My birthday is coming up shortly and it’s gotten me to thinking about my life~choices I’ve made over the years to bring me to the person I’ve become. Thinking about the goals and dreams of the girl who graduated from high school and about the kind of person I was at age 18.
Oh, I know, our childhood is the shortest time of our lives, but it’s also the time that forms who we are up to that point in time~what we believe and forms those hopes and dreams for our future.
As most know~I was born into a multi-generational farm family. When I was only a few months old we moved from the family farm started by my Great Grandpa Peter T. and Great Granda Anna. That was when dad separated from farming with his dad and brothers and began his own operation while still running some cattle with his dad.
We moved from about eight miles east of town to about nine miles west of town. The farm had been owned for a couple generations or so by my Aunt Kate’s family~the widow of my mom’s brother. A handful of so ears ago we learned from an old platt map that my Great-Great Grandma and Grandpa K had a farm homested just over the hill on a part of that land on the north side of the road. Funny how you sometimes find links in the past to things in the present.
I lived on our farm west of town until the day I married at ae 20. College was about a half-hour drive from home, so it didn’t make sense to live at the dorms in the city.
As the youngest by six and seven years~I spent a lot of time entertaining myself as a child. Brother was always doing his own thing and Sister ran with the town kids and had no interest in farm life, she spent most of time in her room reading, in the den on the phone or laying out in the backyard.
I was often out exploring~climbing trees, visiting with the cattle, riding my Old Man Charlie, playing with my Barbies or Strawberry Shortcake dolls and reading and writing stories and dancing wherever I could carry my little tape player.
I loved going places wit dad and helping him with the evening chores and riding in the cab tractor with him whn he was doing field work. I was a daddy’s girl~kinda still am. I was blessed with a dad who enjoyed having us do with him.
Wasn’t close with mom until after Kaet was born. Mom was and still is a traditional farm wife. She was cooking, baking, cleaning, doing laundry and working in the yard all day. She cooked often for a table full at dinner and supper~with hired hands and friends stopping in to visit and staying to eat. During planting and harvest seasons she often hauled meals out to the field. She still enjoys a table full of mouths to feed.
We grew up when parents weren’t expected to entertain their kids, that wasn’t their job, which is how I still see it. Brother played baseball in elementary and middle school for our local small town league, other than that, it was only school activities for us. We weren’t town kids!
I did get to take dance lessons when one of mom’s best friends starting teaching tap lessons out of her basement when I was in the first grade. One lesson a week and I took the bus there. Being there were a few of us farm girls in the same area taking dance on the same day~the farm moms took turns car pooling a month at a time. Anymore running than that and it wouldn’t have happened.
When I was in the 5th grade mom went to work in the city. When I was in the 6th grade Brother graduated from high school and Sister graduated when I was in the 7th grade. After that it was me, mom and dad at home with Brother still farming with dad and moving in and out of the basement for years~depending on whether or not he was seriously dating anyone or not.
I feel it was those years after Sister moved away that I really started forming who I was to become. I wasn’t the baby sister anymore, I was basically an only child.
When I was in the 6th grade I made a new friend in a different clique. My preppy friends didn’t like my new friend and I felt that I needed to decide between the two groups since the two didn’t mesh. Many times over the years I’ve thought I really made the wrong decision. I chose the farm girl and her friends.
Long story short, she was what we would now days call a toxic person. I had no guts to stand up for myself towards her and for years just put up with her treating me like shit when she was in one of her moods, afraid if I unfriended her that I’d have to friends. I was so insecure~still am. I’ve never liked to make waves or to rock the boat. She is the reason I preached to my kids to not put up with any friend that treats you lik crap.
Now that I’ve totally gotten off subject…will continue next time…
Our first born turned 22 yesterday. Just doesn’t seem possible that so many years should have gone past already. When people say the years go by in a flash, to savor your kids when they are small, are absolutely correct. Feels like her first 22 years went way faster than my first 22 years.
This little girl has gone so far and been through so much in her 22 years, so happy to see how far she’s come and what a strong, independant and beautiful girl she’s become.
We were living in southcentral Nebraska when she was born, a five hour drive from all our family and closest friends. We’d been married and living in Lex for over a year-and-a-half when she was born. We were winging it, both being the youngest in our families.
