My dad and brother built a kitchen table big enough for everyone to sit at and have our meals. It was something like ten feet long with chairs on the ends and one side, the other side that was against the wall they built a bench. There were twelve of us who sat around it. With my dad, there was no taking your plate and eating anywhere except the table as a family. I sat at the end of the bench close to dad. He was at the head of the table by the backdoor. Dad was one who made you eat what was on your plate, and like it or not you had to have some of everything that was served. I could not hide what I did not like. The kids on the other end of the bench could get away with it.
I did not like to eat my dad, he would take his false teeth out at the dinner table and clean them. This always turned my stomach. I loved my dad but he could do some gross things and see nothing wrong with it. He could also be very embarrassing. I am glad this did not happen to me, it was the sister two years younger. She needed her monthly items and she went to one of the small country stores with dad and he yells to the owner "where do you keep the manhole covers"? My sister said she ran out of the store and dad came out carrying a box of Kotex.
My step mom's daughter was married to my oldest brother so the grandkids were her grandkids and she would hide food from us, like bananas, or candy, pies, and such. We would come in and see the grandkids eating and want some, she would tell us no and send us back outside. I was not getting along with her and started spending more and more time at the neighbors.
I was sixteen and did not like it at home, I guess like most kids that age, I did not like having a curfew and when I would be in the front yard talking with my boyfriend my stepmom would yell for me to come in and if I did not do it she would stand at the door flipping the light switch on and off until I came in.
The couple who moved from Florida with us had their camper set up by our house while they looked for a property to buy. She was crocheting me a two-piece bathing suit, she wanted me to try it on before she sewed the lining in it. There were only women in the house so I went to my room and put it on. When I came downstairs to show her, my dad walked in, and the only way I can say this is to say "shit hit the fan". He went to yelling at me to get some clothes on and bring what I was wearing to him. The lady tried to tell him she made it for me and the lining was not in it yet. He was not listening to her and they went to arguing and she went to her camper. I got dressed but did not bring the bathing suit down with me. Dad made me go get it and he took it to her camper, he threw it on the ground, poured gas on it and lit it on fire. They were never friends again and found another place to move their camper. I have always felt it was my fault, I should have had her come to my room with me. It will always be one of the things you look back on and think, if I would have done this or that things would be different but you can not change the past.
I had just turned seventeen and told my boyfriend I was pretty sure I was pregnant, we waited another month and I was positive so he asked my dad if he could marry me. I never told dad I was pregnant but I think he knew because he said yes. That December we got married in dad's house but moved in with his parent's house. They had a two-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen upstairs in their house.
I was so scared to have a baby because for years any time any of us got hurt our step-mom would say " if you think this hurts, wait until you have a baby", so I always had that thought in my head and now I was going to go through this terrible pain she talked about.
The doctor asked how I wanted to have the baby when he came to the option of getting gas and being knocked out. I was all for it. I knew I could do this, I was going to be knocked out, no problem. When I went into labor, I just felt uncomfortable with pressure, there was no bad pain but I knew it was coming and before I got that far they would knock me out, I kept waiting, they wheeled me in the delivery room and I am still awake, they are telling me to push, I am still waiting to be knocked out, the doctor says one more big push and I hear him say, "it's a girl" I try to lean up to see her and they pushed me back and slapped the mask on me, they gave me the damn gas after I had her. I was so upset.
When we came home from the hospital my younger sister came to stay with me. Neither of us knew anything about how to care for a baby. The first diaper change was a laughing mess. We heard her going poop and thought she was finished so we took the diaper off, she was not finished, we hold a new diaper under her and finally she was finished so we took the diaper out from under her and she starts again we started laughing so hard that we could not do anything. We did learn to wait and not change her right away.
People told me that I would have to get up all hours at night to feed her so I was all set to do this. She went to sleep around nine and slept till seven the next morning. Every night she slept the entire night. People did not believe me, even my sister would tell them and they would say they had never heard of a newborn sleeping all night.
My husband joined the Marines and I did not want to live at his parents' house with him gone so I rented a small house in the same town. My husband was in Bootcamp and asked me to put a cigarette in a letter and mail it to him. I wrote to him every day so I was putting a cigarette in each one. He told me to stop sending them that they were making him eat them, so I got the bright idea to iron the cigarettes and they would not see them in the letter. They found them and he had to eat them, too. Then I thought I would send him some cookies but I did not want to just send them to him so I got his sisters to help me bake enough cookies for the entire platoon. I mailed eighty pounds of cookies to him. He said never do that again, they made him do push-ups while eating all the cookies until he got sick.
I had gotten a little dog to keep me company while he was in boot camp. I had cooked pork chops and gave the dog the bone and somehow it got stuck in its mouth. I tried to pry it with my fingers but I could not get it out, so I had the little guy by the back legs, hanging up-side-down in the front yard trying to shake it out of him. A man was driving by and saw me frantically shaking this poor dog, I was crying and shaking him. The man stopped his car and came over to me, I told him what was wrong and he calmly laid the dog down and twisted the bone until it came out. I was so thankful, I am not sure what would have happened if he did not come by at the right moment. I will always be grateful to him.