, as well as being a National Forest atop a mountain.

To say I was excited was an understatement. I was all decked out in my motocross helmet and gloves. I waited anxiously while Jamey unteathered our bikes from our trailer. He then gave me some basic trail rules to follow so that we could stay together and stay safe. I halfway listened, just enough so he’d give me my bike (I sound like Jamey as a five year old)!

Off I go! I’m riding on a trail…a 4-wheeling trail! As you may well guess, something common on 4-wheel trails are major mud holes. Being the novice rider, I assumed I was supposed to actually ride THROUGH the mudholes like the trucks always do! BIG MISTAKE!

AS I AM CRAWLING ON MY HANDS AND KNEES OUT OF THE MUD HOLE with mud coming out of my ears, I notice Jamey had turned around and was coming back toward me. MAN, that means I was caught! I then manage to get up and try to pick my bike up out of the mudhole. Did I mention this is a HUGE MUDHOLE? Then Jamey helps me and we push the bike to the side of the trail while Jamey cools off and I think of what to say.

I literally looked like a mud wrestler. I was COVERED FROM HEAD TO TOE! In my defense, I would have made it all the way through had I not shifted to a false neutral instead of going on to 2nd gear! I just didnt shift hard enough!

This was NOT what Jamey wanted to hear. He was SHOCKED that I even chose to go INTO the mudhole! I asked him if we were not there to go 4-wheeling??? He then explained that we are on DIRTBIKES!!! We go AROUND the holes if at all possible! HE HAD NO IDEA HE WOULD HAVE TO EXPLAIN SUCH OBVIOUS THINGS!!! Well DUH, excuse me for wanting to have fun in the mud! I can at least check that off my list now!

It took awhile to get my bike to start again as I had gotten some things wet that were not supposed to be and that sort of thing, but no lasting damage at this point. 

NOW off to another trail! We ride for a few more minutes without incident. Then the trail starts getting a little rough in my opinion. Next thing I know, we are riding over a bunch of rocks…BIG ROCKS! I was NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!

SUDDENLY I hit a LARGE rock that literally launched me into the air. I landed onto the bank. I remembered that Jamey had told me while riding in Nana’s yard that if I ever were on her bank to accelerate and I’d stay on the bank instead of fall over…SO I APPLIED THIS KNOWLEDGE!

IT WORKED! I did NOT FALL OFF THE BANK and back onto the trail below. Instead, I went forward up the bank, at a high rate of speed I should add….UNTIL..I…HIT…A LOG…AND…A TREE…SIMULTANEOUSLY.

That’s right! I hit a log in the front which made my bike stop ABRUPTLY. I also hit a tree from the side as my handlbars flew out of my hands. The next thing I know my side hurts really bad because the handlbars had buried themselves into my side, but I’m still upright on the bike AND IN ONE PIECE!

I look around and assess the damage. It appears I am STUCK on top of the bank with the trail at least 6 ft below me. Jamey is nowhere in sight. I HEAR HIM, THOUGH! His bike was VERY LOUD.  Here he comes! I literally had to yell at the top of my lungs because he was looking for me on the trail, NOT UP IN THE AIR!  He drove past me TWICE before he heard me.

To say he was SHOCKED would be a good description. To say he was MAD would also be a good description. He literally picked the bike up and some passers by helped lift it down to the trail. The shifter had bent all the way up against the bike and was ruined. I have no idea how I managed NOT to break my foot. The handlebars were also in bad shape, but still worked. Because Jamey was on his dirtbike instead of the Grizzly, he had no tools with him. Fortunately, the passers by helping were on four wheelers and had a kit. They managed to bend the shifter down enough for me to get the bike to 2nd gear, but there was no getting it to 1st. Basically to get back to the truck, I had to start the bike, then shift to 2nd and gun it in hopes of not stalling out. Needless to say, I had to stop several times and kickstart over and over. Each time this happened, Jamey was more and more upset because I was also not very good at kickstarting it.  His patience was wearing VERY THIN. 

We finally made it back to the truck. My adreline rush had not quite subsided and I was still on cloud nine from my adventure. Little did I know the feelings Jamey was holding in. As I took my helmet off while he loaded my bike onto our trailer, I told him this was so much fun and I could not WAIT UNTIL OUR NEXT TRIP!

He said "THERE WILL NOT BE A NEXT TRIP!"

I froze in place as I stared at him. For the first time I really saw him. He was shaking all over, LITERALLY his entire body. My anger was building in me. I was 28 years old when I married Jamey and quite accustomed to taking care of myself. I am NEVER TOLD by ANYONE what I can and cannot do. Suggestions are fine, but this is CRAZY! My RAGE was starting to boil just under the surface, but I kept my peace and instead I jumped into the truck (more like limped as I was now starting to feel pain in places I had not previously realized I had injured from the adventures).

