Archive for June, 2010

Gray Hair Chronicles-Missing Child

I cannot in good conscience blame all my gray hair on my son. My daughter contributed her share. When she was 4 years old, she disappeared from the front porch of  our home on a late spring afternoon. Living in a small town-population 350-there was no thought of abduction or foul play. It was 1961, and those things might happen in Chicago or New York City, but not in small town mid-America.

I went from the kitchen with cookies to the porch to give her a snack, but no Patti. David was playing in the back yard with trucks and dirt. No, he had not seen her, but joined me in the search. All over the yard, back and front, in the garage….no sign of her. We started asking the neighbors if any of them had seen her, with the result they all (who were home)  joined the search. By this time Mom was getting frantic with hair getting grayer by the moment.

We were on the verge of calling in law enforcement to report her missing, when an elderly lady who lived up the block suggested searching the house one more time before calling the law. We had walked through every room, but went back to do it again. By the time I got to kids’ room I was trembling and in despair, but called her name, without hope.

“What you want Mama?” And she sat up in the big toy box where she had been taking a nap with her big teddy bear. After hugs and kisses we went out to let the neighbors know she was found and to thank them all for their concern and help. 

Living in a small town where everyone knows everyone else is one of God’s best blessings. When there is trouble helping hands pitch in. And even though they all know your business, that isn’t all bad either….kinda helps keep you on the right path.

okiewife, who is grateful for neighbors. And not worried about the gray hair I have earned.


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>Serenity’s birthday party


June 27…Serenity had her second birthday….she has now officially entered the famous “terrible twos” stage of life. She already gives her Mom and Dad more exercise that they probably want. The party began at 6 p.m. with a cook-out-hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, deviled eggs, and chips followed with cake and ice cream. She had her own cake, the rest of us had to share.

She had several gifts to open, and we all liked that as much as she did. Lots of paper makes such a nice mess.

And there were two gifts unwrapped and waiting in the front yard for fun after supper. And a good time was had by all.
The photos I took were accidentally erased along with all the others that were stored in my camera, during a “Senior Moment” so these are courtesy of Granny Sharry. Those little cell phone cameras are so convenient….well, more like little miracles.
Grandma in the yellow house, who remembers when Serenity’s Mom and Grandpa celebrated THEIR 2nd birthdays…

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Why I Have Gray Hair, the BB Gun

Let me say first, I had a Daisy air rifle when I was 11. Neither my brother or two sisters ever got an eye shot out. Dad trained us in the use of firearms beginning with that bb gun, then advancing to the over/under .22 rifle/.410 shotgun, and finally the .22 7 shot pistol. David’s Dad had to share one with his 4 brothers, but when his older brother accidentally shot a neighbor through the hand, his Dad took it and wrapped it around a tree. No more guns there. And no safety training.

So to get to David’s escapades with a bb gun.We bought one for him at about the age of 11, gave him some basic instructions: never point it at someone, if you kill it you eat it, and such, and his gun ownership went well for awhile.

 Image from Photobucket.com

We had neighbors with a high school age son who loved do a Frankenstein imitation with hunched shoulders, stiff-legged walk, and a growl to scare the younger kids. David and one of his buddies decided to get even. On a Monday Junior’s Mom had done their laundry and it was on the line drying, Junior’s shirts blowing in the breeze. Out came the bb gun, and in a few minutes Junior’s shirts were full of little round holes. I did not know of this prank until later years or I most likely would have had to replace all those shirts.

David’s next escapade with the bb gun involved a shooting war with one of the Newingham boys who lived across the street. They were actually shooting at each other, and even though it was quite a distance, one of them could have been hurt. Again we didn’t learn of this until much later. His Dad and I were both working, and the sitter either didn’t know what was happening, or just didn’t tattle on him.

Then there was the “attack” on  a boy who was teasing David’s little sister. He thought it was on the order of bullying, and we had  told him it was wrong to pick on girls or kids who were smaller.

David, Patti, and cousin Ronnie

So the older, meaner kid got shot in the  backside, and David saved his little sister from the bully. 

The gun got put away, and a few years later he gave it to her.  To remind her of how he had saved her?

okiewife, who has earned every gray hair on her head

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Why I Have Gray Hair

Two children are the cause of my gray hair. Their escapades have nearly caused a heart attack more than once. They start out so innocently, as you can see from the following photo. This is our first-born, David. We had no idea he would grow into an adventurous daredevil who would shock his mother on a regular basis.

And this is Patti, the second born who was not nearly as adventurous as her older brother, but nevertheless caused her share of my gray hairs. Looks sweet and innocent doesn’t she?

But lets start with some of David’s escapades. He was just slightly older  than 7 years, when the following photo was taken.

We lived in a two-story house, with a straight enclosed staircase with a door at the bottom. One day David decided that staircase would make a good sled run. Inventive little devil that he was, he found a large piece of flat cardboard and bent one end up 10 or so inches, enough to hold it up in front of himself, like a bobsled. Thinking he wouldn’t get caught if he left the door at the bottom closed, he went to the top, sat on the  “sled” and pushed off for his ride. He was at the point of impact before he realized he had no brakes. He slammed into the door, bounced forward and went face first into it, bounced back down.

