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Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Entry 170: 1986 A Trip to the Fresno Zoo

          One of our first big trips with all five kids was to the Fresno Zoo.  The kids ran from one exhibit to the next.  Each animal seemed more amazing and spell binding than the one before.  The elephants were a hit.  The tigers were loud and scary.  The bears were holding their feet and rolling on their backsides so they were funny.  The birds were screeching and scared Charlie a little.  The snakes and other reptiles brought screams from the girls and giggles from Adam. 
We wandered around the zoo all morning.  When noon rolled around we had hot dogs and chips for lunch.  Heidi bought a bag of peanuts and took Adam to the monkey cage to sneak a few to the spider monkeys.
After a few minutes passed Adam came running back to us, grabbing at our hands, and telling us we just had to come with him.  He had found the neatest animal at the zoo.  He seemed sure we’d want to finish our meal where we could watch the orangatang.

Adam showed us why he thought this animal was worth moving our position to watch.  He started waving his arms in the air then put them under us arms and started making shrieking noises taunting the animal.  That old orangatang had played this game before.  After a moment a quiet rumble became audible.  It grew in volume reaching a grand crescendo of screams.  The louder he screamed the more agitated his actions were.  He started hitting his tire swing with the back of his hands then he grabbed it by the ropes and swung it as hard as he could.  When his show was just about over he scooped up a pile of his poop off the ground and while running at his growing audience threw it as far into the crowd as he could.
Several people had joined Adam while this show was taking place.  Most of them got out of the way but there were a few girls in the crowd, not ours, who had ducked down instead of running.  They had monkey poop in their hair for the rest of the day.
The show repeated itself about every fifteen minutes until the orangatang finally got tired and went inside to rest.  Luckily none of our family ever got hit with his “gifts.”  I’m not sure but it seemed the orangatang was enjoying putting on a show for us.  I was never quite sure why Adam thought we’d want to watch while eating but we did all finish our hot dogs.  As little as Charlie was at the time he knew when the sound got loud the crowd was going to scream and laugh and run! 
          It was kind of gross but that old monkey gave us a great family memory!  He is sitting in the tree below just out of site...Heidi is already getting ready to run!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Entry 169: 1986 Justin and the Air Freshener

One morning after one of the girls had been in the bathroom, Justin came to me with a very curious look on his face and a heart felt question.  “Mom”, he said, “why is it when the girls come out of the bathroom it smells good and when I come out it smells so bad?”
We were in hallway just outside the bathroom and I could smell the air freshener but the temptation to play with him was just too great.  I didn’t tell him it was because the girls used cologne and air fresheners.  I told him it was because they were little girls and he was a little boy.  I nearly double over when he burst out saying, “Oh, that’s what I thought!’  I never did tell him different. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Entry 169: 1986 Adams' Blue Ribbon Pig

            One of our sows had a litter of piglets with a very special piggy.  This particular little pig grew wider and fatter than any of his brothers and sisters.  Adam was sure the piglet could win a blue ribbon at the county fair.  When the piggys were about six weeks old our vet, Gary Daley, was at our place taking care of some calves.  When Adam mentioned how fat the little pig was Gary gave him a  checkup.
           In near disbelief Gary told us the reason the piggy was so huge compared to the others was that he was missing an exit for waste.  Let me put this as delicately as I can, the little pig didn’t have a butt hole.  Please excuse me but I don’t know how else to say it.  Gary fixed the piggy and made him what he was missing.  That little piggy pooped for the entire afternoon.  He was still pooping when we had to leave the corral that evening.
Adam couldn’t wait for morning to come.  He wanted to check on the pig.  At first he said he couldn’t find the little guy.  When he did the poor little pig had turned from the fattest of the litter to the runt.
Adam’s dream of winning a blue ribbon with a pig that summer disappeared.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Entry 167: 1986 Trick or Treating in Yosemite

         Mom and dad were camping in Yosemite during October.  We drove the kids up for a one night visit.  I had packed all their costumes. 
About mid-afternoon we went from campsite to campsite trick or treating.  There weren’t any other trick or treaters but the camps were full of hopeful grandparents.  It took about ten minutes for the kids to fill their bags with candy.  We actually emptied the goodies and went for more.  Besides all the candy they got dollar bills, apples, peanuts, sling shots, marshmallows, and pinecones!  I’ve got to say it was the best trick or treating we ever did!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Entry 166: 1985 Robbery at our Church

