I Might Not Be Right but….

Growing up on a farm in the sixties had its bright spots.  Farm life was long on work, but we were at liberty to swim and fish in the pond and ride horses when we weren’t working. My brother and I counted on riding late Saturday afternoons and every Sunday after church with friends, then maybe swimming later in the day in the summer.  It was the high point of our week.  Winter wasn’t so bad because there wasn’t so much work and there were school and friendships to look forward to.  That tells you a lot about how much social life we had, doesn’t it?

When I was a young child, I adored Daddy who was very indulgent and loving, but as I aged out as a small child and became a girl, I felt he withdrew his love.  This was extremely cruel and painful.  I felt as though my heart had been amputated.

Daddy was fiercely stern, certainly not worried about being a friend to his children.  He was proud of taking a stand, always being right.  More than once, I remember him him saying, “I may not be right, but I am never wrong,”  feeling it was a weakness to back down.

By the time I was a teenager on the farm, the work on the farm was unrelenting, particularly during the summer months. My brother and I spent hours every day at tasks Daddy had assigned us and with him when he was home, an altogether miserable experience. Through the misery of the long week, we looked forward to our Saturday and Sunday afternoons off.  I even looked forward to church, remarkable for me, since I’d never cared for the monotony of church, but it was a rare chance to see friends over the summer. Our only socialization was family activities.

One Sunday I was impatiently helping Mother cooking Sunday dinner after church, just like always I had to, wild to be cut loose to go riding, when I saw Daddy open the pasture gate for the neighbor girl, Kim on her horse and her friend Susie on “my horse, Pixie ” while I was still stuck in the kitchen, like a mindless drudge. No one had even had the consideration to mention the plan to me, though all three knew I rode every Sunday. I was livid.  I went straight to Daddy and asked if it was true, “Did you really loan my horse without saying anything to me?”  It’s a wonder he didn’t knock my teeth out!

“I did.  I bought that horse.  I pay for every bite that goes in its mouth and yours.  That horse and everything on this place belongs to me.”

I turned and went back in the house, more determined than ever, that no one would ever own me.

Later that evening, I had the shock of my life.  My father came as close to apologizing as he ever did.  He said.  “I should have asked you if you were going to ride before I loaned that horse.”  I cried as I wrote this.  Maybe he was softer than I thought.  I wish I could talk this over with him today.  I know I have hurt my kids without meaning to.

“He did.”

Dear Auntie Linda, August 7, 2015

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, I am retired and live in a nice neighborborhood in the suburbs in the Northeast in a college town.  The taxes are very high in our neighborhood.  I need to rent out my upstairs apartment to cover my taxes.  It is a one bedroom with a small sitting room and bath, including a microwave, fridge but no kitchen.  The renter would have to share my back entry way.  My point is, I have had an application from a nice middle-aged woman who is a college student.  Her daughter is also a student and would want to stay here on weekends.  The woman has a dog.  I really hadn’t thought of renting to someone who had a dog or would have regular guests.  Additionally, this woman is very obese and had difficulty with the stairs.  She will have to walk nearly a mile to the train.  She also has bad credit.  I would like to help her, but I am afraid I will end up with a big problem if I rent to her.  What do you advise?   Need the rent.

Dear Need,  This lady sets off a lot of alarms.  If she has trouble with the stairs, a dog, and is planning for an “occasional” guest, I suspect you’ll have two full-time roomers and a dog who messes up the house a lot because it doesn’t get walked.  I wouldn’t ever rent to someone with bad credit.  I strongly suggest you tell her this won’t work for you.  It is very hard to get rid of a bad renter.   Run, run, run!

Dear Auntie Linda, i am eighty years old.  I never talked back to my parents in my life.  No matter how upset, I became with them, I just swallowed my feelings and kept my mouth shut.  I am glad now I didn’t ever sass them.  My kids are good people in their fifties and sixties and often answer sharply, or dispute with me.  I don’t understand why they do thisi raised them to be respectful.  I would have felt so guilty if I had ever crossed Mama or snapped at her.  Hurt feelings.

Dear Hurt, I am glad you feel good about never having had conflict with your mother.  It’s hard to imagine, in your whole life, you never lost you patience once.  Either she had you completely buffaloed or you were a saint.  Some conflict is normal, especially if you spend much time together.  You sound like a fine person.  I’ll bet your kids feel bad if they do snap at you.  I surely would.

Dear Auntie Linda,  My husband and I had wanted a baby for a couple of years.  We had a little boy a month ago.  I feel so guilty.  I feel absolutely nothing for this baby except frustration with all the crying, baby care, and sleep loss.  I wonuldn’t care if I never picked him up.  My husband just dotes on him.  Other new mothers act like they adore their babies.  I pretend to care, but I feel nothing but frustration for my lost good life.  What kind of monster am I?  Icy Mama

Dear Icy, Sounds like post-partum depression.  Talk your husband and doctor today.  You need medical and family support immediately.  Auntie Linda

Samsonite

Reblog from Vanbytheriver

vanbytheriver

There was a recent news story about airport terminal baggage theft. It seems to be so easy to walk up to the luggage carousel and lift a bag undetected. Not all airports have security guards at the exits, matching claim tickets to the bag in question.

They recommended using bright or unusual colors, since the popular black bags could be removed, unnoticed by the owner.  One reporter joked that might use your mother’s old Samsonites from the 1960’s.Sam

That would be mine. The set of 3 pieces were given to me by my parents as a high school graduation gift. They reinforced the message that all of us had heard since we were teenagers.

Eighteen and Out.

After high school, we were to be out of my parents’ home. It was college, or military service, our own business, whatever.

My father never had a role model in his own childhood…

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