Today's Writer's Workshop Prompt: You know the stories that are retold a million times at family gatherings? I call them Life Stories that you just never live down. List your Top 10 Life Stories.
I admit it, our family loves to tell the same stories over and over. It's a sickness, really.
Below is a list of the Top 10 stories told at family gatherings all my life. (Not all of them were about me!)
10. My brother's adorable mis-pronunciations. He could not say my name, Jerralea, so I became "Jelly." (He later named his daughter Kelli - coincidence?) He also said "bisketti" for spaghetti and "baffume" for bathroom. However, his most famous mis-pronunciation that is repeated at numerous family functions was the time he saw a snake in a tree and excitedly yelled, "hey, look, there's a sneak!"
9. Along those same lines, our whole family calls our cousin Arthur, "Arfner" because my brother called him that at a family visit. It is my understanding that Arthur's roommate got ahold of that story and also called him "Arfner" much to Arthur's dismay.
8. Perhaps my brother inherited his pronunciations from my father. We once had a dog that I creatively named "Pooh Bear." Dad could never get it right. We love to recall the time our preacher asked dad about our new dog. When queried about the name of the dog, dad said, "Bear Poo." The look of confusion on Bro. Murphy's face was priceless!
7. Just the other day, my aunt brought up the story of the time I picked her and my uncle up at the airport. I was a new driver and thrilled with the responsibility of driving to the Tampa International Airport -at rush hour, no less - to greet my relatives and ferry them back to the little town we lived in. I got there just fine and got them and their luggage loaded into my dad's car. (It was a Chrysler Imperial which tells you two things: this story is old, and that car was huge!) I managed to take the right exit and head home. Talking excitedly, all of a sudden I noticed that traffic had stopped in front of me. I jammed on the brakes for all I was worth and killed the motor! I managed to stop and not hit anyone but as I shakingly tried to restart the car, I started to wail, "Oh no, I've locked up the engine and Dad is going to kill me!" My uncle calmly reached over and put the car in neutral. I had been trying to start it in drive! I've been trying to live that story down for 40 years now.
6. Along those same lines of being in fear for my life, the story of my graduation night bears repeating. My dad and I got into an argument because I felt that as an 18 year old "grown-up," I should be allowed to stay out as long as I wanted. He wanted me home at midnight, but I defiantly waited until 2 a.m. in the morning to come home. (I really wanted to come home at midnight, but it was the principle of the thing.) At 1 a.m., the heavens opened up and a flood of rainwater drenched our little half-mile lane that led to the house. Did I mention the lane was made of dirt? Yes, I did - I got stuck in the mud UP TO THE FRAME of that car. I walked home in the rain with an umbrella, in a white dress and white heels, sloshing through the mud and crying. I sure didn't feel very grown-up! Curiously, Dad never said a word and the next day went and pulled my car out of the mud and delivered it into the yard. In return, I never stayed out past midnight again.
5. My dad loves to tell about the time my cousin Lyle got in trouble. At the time, he was very small, about 3 or 4. His dad told him, "Lyle, if you get in that mud puddle, I'm going to spank you." Dad chortled every time he told this, "You could see the look on Lyle's face that he was going into that mud puddle, no matter what." Lyle calmly walked over to the puddle and jumped right into the middle of it. For emphasis, he jumped up and down a couple of times. Lyle is still alive today in spite of the spanking he got!
4. Actually, Lyle knew no fear. Another family favorite story is the time he defended my honor. He was riding his trike, minding his own business, when he noticed a little neighbor boy tormenting me. Dad says that Lyle carefully parked his tricycle, went over to the bully and calmly punched him in the nose. Then he went over, got onto his trike and rode off into the sunset.
3. I can't leave my sister out of this. When we were small, our father always had little nicknames for us. My sister was "Buttons" because he said her little blue eyes shone like buttons. Over time, he shortened her nickname to "Butts." (I know, it's really sad.) One day, we were all at the shoe store, and Dad called to my sister, "Oh, Butts, those shoes look so cute on you." The salesman looked so strangely at Dad as I tried to slink out of the shop and pretend I didn't know those people.
2. My dad liked to tell of one time I embarrassed HIM. I was in kindergarten and my teacher was a young dark-haired single lady named Miss Bedwell. One day, dad picked me up from school. He was early, so he came inside to find me. I think Miss Bedwell was excited that a parent actually came into her domain and seemed interested in what was going on in the classroom. She and dad talked and talked for what seemed like forever. Soon, all the other kids were gone, and it was just the three of us. I shifted on one foot, then the other. I started to frown and obviously felt this conversation had went on long enough. I blurted in the middle of their conversation, "Miss Bedwell, did you know that my dad is married? To my mom!" We went home right after that.
|image from Google images|
1. My number one life story that has been told over and over is the horsefly story. Gee Whiz! I don't know why that has to come up all the time! One summer, I was staying at my aunt's and uncle's home. They had a little above-ground swimming pool for their 4 kids. It was a fairly decent size because I was about 12 at the time and I enjoyed getting in it every day. One day, it was lunch time and everyone had gone in to eat except my cousin, Renda, and I. We decided it was worth skipping lunch to have the pool to ourselves. We were sitting in the pool chatting, when the biggest bee I had ever seen came and landed on Renda's head. I yelled, "Don't move, there is a giant bee sitting on your head!" Of course, that scared her and she opened up her mouth and started screaming! She never moved her body, just screamed. I ran into the house, yelling "Uncle Sammy, come save Renda. A giant bee is attacking her." He dropped his fork and ran out of the house to the pool. When he got there, he yelled disgustedly at Renda, "stop screaming, it's just a horsefly," then turned around and marched back into the house. He didn't even get it off her! Renda obediently stopped her screaming, and swatted the horsefly away. I asked her why she was screaming if the horsefly wasn't hurting her. She replied that I said it was a bee so she knew it was going to start to hurt any minute. We were told to come inside for lunch, but we were too scared to come inside until Uncle Sammy left for work!
I got a million more of these stories, but ten is all you get today!
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