Sunday, January 08, 2006

I've Been Tagged!

Baron has tagged me with the latest germ being passed around the blogosphere--the Childhood Meme.

My life as a child (under 15) in 50 words or less: I was an only, late-in-life child and spent much of my time reading under the weeping willow tree, practicing the piano, doing schoolwork, and roaming forty open acres originally belonging to my grandfather. But I never felt lonely and learned the difference between loneliness and solitude.

Where were you a kid? Fairfax County, Virginia. We never moved! In fact, my father lived in sight of his birthplace until he and my mother sold the property in 1983.

Given the choice, were you barefoot or shoed [sic]? Barefoot, but my mother made and enforced the rule that shoes stayed on Labor Day through April 30.

Were you a city kid or a country kid? More a country kid than a city kid. We raised and slaughtered chickens. We also had an acre-large vegetable garden, as did my father's brother next door.

Stupidest thing you did before the age of 15: While my father was busy working in the pit of our automotive garage, I found the gallon bucket of white paint--lead-based, no doubt. Being a mischievous four-year-old, I dipped both of my hands into the bucket and put my hand prints all over the black tarpaper on the inside of the garage doors. Lots of scrubbing with gasoline was required to remove that paint from my hands, and for several days I had white paint under my fingernails.

Do you know how to play Kick the Can? Yes, but we were more likely to kick play Kick A Rock.

What else did you play in groups? Baseball, basketball, dodgeball, and tag (Prisoners' Darebase), all on the schoolyard. Because of where I grew up, there was only one neighbor with a child my age; my cousins next door were six to ten years older than I and weren't at all interested in playing any games with their baby cousin.

Worst injury? A stray dog bit me on the forearm all the way to the bone. I still get questions about the hideous scar.

Do you agree with Bob Seger’s line in Against the Wind, “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then”? Yes, since 9/11. But knowledge is power.

Even if you don't care to play, I've tagged you anyway: Mustang, Esther, and Mr. Beamish.

16 Comments:

At 1/08/2006 12:54 PM, Blogger LASunsett said...

"[S]tupidest thing you did before the age of 15"

Honestly AOW, I really don't recall getting stupid until 16. Then, the stupid syndrome with all of its signs and symptoms, REALLY kicked in.

Eight weeks of screaming drill sergeants pretty much took care of that.

 
At 1/08/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger Esther said...

That was awesome, AOW. Loved your answers. OK, I'll give this a try over at the Blogway but I won't be tagging anyone. :)

 
At 1/08/2006 5:36 PM, Blogger eyesallaround said...

Stupidest thing - I think was 15 and my mom let me drive the car into the garage (HUGE mistake). I thought since it was so big and heavy, it would roll to a stop. It did stop, after flattening the garden cart! I was banished from behind the wheel of the car, and took driving lessons prior to getting my license:>)

Great info AOW. I've grown to have the greatest admiration for the people of the "deep south"... Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, etc. Tough, strong people.

 
At 1/08/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger Elmer's Brother said...

I carry a scar from when my brothers and I tried to get a .22 caliber bullet from my dad's dresser drawer to go off with a match. I was the only one that got hurt, but it makes a good story. I can say that I was shot once.

Keep that paint away from AOW.

 
At 1/08/2006 6:57 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

Oh so you are really a Southern girl.
I must visit the Southern States one day.

 
At 1/08/2006 8:18 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Elmer's Brother,
Keep that paint away from AOW.

LOL. I guess that I got any desire to paint out of my system very early. I do as little as possible. My last painting project, back in 1998, was redoing the Adirondack chairs, which are well preserved antiques. Oil-based paint is required and lasts at least 10 years.

And, as you know, I'm constantly battling the whitewash of Islam. Maybe the roots of my disgust with whitewash go back to the childhood experience I related.

Fantastic "I got shot" story, EB!

 
At 1/08/2006 8:56 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Eyes,
This first time my parents allowed me to drive the car, I hit the gas instead of the brake and took out a huge shrub. I've never liked driving into a garage--too confining and little room for error.

 
At 1/08/2006 8:59 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Felis and Eyes,
Virginia is a Southern state, though Northern Virginia, a transient area, is filled with Yankess. People in other parts of the state consider Northern Virginia an entity all its own.

My father's parents originated from the Shenandoah Valley, and my mother from the hills of eastern Tennessee. Don't mess with those hillbillies!

 
At 1/08/2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

LA,
Honestly AOW, I really don't recall getting stupid until 16. Then, the stupid syndrome with all of its signs and symptoms, REALLY kicked in.

Eight weeks of screaming drill sergeants pretty much took care of that.


ROTFL. My husband had exactly the same experience!

 
At 1/08/2006 9:02 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Esther,
You are so considerate of others!

 
At 1/08/2006 9:42 PM, Blogger eyesallaround said...

"My father's parents originated from the Shenandoah Valley, and my mother from the hills of eastern Tennessee"

Tennessee...my latest love.... Andrew Jackson. Hy hero! I'm jealous. So much history. Such heros! I know why you've got your head on straight.

God bless Tennesse, and God bless America!

 
At 1/08/2006 9:45 PM, Blogger Esther said...

AOW, LOL!!! Don't nominate me for sainthood (well, you know what I mean) any time soon. I just don't want people to yell at me. ;) It used to bum me out to get tagged but I guess I'm mellowing with age... finally.

 
At 1/09/2006 5:52 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I didn't know at first what being tagged meant. Am I a newbie, or what?

 
At 1/09/2006 8:10 PM, Blogger Mike's America said...

I'm not mellowing with age... quite the contrary. I am so glad you did not care to tag me... I do not at all feel left out.

I much more enjoyed your invite to comment on treason... But then I'm becoming quite the crank as I enter middle age.

 
At 1/10/2006 2:41 AM, Blogger samwich said...

Hi AOW, I've waited to comment while I work up the nerve.

OK, between the summer of the sixth and seventh grade my cousins taught me how to make a match gun out of a clothes pin. It would shoot a lighted stick match about 20 feet. My brother and I were playing in an alley behind our homes and the neighbors garage abutted our yard. We were directly behind her garage so my mom wouldn't see us. I shot a match straight up into the air to see how far up it would go. I also watched the breeze waft it onto the neighbor's 50 year old cedar shingle garage roof. It took about 5 minutes to burn the shingles off to the sheathing.

As a result I got to spend the 7th grade as a guest of the state in Reform School. I was there for one school year.

No I will not teach any of you how to make a match gun or napalm.

S

 
At 1/10/2006 10:48 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich,
My husband knows how to make such a "gun." Considering he grew up in the hills of Pasadena, where fire is always a risk during the dry season (The family house burned to the ground during the 1993 Altadena Wildfires), it's a wonder that he didn't set fire to something.

Well, we all do stupid things. And some of us get caught. I'm glad you worked up the nerve to tell us this little anecdote. Frankly, I know quite a few who've spent time in reform school (or who came dangerously close); most are fine people today.

I wonder if you would receive such a harsh punishment today.

Your story reminds be a bit of Rob (?) in Louisa May Alcott's Jo's Boys; he was smoking behind the barn and burned the building down.

 

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