Just a little over 25 years ago, an important event happened in my life. I don't remember it, I was only 17 months old, but on August 20, 1992, I got a little brother. After welcoming four little girls into their home, my parents were thrilled to finally bring home a boy.
I guess the community got pretty excited about this new addition as well… (I base this conclusion on the amount of baby cards my parents recieved on my arrival, compared to the mountain of cards that rolled in for Clinton.) Daddy declares that he was NEVER disappointed to discover he had another girl, but others say he smiled a little bigger when it was finally a boy. 🙂
My big sisters had been praying for a boy ever since they found out Mom was pregnant, so they were thrilled to have a brother. Me, I can't remember life without him, so the gender probably didn't make much difference to me; but I've loved babies as long as I can remember, so I figure I was happy to welcome him as well.
I have so many memories of growing up with him. Bless his heart, he was a little on the shrimpy side as a child, and I was a big, stocky girl, so he may possibly have been subjected to some abuse on my part. I thought he needed to obey me, because I was older, (yeah, I know, LOTS older…) and when he chose not to do so, I did my best to change his mind.
When we got a little older, I discontinued roughing him up and pushing him around. Partly because I grew up and decided I didn't want to be a mean person, and partly because HE grew up and got a little harder to handle. 🙂
Believe it or not, despite those not so angelic moments of mine, we managed to have lots of fun times together too. We played with dolls sometimes, pushed tractors around playing farm, and when we got older and decided those activities weren't for us, we started making up our own games to play.
A favorite was "David and Absalom." Whoever was playing Absalom would ride their mule, (aka a bicycle) under a tree limb, (aka the clothesline pole,) and since Clinton didn't have the option, and I had no desire to hang by my hair, Absalom would grab the pole as he rode underneath, and hang there by his arms, while the "mule" went swerving away and crashed. He'd hang there, swinging from the limb, until he was too tired to hold on any longer. Then he would drop to the ground "dead" and lay there until David came along.
Oh! the wailing when David discovered his deceased son! Absalom would try his best not to laugh while David loudly moaned: "Absalom! Absalom! My son, my son!" Great fake sobs he would make, repeating his son's name over and over, until… #1, Absalom smirked and the sobs turned to giggles, or #2, Mom would open the window and remind us: "Kids! we DO have neighbors!"
(We seemed to forget this detail of our life fairly often; even though their houses were in plain sight of ours, you'd not believe how many times the window would come open and those same words would come out.) 🙂
Another thing we liked to do as kids, was to pack a lunch and go somewhere random on our parents 27 acre farm, to eat our lunch. A favorite spot was a hill overlooking Clover Hill; a hill we called Spy Ridge. There wasn't much to see from there, possibly a neighbor cutting grass or feeding cows, but we had the time of our lives there, eating our peanut butter sandwiches.
We seemed to accumulate free bicycles from neighbors, old, clunky funny looking bikes for the most part. One such bike was big, and pale pink. It had the old white-walled tires, a wide, spring loaded seat, and was retro before retro was cool.
This bike became the most argued-over bike for awhile, because even though it was an adult sized bike, we discovered that (it being a ladies bike,) we could ride it by standing up on the pedals, although we couldn't nearly sit on the seat. And of course we both wanted to be the one who rode the grown-up bike! Clinton was a tiny little guy, and we all laugh at the memory of him riding this bike, bobbing up and down on those pedals, with his little head barely coming up to the handlebars.
Especially funny, was the day when he was riding it through the pasture, with a gallon bucket of grain hanging on each handlebar, to feed his calves, and Clipper, one of my dad's horses, discovered there was feed in the buckets. He decided to trot along, and see if he could snag a bite or two.
It was a hilarious sight he made, cranking those pedals, trying for all he was worth to put some distance between that bucket and Clipper's nose. Not only was his head bobbing up and down, this time it was swiveling too, front to back, front to back. I'm sure you had to see it to appreciate how truly comical it looked; but having seen it, we will never forget it.
There are so many more stories I and the rest of his sisters could tell about him, so many memories of our one and only little brother. Some days we could hardly live with him, but we surely wouldn't want to live without him. He made us mad some days, but more often he made us laugh with his goofy grin, and cheesy, made-up jokes. (I think we'd all agree he's gotten better at those, over the years.)
And then "poof!" he's all grown up! One day he's our little baby brother, now suddenly he's a married man! I don't know where all that time went!
His sweet young lady of choice happens to come from Michigan, so the wedding gave our family reason to travel. It was enjoyable to get away from the monotony of everyday life and see some different landscapes.
Traverse City, (where Dorcas is from, and where the wedding was held,) is a beautiful city, right along the Grand Traverse Bay, which I'm told is part of Lake Michigan. The water was beautiful and blue, and I thought the fall weather was perfect for their special day.
Having been married for five years now, it was special to see my little brother get married, and we all think he chose a real sweet girl. One might have wondered, seeing all the tears at the wedding, but be assured that they were happy tears. We are a close family, and some of us are quite emotional, so seeing little brother getting married did bring out our emotional side, but our hearts were truly happy. 🙂
Bonus picture: a special memory I have is when Clinton would come see me at work. This time in particular, he brought my favorite candy bar. He's sweet like that. 🙂
Credit for some of these pictures goes to my sisters.