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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Moody and Me.........."The Hidden Treasure"

In the top chest of drawers in my mom and dad's bedroom lies a hidden treasure. I don't really know how long it has been there, but I am thinking for a very long time. My cousin, Moody, and I discovered it by accident. We were putting away some laundry when we found it. We were not looking for it, or any treasure at all for that matter. But there it was, hidden deep, buried beneath a mountain of underwear, socks, and handkerchiefs. I remember that it was cool to the touch. Not large, not small, kind of skinny and tall, and it sure did peak our curiosity! We HAD to investigate a little farther. We HAD to see what it was!! With my sweaty nervous hands wrapped around the coolness, I brought it up through the maze and it glittered and sparkled like a precious gem in the bright sunlight! The prettiest amber color you have ever seen! Our eyes widened at the sight, as we looked at each other a HUGE smile lit both of our lips. Well, well, well, YEP! this should be fun! Low and behold, we had found my dad's stash!! His golden treasure! His hidden bottle of PEACH BRANDY!!!!!!!

O.k. I feel the need to explain myself here. LOLOLOLOL Any of you that really know me, know that I am not a drinker nor have ever been. But there is just something about being a teenager that just makes one do things that they know they shouldn't....this just happens to be one of those things! Seems like Moody and I were kind of always finding ourselves in this situation. Don't know if I influenced her or she me, which ever it was, we were a pair, joined at the hip in those days, and once again, here we were......

So as the story goes..... Moody and I looked that bottle up and down, and I say,"HUMMMM, You go first"...she did! She was a very good bluff, because she says back to me ..."It's not too bad." O.k. my turn, and I take a big gulp........... HHHoooLLLLyyy CrAAAAp!.... I am thinking now that I probably said worse! LOL But you know how teens are, we couldn't let this golden opportunity pass by, that's when we came up with the idea of mixing it with something to take the 'sting' away! Surely that would be better than drinking it raw from the bottle. So, we open the refrigerator to see what could be a possibility, and the only thing we found was some Wagoner Orange Juice and some Real-O Lemon juice. This was gonna be good!..... We used these little orange juice glasses that mom had, (you know the ones you used to get out of washing powder? Had silvery gray leaves on them?).. They made great shot glasses! LOL 1/2 orange juice, almost 1/2 peach brandy and dab of lemon juice!... OH MY!! Talking about nasty!!! Made the eyes water and the throat burn as well. But I guess it was the excitement of doing it that kept us making them. Don't know how many of these we forced down, but everything was beginning to get really funny! We kept sampling the bottle and acting stupid and feeling very giddy at the thought of just what we were doing, until the bottle was about half gone, maybe a little more...... Then as usual.. it was reality time! What are we gonna do now? We are dead meat when dad finds this! Now that was a VERY sobering thought! See, I was an angel, you know, I would have never done anything like that! HA! The only thought then in my mind was...'Dad is gonna beat me to death.' Well, we couldn't put it back in the drawer less than half full.... so our minds start racing and all of a sudden we come up with a wonderful idea!!............

My brother was living back at home with us for a while. He hadn't been home from Viet Nam very long, and anyone that knew him back then knows that sometimes he would drown his sorrow's in his liquor... WWWEEELLLLLLLLLL Moody and I had the grandest idea, we would just add some water to the bottle and bury it back in the drawer and when dad saw it, he would just think that my brother had been having a drink from it!... Perfect! (we didn't think about the water weakening the brandy, or changing the color of it.)

Fast forward a couple of days.. It is the weekend and dad decides he needs a drink of his peach brandy. He opens his drawer and finds the amber colored bottle and takes him a big gulp! Moody and I are in the bedroom and all of a sudden we hear him going into a cussing fit! Went something like this:

"*****Dammit boy, if you want a drink out of my bottle then just get a drink, you don't have to sneak around and then fill it back up with water".....

My brother- "I didn't drink your damn brandy and I didn't put no water in it"....

Dad- "don't tell me you didn't put water in it, I know what it is suppose to taste like"....

brother- I am telling you I haven't touched your bottle..........

And so it went, back and forth, neither one of them could convince the other that they were both right. Moody and I are laying on the bed and burying our heads in the pillows because we were laughing so hard it hurt! Each time one of them would say something we would laugh a little harder. We finally straightened up enough that we made it out the front door and over to the school ground across the street from my house, and just laid out in the grass and laughed till we cried! IT WORKED!!! Hallelujah it worked!! We made a faithful promise to God Almighty that we would never do that again! Yeah Right! We did......just not to the extreme to where we had to add water to it to hide the evidence.

As I have became an adult.. it just baffles me that neither dad, mom, nor my bother ever had the thought that it could have been us girls as the culprits! We were both basically good kids, despite all of these stories I have told you in the past, LOLOL, and I guess it just didn't enter their minds that we would do such a thing.

Moody nor I have ever forgotten about the hidden treasure that we found in my dad's top dresser drawer. Anytime we are together we still, to this day, have a good laugh over it. Such precious memory's! I would do it all over again today if I could. The fun, the laughter, the innocence, the braveness, no worries about life beyond 'what are we gonna do now.'