By the time she turned three we’d lived in two homes in Lex and had moved back home and were living upstairs of my in-laws bed and breakfast, the home most would know of as The Children of The Corn house. We lived there a couple months until we found what Kirk and his mom thought was a great place to live. Months later we would move in with my folks, the very day I saw a RAT run through the kitchen. We lived there a couple months or so until we found another decent place to live. After less than a year we were piss poor broke and my in-laws were over running a bed and breakfast, we moved into the upstairs of their home and lived there for close to two years.
Thankfully, Kaet has always been one to go with the flow. From the time she was a baby, traveling was no big deal to her, we’d load her up in the car and drive the five hours to go see our familes for a weekend and she just rode along without a complaint.
After starting kndergarten in Iowa, at Christmas we moved up to northern South Dakota. We lived in three different houses up north and picked Leo up while we were there! She was a great sister from day one, seven years difference in age, she is still his mother hen.
Thankfully we were finally able to move home for good when Kaet was in the second grade. We moved in with my folks until we could find a home to buy. Kirk finally had a buying area where we could plant roots and not move! We were in my folks’ basement about 10 months when we moved into our new home, an acreage in the school district Kirk went to from beginning to end.
Early on, in the first grade, Kaet was tested for learning disabilities, after we discovered that she was such a great reader because she would memorize her school book stories, we just happened to notice one evening that she was “reading” the story and turning the pages at the right time, but wasn’t looking at the book. There was a big fancy name for what her learning hangup is, basically, she’s one of those people that has to learn from memorization, she can’t sound out words or put a puzzle together to save her life…she worked her butt off to get through school and really struggled in college, but she was able to do it and we’re so proud of her!
Freshman year in high school she fell asleep while driving on a gravel road a few miles from our house. She’d taken a friend home in the middle of the afternoon, the school bus came upon her, she was standing next to the road in a driveway to an alfalfa field, just standing there. Her gaurdian angels were with her, she rolled the car, went over a fence, a post hole was in the hood, the license plate showed that the car had also spun on it’s nose. Oddly enough, the girl who always wore her seat belt for some reason didn’t have it on, she went out the sun roof…the authorities believe she wouldn’t have survived had her belt been on. She was life flighted to the city, spent one night in ICU and six additional nights in the hospital, she was 100% bed bound until the night before she was dismissed. It was a long recovery, several breaks and fractures, using a walker and wearing a back brace. From the fractures to three vertabrae she lost 1 1/2″ in height and has a large scar on her right hip, that’s all…so blessed.
The girlie took dance lessons for years, tap, clog, jazz and technical…played tball then softball until high school and then coached tball for two years, she played volleyball a couple years, gave a shot one year at cheerleading. She did 4H a number of years, team roped for a number of years and gave a go at rodeoing doing break away roping one summer. Also worked with the littles youth group at church a few years, she didn’t like it much, but I figured it was good birth control!
Once the girl started working, she started working. Such a hard worker, for the first time in ages she’s working only one job, there have been times she’s worked two and three jobs during the summer during high school and college, all of her own choosing. So proud of her!
(Kayla and Kaet)
So proud of this girl, took our challenge to move away to go to college for a year and wound up staying and graduated two weeks ago and three weeks into a full time job with benefits at a bank! Couldn’t have asked for a better daughter! Now if she’d just slow down on getting older!
Don’t know where October went…doesn’t feel like the beginning of November, we are having such a mild fall. We’ve had no rain in about two months, even the farmers working on getting the crops in have been saying we could use a little rain. The weatherman in calling for a chance this evening, but isn’t sounding like he thinks it’ll happen. We are taking every day as it comes though, knowing winter will show it’s ugly head before we are ready.
Have been watching the neighbors this morning…Kirk talked to one of the brothers recently and believe he said this field and the one across the road from us are their last two fields this year. Usually they are one of the first areas they harvest. Must be shaking things up a bit this year.
