It was either my 6th birthday, or my 7th, that I got my first bike. It was a beautiful red, unfortunately my birthday is in the middle of winter, so I had to wait until spring to learn to ride it. I rode for sometime with the training wheels, then decided I wanted to learn to ride without them. My dad turned me loose in the yard, and I remember tipping into the house, running into the fence etc. But eventually, I was able to stay up without falling. I was so proud!
Colored Easter Eggs was my favorite game to play. I wish I could remember all the rules! One person would be the witch, and the rest would be the Easter eggs. As eggs, we had to scrunch down as small and tight as we could to look like eggs. Each egg would have it's own color, and the witch would have to come and guess what color we were. I don't remember what happened next, if we had to run to a base, or if we just traded places, but then someone else became the witch. (If you know how this game played out. . .I would love to know!)
In order to go to the Jerome's I had to scale the fence. They lived behind us, across the alley, but we didn't have a gate to go through. I don't know if my dad taught me how to scale the fence, but I would fly over it with one quick move. The fence was made of 1x4s hung horizonally on some posts. I would run at the fence, put my right hand on a lower board, crook my left elbow on the top of the fence and flip my feet up and over to the left, landing on my feet on the other side. (Now, that I think about it, maybe this is why I went out for the high jump later in track.)
When I was in the second grade, my dad was in a mining accident. The arm on the mucking machine broke and came down on his collar bone, breaking it in two. He had to spend 2-3 days in the hospital in Kellogg. The family would say, it's a good thing he was bent over, or it could have come down on his head. We went up to see him in the hospital, and because my sister and I were too young to go into his room, he came out to the lobby to visit with us in his hospital pjs. I was so scared for him, and upset about the whole thing, I determined I'd never marry a miner. The work was too dangerous.
A few years ago, I found out my dad thought that I was set against marrying a miner, because I was ashamed of his profession. "Oh, no," I told him, "it was because of your accident. I was so afraid of losing you, I couldn't bear marrying someone who worked in such a dangerous job." I wish I had told him sooner.
As some of you know, when I married the Hunk, he was in school to become a mining engineer. I had no idea that could be dangerous. In the first two years after he graduated, he worked at the Crescent mine, and had one horrific accident and one close call. The close call involved a live wire, hanging down that almost hit the man train he was on. The accident, which still gives me the shivers, I will blog about later.
There was a fire at Nickerson Bros., when we lived in Smelterville. It was at night and the fire lit up the sky to the west of our place. Our family walked over to see what was going on, but we didn't get too close. I was concerned because there was just a house between the building that burned and our house.
Large Holiday Gatherings
We had at least one large Christmas dinner at our place in Smelterville. We had quite a few tables set up in the dining / living room area. The Caldwells came, Dorothy & Glen and several of their adult offspring, spouses and children. The table was loaded with food and there wasn't much room to move around. The house was always hot on the holidays with hot food and numerous people milling around.
The Wizard of Oz
Every year, just before the holidays, one of the networks would show the Wizard of Oz on television. We would watch it faithfully, and soon afterwards I would start having tornado dreams. I wasn't scared of the witch, or her ugly monkeys, probably because I knew they were pretend, but I was deathly afraid of the tornado.
When my husband and I moved to Texas in 1986, I was hoping we would not be subjected to these horrible freaks of nature. However, we settled in "Tornado Alley" without a storm cellar or a basement. In fact, the first weekend we were there, we were under a tornado watch and the girls and I spent the night in the motel bathroom. I may blog later about the storm situation in Texas later, but the point is, my tornado dreams returned when we moved there.
Occasionally now, I have tornado dreams. Usually they involve numerous tornadoes, long skinny, black ones, headed right for our house. In my dreams, I usually get everyone into the basement in a small, safe spot before they hit, but I don't enjoy those dreams. (As a result of my experience, stemming from watching the Wizard of Oz when I was young, I don't think I let my girls watch it until they were in the pre-teen years.)