Category Archives: Story

The Magic of Old Photos


This photo was taken decades ago, guessing by my grandfather. Can’t recall for sure but it was either the late 1940’s or early 1950’s when my grandfather was approached by a member of the school board for this school to come on board as custodian to put the in bad shape building back in good running order. Grandpa Pete and this man both grew up in this farming community and Elza knew Pete was the perfect man for the job. Pete agreed with the understanding that it was his school to do with as he saw fit, he was boss in that department.

Grandpa worked here, along with all his other doings, until his heart attack that rendered him unable to work. Sometime in the late 1960’s. Over the years whenever someone who went to school during those days find out who my grandfather was…oh, the wonderful stories. I mourn at times over the fact that I never knew him. Someday I will write about him, he did so many things in only 64 years.

The building was built in 1918, in 1962 the school became one with the neighboring town and in 1990 it closed when the larger town built on and moved all grades into one school. This building thankfully is still is use, being the center of our county it’s the home of our emergency services unit. Two generations of our family went to the school.

Now I’m getting off track…while going through my grandmother’s albums the other day I came upon this picture and posted it to my FB wall asking who knew which school this was. When I went to school here in the mid-1980’s (it was the 5th-8th grade building for our two town community school district) it looked much different, the windows had been changed and a large tree in front. Dozens of people spoke up that they’d gone to school there and the wonderful stories from people who went to school with my mom down to those younger than me.

My husband absolutely hates Facebook and I get it…there’s so much BS out there. From time to time I’ll dig through old pictures or school albums and post a random, do you remember and leave it at that and the stories that come rolling and some getting longer and longer with others posting replies under other peoples comments. That is when FB can be so much fun and leave such a smile or sometimes even bring on a good belly laugh.

The biggest thread under the picture comes from a story of a guy a grade above me and his getting in trouble and being paddled. The story hasn’t come out as to what he did to get paddled, most of us only remember the incident…the ones who know aren’t spilling the beans.

Sometimes you just have to look back to the old days and start some good old story telling!



Many moons ago when The Girl was just a little a series of events happened within a short time that from time to time we still get a good laugh about. 

When three years old a friend gave us a blue heeler pup, the runt of the litter, we named him Sam.  KSCN0028_edited-1.jpg

Girlie and Sam were inseparable from the start, they were quite the pair!  As they grew their bond became so strong that no one besides me, The Old Boy and the grandparents could get near her without Sam coming between.  In time we started calling him Brother, it fit.  Living in a small town of about 250 and with my working at the town’s small Mart and with Brother going with us almost everywhere, people knew Sammy at K’s Brother. 

Think it was the summer after K turned 5 that a new family to town bought and started up the small town cafe.  Often K and I would go to the cafe at noon with our friend Miss Velma, eat dinner and socialize.  Almost always we wouldn’t eat all our food, we’d get a box to take the leftovers home for Brother. 

One day Miss Velma was laughing as she said she had a hoot of a story.  The owners of the cafe were rather concerned about K’s brother, we never brought him in to eat with us and they never saw this brother any other time when they would see me and K.  The very kind people thought we had this little boy at home that we didn’t bring out in public and would take our leftovers home to!  Miss Velma told them that they had seen Brother, the blue heeler dog we often had with us when walking around town.  They’d never even thought that the dog could be the Brother we took our food home to! 

About that same time a young family moved to town, not far down the street from where we were living.  The mother came to me one day with a story.  This mom was teaching Vacation Bible School in town and K was with her group.  After the story she told she asked all the kids to raise their hands if they had siblings and K raised her hand.  Mrs. H. asked K about her siblings being she’d seen us many times and had never seen any other children.  K said she had a brother named Sammy, he was her dog! 

The love between a girl and her dog, absolutely priceless!


Great Grandma


I walk into the antique store and that glorious smell hits me.

I smile and happy tears dare to fall.

Remembrance of a time decades past

with a wish to go back in time for a moment or two.

“Come see Grandma”.

I run and hide behind my mom.

“Stop now and go”.

I’m afraid.

“Steven, get her and bring her to me”.

I hold onto my mom’s legs.

I’ve been here before.

I know her, remember her.

She says she’s my grandma, it doesn’t click.

The grandma is always sitting in her chair.

Her chair is in the kitchen.

I never see her out of that chair.

There is no tv.

There is an interesting set of kitchen table and chairs.

She has hair as white as snow.

Her hair appears short but I’m told in later years it was long, always put back.

There is always a blanket in progress on her lap.

She has long, skinny fingers.

They scare a little girl.

Many years later I see her again.

She isn’t in the house,

but in an old persons home.

She’s sitting in that chair.

A blanket in progress on her lap.

Her long, skinny fingers folded in her lap.

She says very little.

I now understand she’s my mom’s grandma too.


I’m in my bedroom.

Mom walks into the hallway and says,

“Grandma has passed away”.

I cry and cry and cry although I didn’t really know her.

We walk into a small church and there she is,

in the front of the church, 

in a box.

I’m afraid but my brother says,

“You have to go see her”.

I hide behind my brother and peak at the grandma with the snow white hair,

her long, skinny fingers are linked together.

