Today’s Blast From the Past

June 6th, 2006 – A Day in the Life

Starbucks Coffee

I order. “Mocha Frappacino, venti, please. Yes, put all the unhealthy stuff on it. Oh, and I’d like a banana muffin, too!” I casually extend my arm from the window with the Starbuck’s card held jauntily between my fingers. The kid at the window makes a grab for the card, misses it and the thing goes flying out of my hand and under my car. UNDER MY CAR.

I am dressed up: skirt, blouse, high-heels, and my hair is just so. I open my car door and look down. No card. I step out of the car and kneel down. Still I cannot see the card. Of course the heel of my shoe has caught on the hem of my skirt. I lose my balance and topple into the car, leaving a clean spot on the driver’s door. Luckily most of the grime has landed on my hands and my arms which — thank you, God — are wash and wear.

I step back into my car, put it in gear and backup about 12 inches. I might have backed up another two or three inches, but the fellow in the bright red SUV behind me was honking his horn and yelling, “Stop! Stop!” I am not sure why. There were still three or four inches between our bumpers. Maybe he thought I didn’t see him?

Anyway, I get out of my car again and there is my Starbuck’s card, just peeking from beneath the edge of my front bumper. I grab the card and turn to present it to the kid behind the drive-thru window. He says, “Keep it, Lady. This is on me.” Darn, I think as I’m driving away. I should have ordered two muffins.


June 6th, 2006 — The Grownups Wanted Us Dead

The Swing Set

The daily injury report from the swing set ranged from paltry half-inch blood blisters to gruesome compound fractures complete with protruding bone and gore. I suppose the swings themselves were not really dangerous – but, oh, the things we did with them!

Playground swings no longer seem to exist, so incase you’ve never seen one, here’s a description: ten foot high steel frame; two sets of tripod legs, between them spanned a four inch steel pipe; suspended from the pipe were pairs of heavy steel chains; each pair of chains was connected to a thick, black, rubber seat.

The Winton School swing set had four seats. Four seats – if you’re a kid you know that means at least a dozen kids can play on the set at once. But sometimes – sometimes someone would get greedy – he’d want a whole swing for himself. One kid I remember in particular who did not like to share the swing was my cousin, Rumble.

I don’t know why I always competed with Rumble; whenever I tried I always lost – spectacularly. For instance one day we left Gram’s house – Caution, Rumble, Angel, Smiley, Tattle and I – headed for the playground. Somebody called dibs on a swing, I don’t remember whom, but they were echoed by five other voices. We went from walking to rushing, to running and shoving in three seconds flat — because every child knows that calling dibs doesn’t mean a dang thing unless you can enforce the claim.

Caution was the eldest, had the longest legs, and naturally was the strongest runner. He was going to win. Tattle was the baby and she was going to win because we didn’t want to hear the whining and the crying (from the grownups) if she didn’t. That left four kids and two swings. Angel and Grin headed for one. Rumble and I headed for the other. I have no idea how the girls’ race went, but Rumble and I were neck and neck, arms outstretched, until we were just a few yards from the swing.

Now, I don’t know if it was because Rumble was taller and his arm a little longer than mine, or if he’d pulled just a millimeter ahead, but I realized his hand was going to grasp the chain just before mine could; so I did the only sensible thing – I jumped.

So what if Rumble had the chain? If my body occupied the seat, obviously the swing would be mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!

I launched myself into the air; arms outstretched, and flew like Wonder Woman. Guess what? Linda Carter I’m not. Rumble’s fingers wrapped around the chain and he pulled. The swing lurched drunkenly to the left and, instead of doing a spectacular swan dive into the seat of the swing, I did a beautiful belly-flop into the dirt and gravel beneath it.

Twice in my life I have had the wind knocked out of me. It is not an experience I recommend. However, if you have the great, good-fortune to have Rumble as a cousin you are truly blessed. He abandoned the swing immediately and came to stand over me – in fact, all of my wonderful cousins did – and they made such helpful suggestions; things like: “Breathe!” “Talk to me!” and, “Stop turning blue!”

Tattle asked, “Is she dying?”

If I had had the breath I would have answered, “Not until after I kill Rumble.”

Blast From the Past

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Children’s Games

5th grade bar-b-que
142 eleven year-olds
I am looking for one child. His name is Marco.
I yell loudly, “Marco!”
141 students respond,


The Grownups Wanted Us Dead

Winton Elementary School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was built on the edge of a cliff. There was a 35-foot embankment not ten yards from the back door where I lined up every morning before fourth grade.

There was no fence. There was no barbed wire. There were no patrol dogs. THERE WERE NO CONCERNED PARENTS.

We were told to stay away from the cliff, the grownups of my childhood thought that was sufficient. If some child wandered too close and fell off, the general response was: “Damn idiot kid. He was told to stay away from there. Don’t know what his problem is. When that back-brace comes off I’m tanning his stupid hide.”

The cliff wasn’t all though – there was also the playground equipment; that we weren’t told to stay away from. In fact, if a day at school didn’t sufficiently maim enough kids, our parents would send us back after school. “Get out from under my feet! Go play on the playground. I’ll call you for dinner.”

I don’t know why we never figured out that the grownups were trying to kill us. They’d paint us in Mercurochrome, paste band-aids on us, or brace us with splints, and push us right back out the door.

We went willingly — and called it fun.


On June 1st, 2006 I penned my first post.  It was a pretty anticlimactic beginning.  I had spent days choosing the template and thinking wondrous thoughts and anticipating my June 1 starting date — and when the time came, I had nothing to say.  (I know some of you are boggled by that thought.)

My first post:

My Own Blog

Today I decided I would start my own blog. All week long while thinking about this I had a dozen or so witty things to say. Now here I am and my mind is blank. Blank. Blank. Blank. Sigh. These are the things that make up the typical days in my life.

The comments:

Terrace said…
YAY! Hopefully another helpless blog addict is on her way

Doug said…
I’m curious. Had you blogged before and this is the first that’s yours or are you new to blogging?

QuillDancer said…
New — new, new, new, new, new — doesn’t it show?

I had been reading Terrace’s blog for years (still do) and she is essentially responsible for me starting my own blog — the pusher who began my addiction, as she clearly admits! And Doug holds the distinction of being the first stranger to comment on my blog.  I am glad to claim him now as friend.

Also, my first blog was on Blogspot.  The title was, “A Day in The Life,” and I had my template custom made.  It’s still up.  Pop on over and take a look.  Oh how times change!  LOL!