Friday, January 9, 2009

One of My Favorite Stories

I have a tendency to get in strange situations. Mostly of my own making. I have often wondered if I watched too many reruns of I Love Lucy as a child and have somehow channeled Lucille Ball's character. But then I remind myself, it must just be a genetic abnormality.

Case in Point:

When my mother was around my age and I was around my daughter's age, we lived in a teeny, tiny town in northeast Arkansas. It has some attractions: 3rd Walmart ever built, lots of great smelling turkey farms nearby, my birth town, and a future General Authority of my church was the Stake President. But those have nothing to do with my story.

We were renting a large (in my 13 year old mind, anyway) home in town. "In town" means we had paved roads and no cow pies to throw around when we got bored. Our neighbors were a little strange, in a what-you-would-expect-Arkansas-neighbors-to-be-like kind of way. Meaning, I remember them being a little loud, owning a mean little pit bull, and surrounding their entire (junky) yard in a run down chain link fence. This yard ended about 1 foot from the edge of our house so we had a gorgeous view from our dining room window: of a chain link fence, loud neighbors, barking dog, and junky yard.

Actually, I loved this house. It had a lot of interesting quirks. Like the claw foot bath tub, bay front window, built in book shelves, huge field behind and huge porch in front. It also had one of those weird front door knobs that are always locked from the outside. Whoever invented that, should be shot.

And so my story begins.

One night, my mom left me watching my siblings (while we were all asleep) so she could run to the store. Upon arriving home, she realized she had forgotten the house key. Waking us up to let her in wasn't working out too well for her, so she had to think of a way to get inside.

Aha! She had left the dining room window open. All she had to do was crawl through. She left the bags on the front porch and began to wedge herself through the 1 foot space between our house and the chain link fence. Then the neighbors let their nasty little dog out.

So there she is shimmying down the fence line with a dog yapping at her rear end. She finally reached the window, opened it all the way and tried to lever herself inside. It would have worked, too, if she hadn't lost her center of gravity. Which she would have found quickly, if the window hadn't shut on her back.

I can picture her, halfway in the now shut window, frantically kicking her legs to regain balance. How astute of you to notice; yes, her legs were now stuck out over the fence. Yes, that dog was jumping up attempting to eat them. Good thing pit bulls are small (and my mom knows how to kick high) or she might have lost a foot (or at least a toe).

After a couple minutes (that felt a lot longer) she finally regained enough balance to open the window up and crawl inside. Relieved that the ordeal was over, she went to the front porch to retrieve the groceries. And, as she bent down to pick up the sacks, she heard the door click shut behind her. I told you the inventor of the always locked outside, never locked inside door should be shot.

She says the second time went off without a hitch, but I always chuckle at the thought of her shimmying down the fence one more time.

And THAT is my proof that genetics work. I just hope it's a recessive gene!


  1. That is so funny. I hope it's not recessive, because it makes for entertaining stories. :)

  2. My sister is unfortunately for her, but fortuantely for the rest of us, the person in my family who is the victim of fate. Her tag line is "Ah irony, so we meet again."

  3. That is always a funny story. I hated that little pit bull, but in the end it was the nice country dog of the other neighbors that bit one of us! Poor Gordon!

  4. You called that house in Arkansas tiny??? I remember it being HUGE!! Do you know how many square feet it was? I LOVED that house, even though there were copper head snakes having babies and GIGANTIC bugs all over....not to mention the neighbors, but still, I LOVED that house, and that story!

  5. Wasn't that the house that Barlow and I lived in the converted garage? I think we got our first nintendo while living there too.

  6. So the funnest part of this story to me is when you told your story about the skunk my dad said to me that it reminded him of a story of your mom, and then told me that story. How ironic.

  7. Hey! I have a chain link fence! (And I like it because I can see my beautiful yard developing when I walk down the sidewalk.)

    Hilarious story. I'm so glad it's now recorded for posterity.

  8. This kind of makes me wonder what stories my children will be telling their children about what their crazy mom used to do.

  9. The house had six bedrooms and two baths I think it had 3000 square feet. Yes Gordon you and Barlow shared a room and you did get your first nintendo there. The story was tragic with the pitbull, climbing on the fence, falling window, and closing the door behind me. What a time I had that night. In the end it just became a story to tell and laugh about.

  10. For the record, Charlotte said the house was big. The TOWN was tiny.

    I am sure your mom appreciates your family history work of documenting that story for her posterity.

    How cool that you knew Elder Bednar!

  11. Oh my goodness. Your poor mom. But so funny!!

  12. I read this story when I was at work and sometimes the computer there doesn't let me comment. And then I uh...did some stuff and didn't come back to comment.

    But I loved this story. And it has made me laugh out loud several times since reading it, just thinking about it. That second "click" must have been the loudest sound in the world.