As I bring the saga of 'Moody and Me' to a close, I know that there are several more stories that I could add. Maybe someday I will. We shared so much together as kids....Barbie dolls, umbrellas, bicycle rides back to the woods, double dates, boyfriends... and the list goes on and on... I think I could write from now till forever and not cover all of the fun times we had together. I wish that all kids could have a special cousin or friend to share their childhood with, as I did. I hope that someday she has a chance to read all of my stories, and that she knows how much she means to me. We don't get to see each other very often anymore, but she still lives very close to my heart. Reminds me of a song I once heard many years ago. The chorus goes something like this:

I owe you so much my dear friend,
for all of those treasured times.
For you've made me a better person,
Thanks, for being in my life!

From my heart to yours!................................................

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moody and Me.........Cake on the Ceiling

As always, something I say, do, hear, or see, triggers a precious memory of my childhood. A couple weeks ago my grand children came to spend the night with us and this time it was my grandson, Aidan, acting silly,(in which he is famous for) when he said..."I want cake! I want cake! Lets bake a cake!" I was in the middle of making taco's for supper, and immediately my mind hurled back once again to a hot summer day in the late 1960's.

If you have read any of my previous stories in the 'Moody and Me' saga, then you know how we always spent those precious summer months at each others house. This particular time it was her turn to be at my house.

Mom and dad were at work so that left two teenage girls, unsupervised, with way too much time on their hands. My mom worked a swing shift at the local nursing home, and this was her week to work 'mornings'. It was also house cleaning day for Moody and me. It was my job in the summer months to keep the house clean while Mom worked.....Sooooo with the old box radio tuned in to KDEX, and 'Joy to the World' blaring as loud as possible we started our daily housecleaning chores. Now with music like that playing, making beds, sweeping, dusting, and mopping the floors was a breeze. We soon had the whole house gleaming and smelling like Pine Sol and lemon wax. We had worked really hard and Mom was going to be proud of our efforts for sure...

With the house work behind us, it was time to laze around for a couple hours, as most teens do. I suppose a hunger pain struck when one of us made mention of "sure wish we had something sweet to eat". When the other says.."I know, lets bake a cake!" (Since this was like 45 years ago, I am assuming that we were making a homemade cake, and NOT a cake mix in a box.) Moody might can tell you more of the details than I. I don't remember if it was white,yellow, or chocolate, never the less, we started out with a very serious attempt to bake this cake.

Everything was going great in our cake making adventure, until.........wheather it was a flick of the wrist with a batter drenched spatula, or one of us brought the mixer beaters up to fast, but all of a sudden we were both sprayed with cake batter.............and.........THE FIGHT WAS ON!!!!!!!!!! Not a real fight of course, but a cake batter fight! We started out flicking it at each other and before long we were throwing that stuff with spoons, spatulas, mixer beaters, and handfuls. Jumping, running, dodging and not giving a second thought as to just where it all was landing. Laughing and screaming like two real idiots, chasing each other throughout the house and even out the front door, all while the radio was still blaring as loud as possible. I am sure that anyone that happened to be walking down the sidewalk in front of the house, thought that we had lost our minds.

After we had demolished the whole bowl of batter, and our laughter began to subside somewhat, reality then set in...............I will never forget the first words out of her mouth..........'HHHOOOLLLYYY SSS*****TTTT'..........Still makes me laugh today to remember the look on her face and the colorful obscenities!! MY first thought of course was, 'Mom is gonna kill us both'. We both looked at each other, did a very quick 360, and then at the clock at the exact same time. Our minds racing trying to figure out just how much time we had to clean the mess up before Mom walked in the door. I don't remember the exact amount, but lets just say that we had to work like two speed demons to get it all cleaned up with not a minute to spare.

In walks my Mom, all hot, tired and red faced from a hard days work, and here we sat like two little precious angels with the house smelling from the stench of pine sol (AGAIN) so fresh and potent, and swet dripping from our brow. She sang our praise for what a wonderful job we had done with the house cleaning and how very much she appreciated our efforts. All the while we were trying our darnedest to keep straight faces. Then one of us looked up! Huge eyeballs! Big gulp! There on the ceiling of the kitchen was a big glob of cake batter. Getting ready to make its debut! And that wasn't counting all of the little splats we seen! WE LOST IT AGAIN, Laughter overwhelmed us! Out the front door we went in a hysterical fit. Mom just thought we were two very silly teenage girls. We had to catch mom in the bathroom or outside before we could hop up in a chair and clean the ceiling off, before she seen it too!

I really don't remember if we ever got that cake baked or not. If we did, we were probably more careful, but one thing I am sure of, we were laughing all the while we made it. ........

OH MY! what a precious memory! I don't bake cakes very often anymore. My husband loves cake but he is a diabetic, and not suppose to eat much sweets. But I can tell you this, that when I do bake one, the thought of  'cake on the ceiling' always crosses my mind and puts a smile on my face. So to my Moody I say, 'It was one of the most fun filled times that we ever had together.' One that is etched in my memory forever.... Soooo Have a piece a cake, and think about me, as I will you, Always!......