After Jamey got the bikes loaded, he got in the truck and I was ready for a battle. I was quite surprised however at what was said instead. He told me that yes, he had been very excited at the thought of riding bikes with me and sharing his passion for this hobby. This is true, but I was VERY WRECKLESS and seemed to have no regard for my own safety. He said that he felt very blessed to have met me and to have me for his wife.  He said he did not want to lose me. He said I could have easily been seriously hurt and he is not willing to risk that. This is why he does not want me to ride any more.

Instead of arguing, mainly because I was shocked that his reason for being mad was because he actually CARED SO MUCH and because he VALUED MY LIFE, I decided to take this as a compliment. I was very humbled and actually started crying. I know, typical girl. Jamey even often calls me a SAP (as in tree sap) because I am so sentimental and my eyes leak so easily. (a little side note for you).  I thought this anger he had over my safety was SO PRECIOUS. He had no idea how much it truly touched me. It was more fear than it was anger, SO I did something I do not often do.  I did not argue. I let him win that battle.  We never took that bike back to Prentice Cooper.

Instead, I got my in-laws to go with me to the Yamaha dealer one day while Jamey was at work. I traded my dirtbike that was too tall and uncomfortable for a Yamaha TTR125L that I COULD sit on and be flat-footed! I LOVED this little bike.  It felt GREAT to sit on!

AND Jamey’s response when he came home and saw my new motorcycle??? He coined a phrase for it as follows: 

"The dirtbike for big kids and little wives"

…SO THE OBSESSION CONTINUED…at least for a little while…

Laughter is good for the soul!

Teresa in Stitches

Anyone who knows my hubby very well knows he has a passion for motorcycles. 

They may NOT know that this has NOT always been the case!

The year was 1982.  ALL the Smith family had gathered for Christmas over at Papaw and Mamaw Smiths’ house.  Little did Jamey know that he was about to get one of those gifts that every child dreams of….a REAL MOTORCYCLE!  That’s right!  At 5 years old, Jamey’s parents had bought him his very first motorcycle! 

The motorcycle was a red Honda Z50 with a steel tank.  It had 3 speeds and was designed not to stall between shifts.  His Papaw Smith was very excited about showing him how to start it and how to change gears and apply brakes. 

As a 5 year old, Jamey also had a 5 year old attention span that was JUST long enough so that he could give a good interpretation of someone grasping instructions. Once his Papaw Smith THOUGHT Jamey understood enough of his instructions to turn him loose, he did just that!  

Jamey found himself RIDING HIS BRAND NEW MOTORCYCLE in his Papaw and Mamaw’s front yard! 

Jamey’s thoughts were racing.  They went something like this:

This is SO COOL!  I’m going fast!  Now what did Papaw say about shifting? Hmmmm…push on this pedal…and again…WHY DO I KEEP GETTING FASTER????  OH NO, HOW DO I SLOW DOWN??? 

Nothing about letting go of the accelerator or applying a brake EVER crossed his 5 year old mind.

By this time, Jamey was in top gear and TOP SPEED.  He WAS SCARED!  He was riding in circles with his Papaw chasing him around the yard yelling out instructions, but he could not understand ANYTHING that he was saying because he was concentrating so hard on trying to STOP. 

By some miracle, little 5 year old Jamey managed to walk away UNHARMED as he laid the bike over on its side in the yard.  The bike came to an immediate stop.  Jamey angrily stomped away from it and said “I’m never getting back on that bike again, that thing will get you killed!!!!”

Of course, being a MALE, he soon got over his fear and he rode dirtbikes until age 18.  He then went off to college and stopped riding.

While Jamey and I were on our honeymoon, he surprised me by turning our vehicle into a motorcycle shop.  He started drooling over a dirtbike.  The bike fever started AGAIN! 

Needless to say, when I was a little girl, whenever I thought of my wedding and then the honeymoon that would follow, I can HONESTLY SAY I do NOT REMEMBER the part where I dreamed I would go gun shopping, looking for expensive knives, shopping for high-end banjos OR BUYING A DIRTBIKE.  However, all of these became realities on my honeymoon.  Not only that, but they became regular vacation activities from that point on! 

I shall surprise some of my friends with the phrase “I even caught on to the fever at some point…” but this phrase deserves its own entry to really do it justice, so I shall save it as the title for my NEXT ENTRY…

Laughter is good for the soul!

Teresa in Stitches