I cry and cry and cry.

I walk into the antique stop and that most wondrous old smell hits me,

brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.

I think of the wooden and wicker little kid rocking chair

she handed down to me as a little girl.

I think of the beautiful kitchen table that was handed down to her,

from her mother,

that now stands in my own kitchen.

I think of the white haired lady with her long hair pulled back,

sitting in her kitchen.

She tells me she’s my grandma.

I wish I would have been able to know her more.



In The Beginning #8 (and the last…)

Sometime the week after THAT DANCE and spending time over the weekend together I received a phone call from THE EX, Renee~she wanted to talk.  Something needed to be done about Kirk~he was going to keep playing the both of us if we let him.  As she put it~neither of us were immune to him~all he had to do was wiggle his little finger and we came running.  She was right.

While visiting we did some comparing of love letters he’d written and not only did he have the same nickname for the two of us, but our letters seemed to say the same things.  We decided to meet in Their Town at the school parking lot to exchange our letters and talk more.  

Thankfully mom was working or I’d never been allowed to town again on a school night.  Dad let me go into town with my go to reason, to swap clothes with my friend Missy.  

Renee and I met and exchanged letters, the lighting was so poor we decided to drive uptown where there was better light.  

Not knowing if he’d come into town, which she was hoping for and I wasn’t, I told her I’d run to Missy’s and call him and see if he could come into town.  

I went to Missy’s and called.  I told him that if he loved me as he said he did, he’d stay out of town and let me handle things.  When pressed for information I only repeated myself and told him I’d call him later.  Don’t know why I thought that was such a good idea…

Renee and I went downtown and sat on the bench outside the bar~across the street from The Game Room.  Several kids were there that night and had to laugh and wonder what they were thinking and saying while making no attempt to hide the fact that they were standing at the big front window watching every move we made.  I’m sure we were a sight.  This is a town of less than 500 people, so pretty much everyone in town knew everyone.  

Reading one another’s love letters was a mixed bag of emotions, it hurt that her letters read the same as mine.  

Hell on four wheels came flying down mainstreet~Kirk pulled up to the curb~got out of his vehicle and bluntly asked “what the fuck is going on?”.  Guessing the kids across the street were dying to know what was going on on our side of the street.  

Remembering what my mother had said weeks earlier I said that we should go back to the school parking lot.  Renee and I got back in my car and vowed to stick together and stay strong.  

I don’t remember what all was said that night but I do recall Kirk and Renee did most of the talking.  At one point Renee told Kirk he was going to have to stop playing games with us and make up his mind once and for all.  Kirk pointed to me and said “I choose her”.  I remember looking down and toeing the gravel with my boots…I was done, I had won!  

With that I called it a night~knowing I was pry pushing my luck not being back home yet.  I had a healthy fear of getting in trouble by my parents and wasn’t wanting to get in trouble for anything so minor.  

I would like to say that was the end of Renee~it wasn’t.  The next couple years I would find myself having to deal with her round about every six months.  Never to this degree though.  

Funny thing~a few years ago Kirk and I went on a double date with my brother and a gal his friends had set him up with.  You know who without my saying.  Our daughters were in the same dance classes for a couple years in junior high.  Our sons are both open enrolled from the school in Their Town where our girls went to the school in My Town where I went.  We are friends now, when we run into one another once every year or so we can sit and visit for quite some time.  

Funny how things turn out sometimes.  



In The Beginning #7

It’s the first Friday of October 1989, it’s been over a month since Kirk said, “it’s not you, it’s me”.  

I get home from school and dad says he’s going to the city to the horse sale.  Mom has to work so I ask if I can go too.  Before getting ready I run into His Town to the gas station and run into best friend Susan’s brother and mention my going with my dad to the horse sale.  

I go home and start to get ready~the phone rings  and it’s friends of my folks…my friend Becky and Kirk’s friend Bill The Trouble Maker’s parents.  Dad tells me plans have changed, Butch and Judy are going to go to the horse sale with him and when mom gets off work they are going out.  

I call Becky to see if I could come over and hang out since she’ll be home watching her little brother and sister.  I start getting ready to go when Kirk walks into the house, he’s going to the horse sale.  

I go to the basement to finish getting ready to go to Becky’s.  Dad hollers down the stairs to say he’s leaving.  Kirk is still up in the kitchen.  Winds up he learned from Todd that I was going to the horse sale, the only reason he was going.  

Kirk comes down stairs and asked if we can talk.  He sits down on the couch, I sit across the room.  He gives me the whole “I’m an asshole”, “I miss you”, “I made a mistake” talking points that he’s given me more than once.  

We talk for awhile and I tell him I have to call Becky to let her know I’m not coming over.  When I get up to call her he asks if he can give me a hug, I tell him no.  It’s not that I don’t want to, I just know I’ll lost my strength if he does.  

When I get off the phone I tell him we should go upstairs to talk.  Being in the basement alone with him is hard, we’d spent so much time over the summer down there, I couldn’t stay there with him and not want to give in to him.  

We sit at the kitchen table across from one another and continue our talk.  

“So, I hear you’re grounded.”  

“What?  No, I’m not grounded.”