Always enjoy watching our neighbors harvest. It’s a family operation…mom, dad, sons and daughters. They have more land than dad farmed as we were growing up. Dad never used trucks, just a tractor and wagon and one hired combine man. The corn was just brought down the hill to the silos and unloaded at our place because we fed what we raised. Not sure if the neighbors raise livestock or not. Pry should know since one of the granddaughters is one of our “extra kids” that spent a lot time here while growing up.
Dad has his own combine now. He only farms the one field at our place now, my brother has the other field among others he now owns and rents. He farms some with his former brother-in-law, they have the combines and trucks like our neighbors here do. Different generation. Dad still does everything the way he always has and there’s no changing him, although I know it frustrates my brother. If it makes him happy, that’s all that matters!
Today I’m going to start trying to get myself built back up after being down the past five weeks with the chest crud. Was feeling quite a bit better last week but wasn’t able to get much accomplished, after being down for so long, doesn’t take much for me to get worn down…so frustrating. Have never been sick like this ever, to my knowledge. Thirty minutes of house work and I’m done. Makes me feel like my age is catching up with me.
Our girl came home from college for the weekend, hadn’t seen her in two months. She brought her boyfriend and their two dogs with them…talk about mass craziness. We have three chihuahuas (that don’t like other dogs) and they have two cow dogs that don’t like other dogs or cats…we have a house cat that is seldom seen, as all cats should be…she has a job and she does a great job of it, haven’t seen in mouse in many years. Needless to say, they wound up staying the weekend with my folks.
As it happened, Grampa Leo’s birthday was on Saturday, so we stopped by to a get a picture. As I asked Kaet’s boyfriend, don’t all families take family pictures at the cemetery? He just smirked and shook his head…it’s not something we did growing up…it’s just me. Leo was named after Kirk’s favorite grampa, started taking a picture of Little Leo every Memorial Day weekend way back when L.L. was little.
Leo was so tickled to see that he’s now taller than his sister, and by several inches. In August she was still a titch taller. A bit of a sore spot with her…her freshman year in high school she fell asleep while driving and flipped her vehicle…fractured two vertebrae and lost 1 1/2″ in height…very touchy subject.
We were thankfully lucky enough to have gorgeous weather and were able to get out for the afternoon on Saturday…we took Dallas to Jolly Time, always a fun place to stop.
We celebrated my mom’s 70th on Saturday evening. Everyone but one grandchild was able to make it…that doesn’t happen often now that Kaet lives so far away in NebraskaLand. She didn’t want a big party like we had when dad turned 70, she wanted low key and immediate family only. Was a nice evening…no fighting…always a good thing!
(Little Leo, The Godfather…Uncle Steve, Aunt Kathy and Great Aunt Phyllis)
Yesterday we celebrated Kirk’s Great Aunt Phyl’s birthday…she does not like being called Aunt Phyl, but that’s what I call her…but not when she’s around, the name seems to fit. She’s the only sibling left in her family, an awesome lady! Had a great time visiting with family and celebrating a wonderful young lady!
Now it’s on to putting the house back in order after being sick for so long and on to getting ready for Thanksgiving! We are having Kirk’s side of the family gathering the Saturday before at The Godfather’s. Kaet and Dallas will be able to make it back for that! My in-laws and two uncles will be home from Florida as well!
Kaet will be staying out west this year for Thanksgiving, last year she and Dallas were here, so they are going to be with his family this year. I’m not thrilled about it, but I get it…it’s going to be hard, but it’s just something I’m going to have to get used to. Been there are done that way back when Kaet was a baby and we lived out in south central Nebraska. We couldn’t make it home to every holiday and it was tough. All our family and friends lived back here. Have to do what you have to do though, no matter how hard.
I suppose I’ve rattled on more than enough. Think I’m stalling on my housework.
My Best To All!
The last of The Trio turned 14 today. Happy Birthday to my LuLu!
LuLu, Bubba and Sister Mary
2002 was a busy year, Bubba was born in January, Sister Mary Francis was born the first week of September and LuLu the last week of September. LuLu is my brother’s youngest and Sister Mary the third of my sister’s kids.
The Trio have recently gotten to the age of being irritated by our clumping the three of them into a group…someday they may change their minds~hopefully.
I’m one of a trio/quad cousin group myself. It’s unique to our family and I’ve always loved it. Then again, the four of us are all girls…no boys included!
