Dad and I didn't get along so well when I was a kid. I was a mouthy, rebellious, rotten little thing, and the last thing I wanted to do -- was what I was told. (If I had a nickel for every time I said "You're not the boss of me," I wouldn't have to write grants for BSBO).
I was such a brat. Something my Mom still teases me about is the time that I said some VERY bad cuss words in front of my VERY religious Southern Baptist Grandma at a family get together. Everyone heard it, including my Dad, who promptly hauled me over to the sink to wash my mouth out with soap. The reason for my outburst was my very tiny, very cute, very blond, very pink cousin, Wendy, who was quite a brat in her own right. As my Grandma was passing out cups of juice, she threw herself a good old "Wendy fit" and insisted that she MUST have the red cup NOT the green one, to which I (all of about 7 years old) declared, "Jesus, it's just a God@#~* cup!" When my Dad got me over the sink (in the kitchen--in front of everyone, btw) and picked up the bar of soap, I started bellering really loud in my best shrieking 'Wendy impersonation'. My Dad asked why I was crying before he'd even gotten the soap in my mouth, and I said, "You're gonna use the GREEN soap and I want the PINK soap!" Aghhh, good times, good times.
Dad whipped us if we messed up, cursed us if we disappointed him, and, somewhere underneath all that rough farmer exterior, he loved us too. My Dad gave me some of the greatest gifts I will ever receive in life. He made me a hard worker. He made me self sufficient. He also gave me these people.
Me and my brothers and sisters.
left-right: Me (god, check out those glasses!) Laura, Tony, Tina, and Aaron "AJ". Tony is gonna kill me if he ever finds out that I posted this picture!
He looks so totally different now, as you'll see.
I don't have a recent photo of me with all my brothers and sisters.
This one was taken about six years ago.
god,..has it really been six years?!
Here's a more recent picture of me with Tony and AJ. Check out the change in Tony, on the left. He lost 40 pounds and started hitting the gym about three years ago; an amazing transformation. Tony lives in California, and this is a picture taken when he came for Thanksgiving a couple years ago. I wish he could be here this year...
It's a wonder that the five of us survived each other growing up. We fought like crazy, and with a Dad who had a penchant for things that went real fast, we always had dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and go carts to try and kill ourselves on. Of course, we always had to eat the cheapest crap (do any of you remember those big bags of 'Puffed Wheat' cereal? gaahh...!), and we always wore our cousins hand-me-down clothes. But, man-oh-man, did we have some fast stuff to ride!!
Even when we were just tiny little.