 We came outside after the church service at First Baptist in Turlock to find a couple fellows rummaging through some of the vehicles.  Several of the men started chasing them up the street.  Larry cornered one of the men behind the doughnut shop a block away.  The police were called and the men were arrested.
Several months later Larry was called to testify in court.  I suppose the lawyer was trying to make it seem Larry was prejudiced against one of the robbers over the other.  The lawyer asked Larry, “Why did you choose to chase the gentleman you chased and not the other?”  Larry answered without hesitation, “Because this one was fat and I knew I could catch him.” 
The judge sitting at the bench that day was Jeremy Cook’s dad, someone Larry had known all his life.  Larry’s answer caught him by surprise.  The judge laughed and snorted at Larry’s response.  Everyone in the courtroom chucked.  He gave Larry a parting smirk as he stepped down from the witness stand.  Oh…the memories!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Entry 165: 1984 Disappearing Mother

Justin was in his room when I had the bright idea to play a joke on him.  I called him from my bathroom.  When I could hear his little footsteps getting near I flushed the toilet, jumped into the shower, and quietly pulled the door closed.  
When Justin was almost to the bathroom I began calling out, “Justie, help.”  I repeated it two or three times each time getting quieter until I was silent.  I listened.  I heard Justin continue into the bathroom calling out, “Mommy? Mommy?”  He took the bait and thought I’d gone down the toilet!   He turned and took off running for the stairs.  
I quickly got out of the shower and pretended to be hanging things in my closet.  Justin returned a few minutes later.  He walked past the closet door into the bathroom.  He stared at the toilet for a long time with a puzzled look on his face.  When he came near me again he wrapped his arms around my knees and gave me a big hug never saying anything about what had happened.
I noticed later as he used the bathroom he was standing on his tip toes and a little farther from the toilet than I’d ever seen before!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book Entry 164: 1984 Justin Gets a New Name

        Charlie joined our family the day before Justin’s second birthday.  Because Charlie and Justin are half-brothers it made the day even more special.  Robin said,  “Now they are whole brothers and I am their whole sister!”  
        A few months later we went before the judge to make Justin an official Reed.  Again, we made a family event out of it and took all the kids to see the judge.  As luck would have it, this was during the time Justin had fallen in love with his cowboy outfit. 
For days he had worn his cowboy hat, chaps, kerchief, gun, and holster.  It was the first thing he’d look for in the morning and he’d fight to keep it on at bedtime.  His cowboy outfit was the first thing Justin actually took physical and mental possession of. 
Justin would pull the kerchief over his mouth and think we couldn’t tell who he was.  He’d walk from room to room shooting us expecting a long-lasting death scene every time.  Adam was great; he’d grab his chest and do a spiral that would last for minutes as he’d wobble and sway ending in a heap on the floor.  Justin would burst into loud giggles and immediately begin seeking his next victim.  Heidi and Robin didn’t think it was as much fun as Adam did so more often than not Justin would find Adam and shoot him again!
We met the judge in his chambers.  A huge smile covered his face when our family filed into the office.  Justin really caught his eye when he entered wearing his cowboy outfit, spurs clanking on the tile floor, his gun drawn and aimed directly at the judge.  One by one this kind man greeted the kids, shook their hands, asked their names, and asked each one of them if they wanted to make Justin their brother.
          The room was full of laughter.  Finally the judge set Justin up on his desk.  Justin’s holster hit the desk with a loud thud.  The judge bent down to Justin, pushed his cowboy hat to the side, and whispered something into his ear.  Justin grinned and the judge’s eyes sparkled as he stood.  He set Justin on the floor and proclaimed, “Well you’re official.”
          Larry shook his hand again and we filed out the door.  When we got into the hall the kids all began to laugh and chatter.  I asked everyone to be quiet and bent down to Justin asking what it was the judge had whispered into his ear.  Justin got the biggest smile on his face and told me.   “Mommy, he said he never changed a cowboy’s name before.” 
          I shared with the family and we all laughed as we followed our little cowboy down the hall.  When we got to the glass door Justin drew his pistol making sure the way was safe and we all proceeded to the car.