Britton was born first in September 1972, our grandfathers were double first cousins (their parents were siblings, the husbands were siblings and the wives were sisters). Heather was born next in October 1972, Angela in November and I bookended in January 1973. The three of us are the daughters of the three brothers.
Me, Heather and Angela
Unfortunately, even though we all lived close, none of us graduated together and that was something I had wished could have happened. The three started school together, at least were able to go to school together for a number of years. I tried so hard the past couple years of high school to be able to open enroll to the school the three started in and one still attended, it was only a mile further than the school I went to…I wanted to graduate with one of the group. No such luck.
Family gatherings were always so much fun, it was the only time the three of us really had the opportunity to spend any time together. Dad’s side of the family never were the type to get together unless Oma ordered it. We would be inseparable at Christmas. When we were little I hated being the youngest, of course now that we are older, I’m tickled to be the baby of the group!
As great as it was to have that special bond, there was a downside. I remember being told many times that Heather was an A student, Angela was an A student, was on varsity ball teams from Freshman year in high school. The end of our Freshman year Angela’s mother passed away from breast cancer. After Aunt Kay passed away, Grampa and Oma then added that Angela was great because she not only was an Honors student, awesome at athletics, but she was able to do all that while taking care of a home. There were many years in high school and into my first year in college where I didn’t feel like I was as good as Heather and Angela.
l-r The Petersen Girl Cousins
me, my sister, Bobbie Sue, Juli, Angela and Heather
I have made a conscience effort over the years to not compare the kids. I try to as equally as possible compliment and encourage them all so they don’t get the feeling like one or two are better or worse than the other one or two. I felt for many years that I wan’t as good as the other two. My brother is good about it too, not just saying his daughter rocks but that all three do. My sister, not so much…her kids are the absolute best at everything and she makes sure we all know it.
Being one of a special group such as this is a great way to grow up. Of course not the same as being an actual twin or triplet, but there is a special something about it. An experience I wouldn’t trade for the world and hope that the current trio will feel that way as well someday!
Great Grandma Lucy…yesterday was the 125th anniversary of her birth in 1891. She left us back in December 1985, way back when I was in the 7th grade, yet there are seldom days she doesn’t come to mind and there are trigger scents that bring me back to her house circa late 1970’s. Walking into any antique store takes me back to her old house.
I actually have very few memories of the woman. Most of them come from going to visit her at her home with my mom when I was real little. I remember we’d always walk in through her back kitchen door, she’d always be sitting in her chair in the kitchen, always with an afghan in progress on her lap. Thinking back, she didn’t have a television in the room, wonder if she just sat and worked in quiet or if she had a radio.
Her home was such a unique place, looking back. She had the old white porcelain claw footed bath tub, the bathroom alone was like stepping back in time. I remember the room between the kitchen and living room, in which the bathroom was off of, guessing it was originally a dining room, had a single bed against the wall, the bed was always made and I remember small decorative pillows propped up prettily. There was never a thing out of place.
I recall once going to visit and Grandma Lucy sending my mom upstairs to get something for me. It was a beautiful child’s size wooden rocking chair with a wicker seat. Mom had it refinished and it was something that I enjoyed so much as a child. It’s something that I cherish so much and is in my living room now with an afghan she made me in her later years.
(Lucy with her mother)
To tell the truth, she scared me as a little girl. Grandma had the long skinny fingers, old lady voice and I can honestly say that I don’t recall having even seen her standing, always sitting in her chair.
In the last few years of her life my maternal grandmother (Lucy’s only daughter) would take me and other cousins to go visit Grandma Lucy at the nursing home. By that time she was in her 90’s and didn’t say too much. Still, always with a work in progress on her lap.
Having learned more about Lucy from my mother over the past few years, I really wish I could have known the woman my mother grew up knowing. She sounds like she was a spit fire! Sounds like she worked circles around her husband, babysat many of the local kids, would tell her grandchildren to go in the other room and be quiet when she was trying to talk to adults and apparently did not get along with her son-in-law, my grandfather. Sounds like she said what she thought and didn’t hold back in any way, shape or form.