“I knew it, I know you like a book and knew you weren’t.”

“What are you talking about?”  

“Talked to Paul….”  

Fuck, had completely forgotten about the story I’d made up to get away from Paul.  

Kirk gets up from the kitchen table~goes into the dining room and turns on the stereo~puts on a Randy Travis cassette~walks into the kitchen and up to me, holds out his hand and says, “Ma’am, may I have this dance”?  

In my head I’m having a battle, oh, I want to…no, don’t, you know you’ll be done…but I want to…no, don’t.  

I put my hand in his and he leads me into the dining room and we dance.


We dance without saying a word, his arms are so warm and strong around me and it feels so good!  

He quietly sings, my love is deeper than the holler, stronger than the river, higher than the pine tree…  

I was done, remember thinking I felt like butter in his arms.  

How would this new beginning end?  One more chapter to go…

In The Beginning #6

The last month of summer break 1989 was like a dream.  I had the guy I’d been crushing on since January and I didn’t see or hear from his ex!  

Kirk would come to work all day and afterwards I’d ride home with him and visit with any family that was home while he showered and cleaned up for the night.  We were almost inseparable.  

The end of August hit and it was back to the real world.  I started my junior year at WC and he started his senior year at AO.  I’d still see him after school and on the weekends, BUT he’d be back to seeing Renee every day at school.  

The first week went fine.  The first weekend Kirk had a “guys night” with his buddy Bill and I had a girls night with my friend Susan.  Sunday morning there was a vibe in the air that made me uneasy~it only escalated when Kirk came over and had Bill with him.  Long story short, seeing Renee everyday at school had made him wonder~I don’t have to tell you, he wanted to give another go with Renee.  

Do you see a pattern yet?  

I was so heartbroken.  That fucking Bill, it was his doing, he’d been pissed that Kirk had time for him when he was dating Renee and didn’t when he was dating me.  

To top it off only the weekend before had I finally given in to the “if I were any other guy I would have already been gone” to my constantly saying no to sex.  This from a guy who had told me he’d been seeing an ex college girlfriend on the side for six while he was dating Renee because she was even more of a good girl than I was.  

I was so heartbroken in the days that followed that I had no want to eat.  I just went through the motions of living.  Didn’t help that at that time Kirk was taking a leave from working for dad to help his, uncle and grandpa on their farms.  

One afternoon as I got off the school bus he was driving out our lane.  Such a precious guy, leaving so he didn’t have to hear the shit he’d just stirred for me!

I walked in the backdoor and was met by my mother~mad as a hornet doesn’t even touch how mad she was.  Apparently a rumor was going around that Kirk was screwing a single mom~who was known to screw anything that moved.  He thought I’d started the story and instead of coming to talk to me~went to my mother.  I was informed to not do anything embarrassing or I’d never be allowed to go to his town and that no guy was worth not eating over.

Not long after I asked if I could take the car and go into his town to go to my friend Missy’s to swap clothes.  Mom said yes, but I was to go and get back.  

Don’t recall if I went there or not, I did go to The Game Room~the town’s teen hangout place~hoping Kirk would be in town.  Couldn’t call his home, he was seldom there and figured he wouldn’t call if I left a message.  

While at The Game Room I learned some information about Kirk and Renee’s goings on at school and that was about it.  Did hang out with two of the daughters of the lady Kirk was supposedly screwing.  While standing outside on the he did drive past and didn’t stop.  I dined around in town too long, my mom came looking for me, all she was “get your ass home”.  She didn’t say another word, message received!  

A Friday or so later while hanging out at The Game Room with my friend Susan, a friend of Kirk’s started chatting with me.  He asked if I wanted to hang out on Saturday night, why not, he seemed like a nice enough guy.  

I got the permission to spend the night with Susan the next night.  We went into The Game Room, both Kirk and Paul came in and both left without a word.  Susan and I went to C-Ville, the next town over where the kids went to “cruise the loop” and ran into Paul…we visited, planned a time to meet up with Susan again and we hit the loop.  

We hadn’t been driving long when guess who started driving opposite us on the loop.  Each time we met he and his buddy would flip us off and sometimes holler nasty things.  

At the set time we met up with Susan and she and I went to to their town and to The Game Room.  We no more get back to town and guess who was back in town driving up and down main street and this time with two girls.  He stopped in front of The Game Room at one point and motioned for me, Susan and I walked into the street to see what he wanted…he told me I needed to move on.  WHAT?  

The next week Paul and I talked every night on the phone for hours~long distance.  The more we talked the more he creeped me out.  By the end of the week I told him I’d gotten downslips from school in the mail and was grounded from the phone and from going out for the next month.  I’d gotten the downslips but hadn’t gotten grounded.  

A few nights later my dad and I had gone into town for supper at the bar because mom was working.  After eating I walked across the street to The Game Room, not thinking.  Paul showed up shortly after and I had to explain why I was in town while I was grounded.  Told him I’d call him when I was able to get out again.  

Wound up being a good thing I’d come up with a reason to not see or talk to Paul~he had a girlfriend~in this town~in Kirk’s class~and she’d found out I’d gone on a drive with Paul…she was not someone to piss with!