My parents divorced when I was around 6 years old.

I don’t remember problems between them, but my sister, who is 5 years older than me, says they fought – a lot.

My Dad was a free-wheeling, fun-loving kind of guy, who would play hide and seek with us and the neighbor kids; take me and my sister horseback riding (something I do know my Mom hated because we’d come back smelling like horse).  He was the “cool” Dad.

My Mom was the kind of person who wouldn’t say shit if she had a mouthful of it – and I never – ever – heard her fart.  She cared about appearances – a lot. I think my Mom was happiest when she was at work (she was a bookkeeper).  Everyone loved my Mom, but she was definitely not a “cool” Mom.

So, they were not a good match.

Both of my parents remarried.

My Dad’s new wife, Jean, was (and still is) great.  I don’t think I ever heard her fart, but she is the type of person you can fart in front of; and she’ll laugh.  She made it clear that she was not our mother – we had a mother – and that was just fine; she cared about us.  She was someone you could really talk to and have fun with.

My Mom’s new husband was (and I assume still is – we don’t talk) a total ass hat.

Visitation with my Dad varied depending on where he was living – close or far.

When he lived in Minnesota, we’d spend a month in the summer with him.

When he lived in Michigan we’d see him one weekend a month, and a month in summer.

Because he worked, we spent a lot of time with Jean.

Poor Jean.  Two boys (and eventually a girl) and then loaded up with me and my sister.

Mostly, it was good times, but I remember one very bad day.

I’m pretty sure it was when my Dad was living in the Detroit area.

Anyhow, for sure, there was a swing set in the backyard.

Being kids, and stupid, we had rigged one of the swings so it was very high off of the ground.

I had gotten up onto the swing and was swinging when for reasons I don’t recall, I went over backwards.

The fall would have been bad (since the swing was so high), except I was slowed down a lot because one of the chains on the swing got wrapped around my leg – so it slowed me down (yay) and at the same time, the chain wrapped around my leg took off a great deal of skin (OW).

Jean told me to go inside and sit on the sofa while she got something to clean up the leg.

I did as I was told, but not wanting to get the sofa bloody, I sat on the arm of the sofa.

Bad choice.

Jean had been doing some sewing during the excitement in the backyard.  She had left her sewing needle stuck in the arm of the sofa.

I am sure you can figure out the rest.

Yes, I sat directly on the needle – shoving it a good ways up my butt cheek.  (OW, OW, OW.)

So now Jean was trying to pull a needle out of my butt.

And that’s when Linda, somehow, slammed the front door – catching one finger with the full force of the door.

Sisters.  They always have to one up you, don’t they?

Linda ended up losing the fingernail (it grew back though) and I was a little scabby but mostly none the worse for wear.

And my Mom used to swear that girls were easier to raise!


Linda & Me

Us?  Trouble?  Nooooooo ….


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