I do feel like I have a connection to Lucy. I have her rocking chair, I have her old kitchen table that her mother gave her as a hand-me-down and holds prominence in our living room and I crochet as she did. Think I would have loved her like crazy had I gotten to have known her when she was younger and I was older.
Having one of those days/nights. I’ve just been wanting some quiet me time and it’s far from what I’ve gotten. Well, guess I am being selfish…I did go to the city and do some running this afternoon, but that’s just not the same. Guess I’m just in one of my moods.
Made the dog and the cat get off me a little while ago and neither were happy with me, especially the dog, he likes to stay attached to the hip, especially when I’ve been gone for any period of time. I love him to pieces, but he can smother. I’d come down to my dungeon earlier because I felt like writing, but you know it’s hard to do when you have bodies on you! I can see him at the moment, watching me from his pile of dog pillows, blankets and toys, he’s so neglected.
I’ve actually been doing a lot of thinking lately. The weather is finally turning for the better, at least for the time being…my husband is complaining about the mud but I’m keeping to my earlier promise to not complain about the slop if it would just warm up a bit.
Anyway, I tend to get off track…I’ve been thinking of the things to start doing in order to better myself, for myself. You know that thing it’s hard to do when you are a mom.
I have started drinking a big glass of orange juice a day (when my husband reminds me), I’ve read it’s good for high cholesterol. That’s an easy enough habit to get into even when I don’t like the stuff.
I’m thinking I NEED to get back into going to church. Bubba and I have been going on Wednesday evenings for Lent, and it’s done what I’ve hoped it would do, make me feel like I can get my hind end out of bed on Sunday mornings and get back to church. I miss it. I always feel so good when I’ve gone, but I am the worse morning person in the world. If service could just be at 10:30 instead of 9:30 it would be so much easier…as I’m looking at the clock and it’s almost 1 a.m. already.
I’ve always had a night owl issue, it has to run in the DNA because it goes back to my dad and his mom and my kids are the same way, my husband can go to bed at 7 and sleep until morning. Don’t know how he does it, I can’t sleep for more than 3, 4 hours tops without waking up, think it comes from being mom, always getting up to check on the kids during the night and dogs who decide to bark because the wind changed direction.
Anyway, off track again…I know I need to work on changing my routine, but saying and planning and doing are of course two totally different things. For 20 years I’ve waited all day, until after everyone is in bed to have my time. That’s when I watch my political shows, watch the news, crochet and smoke, I have my body trained and I’ve been having a hell of a time making myself make the changes. I’m down to one child at home and he’s in school all day, I can take my time during breaks during the usual taking care of things routine, but I feel guilty taking my time during the day, even when no one is home. I know, it doesn’t make much sense.
Just making myself go to bed 30 minutes early seems like I’m cutting off my own toes, it shouldn’t be that hard to start at 30 minutes and work up from there.
There is no reason I can’t start making these changes, I have to get off my ass and make myself make these changes. I just have to keep reminding myself that it takes 20 days or something like that, to make a new change a habit, or however the saying goes.
Well hell…I suppose, tomorrow day should be a busy one. Have the alarm set already to get up for church, we’ll see if I get my butt moving or not.
In the afternoon there’s going to be a very sad birthday party for our family. My cousin who died a little over a month ago, both his and his little boy’s birthday is tomorrow. Going to have a party for the little guy and then a balloon send off for Chad for his first heavenly birthday, guessing it’s going to be a tear jerker. Going to be really tough on Aiden over the years, it was always so special that he was born on his daddy’s birthday, and he is such a big daddy’s boy.
There is also team sorting tomorrow and I’m sure Bubba won’t want to be going to any birthday party, he and Kaet’s boyfriend have their Sunday routine. He’s really going to howl if I actually get my butt moving for church and get him up to go. He likes church, but like his mother, doesn’t like to get up early on the weekend and then get cleaned up on top of it…he’s 13, so having to dress in decent clothes AND tuck his shirt in just about does him in.
It really would have been great if we’d been able to go to Oklahoma this weekend like we’d wanted to do. Too much going on for the Old Boy to get away, maybe next year we’ll make it to the timed events at The Lazy E, it’s been a few years since we’ve been able to go.
Okay, that’s it…I have to make myself shake it…take care!