Why My Childhood Was Awesome

Since having kids, I’ve thought a lot about doing stuff that will give them an (at least) memorable childhood. At most, I’d like them to be, oh, maybe 33 or so, and look back and think: my childhood was awesome!

My parents are good parents. Always looking out for the greater good, they did some perhaps crazy things. Say packing up the family and moving them from Wisconsin to Texas for a couple years, and then moving said family back to Wisconsin to a dilapidated house that had been vacant for twenty years.

All for the greater good.

And for the greatest stories.

Like the reason we left Texas? My dad’s position at Hughes Tool Company was lost in the company’s first extensive lay-off and downsizing plan in its history. Oh, and we’re pretty sure a famous unsavory clan was setting up shop in a vacant field across the street from our house. And we had cockroaches the length of an adult’s finger in the house. Guh-Ross. You could hear their little feet tick-tick-ticking as they walked. (It wasn’t a matter of uncleanliness, I promise!) And Water Moccasins under the house and Rattlesnakes by the garage.

And the dilapidated house that was vacant for twenty years? Yeah…no windows or working indoor plumbing and one of the upstairs bedrooms had marks where a bear had previously sharpened his claws.

True stories, all.

We also got locked aboard The Battleship Texas. We were down in the engine room, a very loud area, when the ship was locked up for the night. No one heard the announcements that the place was closing, and apparently before the wide use of security cameras, none of the museum’s staff had any idea our family was still aboard. Leaving the Engine Room, we must have noticed no one else around and when we arrived at the gangplank to leave, we were stuck on the wrong side of the gates and padlocks.

Being only about three years old, I remember the engine room, but nothing else from the ship. I remember being passed around the gate to my mom while my brothers were able to climb over. For a moment or two, I was suspended over the ocean to get safely to the other side. I remember seeing the water a good 15 feet below.


And those non-tangible memories come back. Like the quiet of the ship as we made our way to the exit. The spooky, eerie, no-one-else-is-around-to-help-us quiet that made me want to hurry off this ship onto solid land.

I was at the library at closing time the other day. Employees started turning off the lights, the place was hushed, even for a library. I was tucked away in a corner and thought, I could be forgotten about here, and the experience of being locked on the Battleship Texas came to mind. My next thought was, I need to start writing some of these down. Someday my memory won’t be jogged so easily.

So I’m starting this page: Why My Childhood Was Awesome.

I don’t know if anyone outside my family will really care. But it’s cool to get them down somewhere and since I write instead of using some other way to remember these days, I’m glomming onto Ollie and Tucker’s blog.


This van was our daily driver for a few years. A retired ambulance, the sirens and most of the lights still worked. The interior was not very much converted to the safety standards of today, the cargo area only had two seats and a long hospital bed in the back. We had shelving and places for oxygen hookups, with tubes still attached, and lots of switches to play with on long trips. Of course my parents sat in the front, while my brothers and I fought over the “pilot’s seat” directly behind the driver, facing backward. Man, I wish we had a photo of the interior, just because I’m sure no one believes me. Oh, and we were NOT responsible for the Mystery Machine paint scheme. Someone else, just as goofy as us, did that.


3 responses to “Why My Childhood Was Awesome

  1. mOm

    November 1, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    LOVE this!! Please keep writing!!

  2. mOm

    November 2, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Thank you …

  3. Mom

    February 11, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    There was your first tiara!


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