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Moody and Me..............."Just a Swingin"

We, Moody and I were about 12 years old, and at the age where kids like to experiment with all sorts of things that their parents don't know about. I have often wondered why kids do things when they know if they get caught, it isn't going to be pretty. Maybe it is rebellion to a certain degree, maybe just the thrill of knowing you have defied your parents. Maybe a 'dare' 'double dare' type of thing. I suppose that most all of us have had this little honory streak in us at one time or another, nevertheless, in the summer of 1965, I found myself faced with one of these decisions, and I confess, I chose honory.....................................

My mom and dad had leased the old Bell City Pool Hall/Cafe and they both worked very long hours. Sometimes, more often than not, I was what I would call 'less than supervised.' I just kind of wondered around and took care of myself, especially in the summer months when school was out. Although I was normally a good kid, somewhere along the way I decided that I needed a new form of entertainment. So nothing due but I try my hand at smoking cigarettes. I don't know how the idea got into my head. Maybe from watching all of the teens coming in the cafe and seeing them smoke. After all my dad smoked. My brothers smoked. My sister in laws smoked. Some of my aunts and uncles smoked. My cousins smoked....... well, you get the picture. Or maybe I just wanted to feel grown up like all of those teenagers I would see doing it........Never the less, there was a special spot underneath the cash register where mom and dad kept all of the tobacco inventory. It was open and easy to get to, so I had no trouble at all catching mom in the kitchen and 'sneaking' a pack or two of my favorite brands. I think through those summer months that I tried every kind they made at one time or another. I got really good at it too, with sneaking them out, and puffing. It got to where it didn't even make me sick anymore.

Thus enters my dear cousin, Moody.................. Now, I had to teach Moody all about cigarette smoking. I think she was quite the rookie. I am thinking that she was a little intimidated at first, but it wasn't long until she could puff with the best of them. I also had to teach her how to sneak in and catch the parents not looking and swipe a pack or two from underneath the counter. We would grab and run!!!! And laugh all the way to one of our favorite places which was on top of Brown's Hill. Talking about privacy!! We could be sheltered behind a couple of big rocks and not one soul would know that we were there...we didn't think about all of the smoke floating around in the air. I am pretty sure that I remember Mr. B. Rust running us off of that hill a time or two.

Another one of our favorite places to 'hide' and smoke was behind the cafe. The Shell station, a thriving business at the time, had four really, really big gas tanks behind the cafe building.. There was this little shed that held four long thick hoses, probably 4 or 6 inches thick, with a nozzle at the end. The two Mr Trophs would drive their gas trucks over and fill them up out of these large tanks. It didn't take Moody and I long to discover that these hoses made great swings. We would literally sit on the hoses, 8 or 10 feet in the air and swing, swing, swing. So that became our next favorite smoking spot............OH YES!! IT WAS!!! Looking back, I am sure that there was a band of angels that kept their hands over the two of us.. It is a wonder we didn't blow up the whole town!! I guarantee you, being kids, we were not careful with it either....never gave it a second thought. I have no idea how many times we would sit up on those hoses for hours and smoke, laugh, and swing. I can assure you this, if my dad would have caught us, I probably would not be sitting here writing this story. I am quite sure I would have had the same result if either one of the Mr Trophs would have caught us too.

Our smoking adventures continued for the next few years. When we were at her house we would sneak out to the old outhouse and light one up. Thinking we were hid of course, not realizing again that our smoke was escaping right through the big cracks in the walls.. I remember that Moody's sister caught us one time. She seen the smoke escaping from the cracks and sneaked up on us. We had to beg her and promise that we would NEVER do it again if she would only have mercy on us and not tell her mom and dad....... WE LIED!!! We smoked every time we got the chance. We would ride the bicycles down to the hog pen back in the woods and sit on the fence and blow our smoke...... AWWWWW SWEET SMELL, cigarette smoke and hog manure!!!!!!! Later years when mom and dad didn't have the cafe any longer, we would throw our nickels and dimes together and try to get enough money to buy us a pack. If that wasn't feasible, then we would look around the house and dig 'butts' out of the ashtrays where my dad had smoked previously...YES WE DID!! Now that is pretty dang GROSS!!! And so it went until somewhere along the way it wasn't much fun anymore...I never continued with the habit in my adult years, don't know if she did or not. But we sure had a lot of fun experimenting with it.

I know that some of you are asking,"why in the world would smoking be such a precious memory." I really don't know, other than it was time spent with my best friend. A time when, once again, we were young and carefree, with not a worry in the world (other than getting caught of course.) When life was an adventure, and everything we did was a laugh. Not just a laugh, but a 'laugh till you hurt' kind of laugh. As I reminisce back on it, I can still see us sitting there on our swings, she facing one way, and me the other. That way we had each other's back, just in case someone came around the corner and surprised us. But most of all it was just another summer day when two cousins shared another bond and a promise of 'cross your heart until you die' secret that no one could ever drag from our lips......................................................................................