There were unspoken and implied rules. My personal favorites were the implied ones, open to interpretation. These were based on old adages such as, “If everyone else jumped off the top of the house would you?” The obvious answer was, I’d probably have been the first to jump, then swear I was pushed when some other dumb butt jumped and got hurt, implicating me as the ringleader.
Anyway, Connie and Marilyn battled over a stuffed doll named Applesauce. Mother eventually had to wash Applesauce. They both kept dragging Applesauce off the line, dirtying her up before she could dry. Mother told me to go put Applesauce somewhere in the hot sun to dry where the little ones couldn’t reach her. What better place than the peak of the house! I’d recently noticed the lightning rods and knew from experience, I’d be in big trouble if caught on the roof for no good reason. Taking Applesauce and a toddler chair, I strolled to the peak of the housetop, putting Applesauce in the brightest spot I could find. I perused the view, checked out the lightning rod and antenna, since I’d never had the chance before. When I was satisfied, I climbed back down the handy tree, and went on about my business.
Mrs. Wallace was a nosy, old biddie, obviously blind as a bat. When she went out to hang out her towels on the line, she spied Applesauce sunning on the rooftop. Like an idiot, she inferred it was one of the girls up there. She flew over, rousing Mother in a panic. Fortunately, Mother located them napping, then went out to see what the flap was about. Mother was always partial to Phyllis, never even accusing her of wrong-doing. She went straight for me, threatening to murder me. Then she realized she’d be in more trouble than I was if Daddy came home and found that doll on the housetop. Though she was sure I’d fall and kill myself, despite the proof to the contrary, she sent me back up to retrieve Applesauce and the chair. Fortunately, Applesauce was dry. I got to the ground about three minutes before Daddy pulled in. I don’t know why Mother was always so unreasonable over little things.