Monday, October 12, 2015

31 Days of Life Stories #12

Today we are having a little cool snap and it made me think of a little story of long ago ...

My aunt and uncle were visiting us in Elgin with their four children (at the time).  I loved when cousins came visiting!

They had some rules for their children we didn't have at our house. One was their kids were not allowed to have anything to drink with their meals. Uncle Sam felt the kids would only drink their beverages and not eat their food so his rule was "first eat, then you can have something to drink." I thought this was very cruel - probably because I loved to drink tons of sweet tea!

Another rule was the children must go outside to play everyday even if only for a half-hour. They felt everyone needs fresh air even on the coldest days.

Mom made my brother and I abide by the same rules when the cousins were there. One day, during their visit, it dawned a cool, cloudy windy day. I begged for us to stay inside because it was just too cold to play out.

My pleas fell on deaf ears. The cousins didn't say a word because they already knew it was a lost cause.

So we all trooped outside to the back yard for 30 minutes of play. I could not even think of one thing to do because it was. Just. So. Cold.

I said, "I bet our moms would be sorry about making us stay out here if we got sick and died from the cold." Yes, I was always the dramatic one.  

I looked at how we were dressed. We all had hooded sweatshirts on. (We didn't call them hoodies back then.) I came up with the idea of looking like we were freezing to death. We pulled up our hoods and tied them so tight we just had our noses sticking out. We stuffed our hands into our pockets. Then we positioned ourselves right outside the kitchen window where the grown-ups would be sure to see us. We rolled on the ground, shivering, shaking and moaning.

This was supposed to inspire feelings of pity and concern. I imagined my mom and aunt rushing outside to see what was wrong with us. Once out there, they'd feel how cold it was and how cruel it would be to make us suffer outside.

Instead, we heard the sound of laughter at the kitchen sink. No one rushed outside to check on us!

Funny thing, but after all that rolling around, we had kind of warmed up. Tim said, "Let's play hide and sneak (seek)."

"Okay, you're it!"

Off we scrambled to hiding places. We played so long Mom and Aunt Willa Fern had to call us in for lunch.


Did you have a lot of rules and routines when you were growing up? I found out later that a lot of the rules my uncle and aunt had for their children was in their best interest. My uncle had experienced kind of a hard childhood and wanted more for his kids. Sometimes, rule making is a sign of love.

This post is #12 in my series, 31 Days of Life Stories. Hundreds of writers are linking up at the 31 Day Writing Challenge hosted by Crystal Stine. There is a wealth of information on many topics. Go visit and see! I'll be posting under the category "Inspiration and Faith."


Karen said...

Jerri, I have truly enjoyed reading these posts about your childhood...they have brought back memories of my own that I haven't thought about in a long time.

I agree that rule making can be a sign of love...when we were younger some of them made no sense and seemed unfair and harsh...but as an adult we see the wisdom in them...and my greatest lesson was finding out that some things really do hurt the parent worse than the child...even with adult children...and it's in those moments that my spirit quickens in knowing that my heavenly Father feels the same when I am not obedient and make the same mistakes over and GREAT is His love and mercy!

Ceil said...

Hi Jerralea! Oh my gosh, you were a little instigator, weren't you? I think if I were one of the parents, I would have laughed too!

My mom would throw us kids out in all kinds of weather, and then lock the door. Even if we came up and pleaded with her because it was cold etc, that door wasn't unlocked for what seemed like ages. I'm sure the poor woman was at her wits end with all the noise from her eight children and just wanted 30 minutes of silence! We always had to finish our dinners, but then as we got older, that rule was relaxed, thank goodness. I never really liked vegetables much.
Family stories are so fun! Thank you for sharing one of yours today :)

Faith said...

this was a great glimpse into your childhood! Yes, we had rules but most of them were because my folks were in a legalistic church. NOT cool. and NOT biblical. thing about us girls (i have 3 younger sisters) we LOVED Playing outdoors. in all kinds of weather. And I grew up in Central (upstate) NY!!! So our winters were harsh...but we loved it. The only rule I can think of that was done out of love and protection and not related to some kind of man made church rule was that we always had to call our mother or daddy if we were going to be out later than their bedtime (10:30 pm). We never had a curfew...but we did have to call if we were going to be later than 10:30 so they could go to bed in peace. Every one of us followed that rule but one sister...she was a rebel. LOL.....

betty said...

I did like your uncle's philosophy of outside play, I would do almost the same, a walk around the block even on cold days, of course I would go with them. Most of the time it was invigorating. Cousins visiting are always fun.


Denise said...

keep these stories coming, love them