I was in the kitchen, that door was in  the dining room, and I could not imagine what that loud crash was. I went and yanked the door open and there sat David on his cardboard sled. Just sitting there waiting to see how much trouble he was in. After the scolding, checking to see there were no broken bones, he said, “Mom, can I try it again with the door open?”


This was not even the first of his adventures. He had a bike with training wheels at the age of 5 and even then he was reckless. The bike, and my baby sister, Barbara

At the time he nearly drowned himself, we lived in a house with a sloping sidewalk in front and a deep ditch  just past that. He was in the habit of riding down that slope, picking up speed, and leaning over to make the turn. We had a heavy enough rain to fill that ditch one afternoon, and when it was over David went out to ride. This time he missed the turn and went riding into the ditch. Water up to his neck. His Dad ran and grabbed him, and pulled him out, and put the bike away to teach him a lesson. Ha. Like that would work with David. He just went on to something else.

This is the first installment on why I have gray hair.

okiewife, who started getting gray at 26.

Comment from David after reading this little remembrance: “I hope when I get to a nursing home they have a set of stairs to bobsled down. hehehe.”

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A Dad’s Day Memory

It didn’t actually happen on Father’s day, it was much later in the summer. The corn had been harvested from the garden, but the stalks were still in rows, and Dad told my brother and me to pull them and get them stacked so he could burn them when he got home from work. Gardening work was not our favorite thing to do on a late summer day, when there were bikes and roller skates, and kids playing softball down the street.

But Mom saw to it that we went to the garden and started pulling corn stalks, dried but still leafy. I’m not sure now whose idea it was to build a teepee with them but hey–turning work into play is a good thing when you’re 11 and 9.

We got shovels and started digging a big round hole, probably 5 or 6 feet across and about a foot deep. We stacked corn stalks around the edge, leaning them against each other to form the cone shape, leaving an opening so we could crawl inside, and a ledge big enough to sit on. It was a great teepee for cavalry fighting Indians. We had a great time…..until Dad got home.

The only thing we did right was get all the corn stalks down and stacked, except for the ones we used for construction. But Dad was angry, and made us tear it down and fill the hole back in.  More hard work, and not nearly as much fun as the construction had been.

Looking back I believe Dad had a bad day at work, but of course he never  came home and complained about his job. He was happy to be working for the REA.  He would just seem grouchy for no apparent reason, at least not apparent to his children.

Sure wish I could listen to Dad be grumpy again-he died in 2001.

okiewife, who treasures childhood memories

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This ol’ (Haunted) House

This ol’ house is 99 years old, built in 1911. Well, actually 2 rooms of it were built in 1911, out in the country, and they were moved to town several years later. Then in the 1950’s it was moved again to its present location and 3 more rooms were added plus a bathroom and a closed in sunporch with windows all around.We have lived in the yellow house almost 30 years, and occasionally strange things happen. When my 2 eldest great granddaughters were small I made them a mouse house from a shoebox, complete with furniture and 3 felt mice-Mama, Papa, and baby mouse. One day baby mouse disappeared. We searched diligently but didn’t find it anywhere. We had 2 dogs at the time and thought it possible one of them had carried it away. 3 months later I got up one night at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom, stepped on something fuzzy, flipped the light switch, and there was baby mouse. No teeth marks or sign of dog abuse, so we think they were innocent. The kids all decided our house is haunted. They may be right. The mouse disappeared again a few weeks later and has not been seen since.

The dogs made us think several times that they could see something we couldn’t. We would be in the living room, me reading while Grandpa watched tv. and both dogs would suddenly sit up, alert, and stare up at a corner of the room. Their eyes seemed to be following something, heads turning,  and after a few seconds they would lie down as though whatever it was had moved on. We, of course, saw nothing.

There have been other instances where small items disappeared and the reappeared in a strange place. Most of the family believe our house is haunted. If it is, it is a benign presence. There has never been anything the least frightening happen.

We are lucky to have a friendly spirit here. There is a house across town with a very unfriendly one. You can look up The Demon of Eldorado, it was on channel 9 news, OK City a few months ago.

The ghost and okiewife

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>Haley in Amarillo


Haley spent the past two weeks in Amarillo at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Her Dad’s cousin and her husband are house parents there, so Haley went to visit them. Charli used Haley for a model to practice her photography, and she took some absolutely beautiful photos of her. These are just a sample. She took dozens!

Haley has always been a camera ham. Even when she was very small, any time the camera came out she was right there with a big smile and ready to pose. Unlike her sister Harley, who tends to turn away from it if she has the chance.
Charli is a very talented photographer and I thank her for allowing me to use some of her photos. Sanders Photography may be famous one of these days, and we can brag that Haley was one of her first models.
Grandma in the yellow house, who is proud of all her grandkids and great-grandkids

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