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Some Peoples’ Cats

The only cat I ever owned was an orange and white striped little ball of terror I named, Nashville after the 1966 hit song, Nashville Cats, by The Lovin’ Spoonful. The cat was cool in a terrifying kind of way.

Problem was, you see, I was not necessarily meant to own a cat. I played pretty rough with the little critter, and loved to scare the daylights out of him every chance I got. The roughhousing made him mean, and constantly scaring him caused him to be sneaky.

Nashville catAs the ornery little critter started growing up, he figured he owed some payback to humans, and I had to warn anybody who came to visit. Still, even when they knew it might happen, he still scared them pretty good. He’d hide behind the couch, or a curtain, and come flying out, pounce on a hand or foot, hiss, growl, then vanish. I got used to it, but visitors… not so much.

I finally had to give Nashville away when my first son Billy was born. It was immediately apparent the cat thought the new human in the cage (crib) was fair game, and the first time we found it crouched below the crib twitching its tail, it was goodbye, Nashville Cat. We gave him to some “friends” of ours. Funny… they never spoke to us after that.

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Cousins

And, here it is, the real deal hanging in our new living room! And, it’s only fitting that the smaller pictures to the right of the clock are of Ma and Pa, my maternal grandparents. They were a huge part of our lives when we were young.

This painting, “Joy Ride”, by David Uhl—brother to our precious friend, Paula (Polly) Uhl Snyder, spoke to me the moment I saw it.

Joy Ride by David Uhl 1

Memories of my childhood with my cousins roared to life in my mind, especially some of those with my best friend/cousin, Eddy Madden. The joy we shared—all my cousins—as one big family when we were growing up is etched in my memory and never fails to make me smile—and often laugh—when I recall the times we spent together. How lucky were we to grow up in a simple time where simple things—just being together—could live in our minds and hearts forever.

Joy Ride by David Uhl

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Little Brothers and Others

brothers quote

That’s why I like the Internet. It has brought many of us closer, and though things still aren’t the same as they were back in the good ol’ days, it beats the way it was before the Internet came along.

It’s also true with friends—some I’ve yet to meet in person. The Internet has caused my family to not only grow closer, but to grow larger, and I like it!

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Pure Freedom

Are we free? Do we even know what freedom is? It seems to be a fleeting thing; disappearing as we punch the clock, or slide into our seat for first period, on Monday morning. So many times, we feel trapped by our circumstances, and too often we ask ourselves, “Am I really free?” Freedom is a state of mind, and there are times we soar like eagles lifted by the winds of happiness, and then there are times we come crashing to earth in the throes of a life that is sometimes cruel. Freedom… sometimes we just have to race full-tilt toward it, jerk back on the handlebars and let it lift us into the air. Being able to do that, my friends… is pure freedom.

kid on bike 2Freedom is a memory; a memory we can carry with us and relive when life seems hard or unfair. Freedom is a feeling like the feeling I had on that glorious Saturday morning—the first day of summer vacation:

Yes! In those precious moments I was free! Free from the rigors and trials of fifth grade, the screaming and crying at home, and from the very earth. In those few seconds, I felt a freedom that was complete and real, and I wished I could just keep on climbing into the sky and disappear forever.

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‘At Ain’t No Bunk!

Ah seed a young feller in a lil blue car

Ah node ride away heez a row-day-o star

Is bucket-sized at wuz black azz night

Wuz a look on ‘is face, sayed he’s a ready ta fight

 

calf roper

Ah node loss a cowboyz long time aygo

Most from a drugstore an not row-day-os

They chawed toobaca, cussed an drunk beer

Wore pointy-toe boots an was never afeared

 

They rode ‘em a bull, wuz juss a machine

An roped a old cow a munchin its feed

Them boyz wood fight if a dood drop ‘is ‘at

Or if a consarn galoot hit dare boot winny spat

 

Yep, ah use-ta ride wit a orneree bunch

We rode are horze an got are nose puncht

Them wuz a dayz when we wuz fulla some spunk

Now it’s cowchiz we ride, an ‘at ain’t no bunk

 

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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Buzz Cut!

Hair cuttin’ ain’t changed much in the last fifty or so years. They still cover you with that sheet thingy to keep the hair off you, the chairs are pretty much the same, and they still use those darn clippers. I don’t like hair clippers, mainly because the noise they make when you turn them on makes me nervous. They make a loud clacking noise then settle into an electric hum, but it’s the initial “clack” that gets to me. The sound tends to summon up some real bad memories that get my eyes wide and my old ticker to thumpin’.

Okay. Some of you are out there snickering and saying, “Oh? This is the dude that ain’t afraid a nothing?”

Well let me tell you something: I used to be afraid; I used to be scared to death. The situations that made me afraid varied, but the source was always the same… my old man. One of the times he scared me the most, was on those Saturday mornings he’d set me down in a dining room chair in the kitchen for what he called a “hair cut”.

The problem was, he wasn’t any good at cutting hair, and that, combined with the fact it scared the daylights out of me just being in the same room with him, made for one gut-twisting Saturday morning.

Dad was a crew cut, flat top, kinda guy, and boy when the Beatles hit the States, you shoulda heard him cuss them boys. He didn’t like long hair on a boy. He was a red neck all the way.

My brothers and I should have been so lucky as to be able to sport a nice crew-cut or flat-top, but due to the old man’s lack of expertise with the clippers, we spent the majority of our childhood with what’s known as a “buzz-cut”. He always set out to do a regular cut, but it just never quite worked out. Seems it always came down to that last little finishing touch, an “oops”, a cussing fit, then… buzz cut.13162050_10208195540359540_322867260_n

Many times, sitting in that chair for thirty minutes or longer all tensed up with fear was almost more than I could take. The guy meant well, and I’m sure he would’ve sent us to the barber if he’d been able to afford it, but I wonder sometimes if he knew, or cared, what he was doing to us. Sometimes, I think he knew full well the fear he instilled in us, and I think he enjoyed it. And, I don’t think that was a good thing. A kid shouldn’t have to live in constant fear of a parent.

Things have changed; not for all kids, but I’d say for the majority of them. Parents today give their children a lot more say in what happens in their lives. It’s a two edged sword though, and I’m not so sure the way it is now is better than the way it was then. It seems to me there is a severe lack of discipline, which has led to a generation of young people who have little and many times absolutely no respect for their parents, or, for that matter, adults in general. I think we might have gone too far the other direction, if you know what I mean.

 

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Wanted: Trustworthy Mechanic

We’re in the process of downsizing, and one of the items we decided to shrink was my Rangerpickup. So, I put the word out to my car guy (SIL Sean) and BAM! The big Dodge is gone and a little Ford Ranger is in the driveway. The dude don’t mess around! The Ford is a 2011, and get this… it only has 15, 600 miles on it. I ain’t lyin!

This morning, I took it to have the oil changed and get the tires rotated and balanced. The tires are the factory originals that came on the truck when it was new, and I looked them over good when I… Read the rest of this entry »

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