Eloping Has its Moments

I was mad at my mom… as mad as I had ever been. I called my boyfriend, Doug, and told him I was running away from home. I guess, in his own way, Doug was trying to protect me from whatever he thought I might do and offered to go with me. Had he not offered, I would have probably taken a long walk around the block and come home because barely sixteen, I really was afraid of most things. I had been a sheltered, protected child all my life. I knew nothing of the world I was about to venture into. Doug was four years older than me, so I figured he knew alot about alot. 

Doug came and picked me up in his bright red Ford Fairlane 500- a pretty cool car, I thought. He was tall and thin with brown hair and eyes He had dimples right under his eye. Because he was from Quebec, I called them “Canadian dimples” because I’d never seen dimples in that particular spot. He had been getting ready for work when I called and he dropped everything for me. Love? I thought so. In real life, probably not so much. Probably more a case of lust, adventure and romanticism. Even at this early age, I was a hopeless romantic.

That day was payday at The Plum Tree, a children’s clothing shop where I worked. So, after taking a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and jelly and one of Mother’s butter knife, we went to pick up my paycheck. I don’t remember if Doug had any money- probably not, but I wondered how far we could get on my $32.00 check. I was afraid we wouldn’t get far, but we did, after all , have food and gas. He  had friends in Minnesota where he grew up and went to high school. So, we planned to head for Minnesota- St. Paul to be exact. Thus, our journey began.

We drove for what seemed forever until it got dark and we stopped for the night. I can’t even remember what state it was in, but it was a lady’s house and we rented a room for the night with a bathroom down the hall. I can’t imagine what we might have paid for the room since money was, uh, tight. Anyway, I know it wasn’t much. It felt good to be there with him and the lady was older, so oddly, I felt safe.

Little did we know my parents had already called the police, had words with his parents and filed charges against Doug – such as taking a minor across the border, statutory rape, kidnapping and other charges. We slept good in that little room and got up early the next morning to make St. Paul before dark. I had never been to Minnesota, so I was kind of excited and scared all rolled into one. I wanted to make a  good impression on Doug’s friends, so I asked him questions about this friend and that one- things I could use to converse with the unknown exponents.

It was cold in March in Richardson, but much more cold in Minnesota and more snow on the ground than I ever saw in Dallas! I had never seen so much snow. I don’t know what I expected with Minnesota so far north it was almost Canada! I don’t even think I thought about stuff like that. I’m sure I didn’t take many, if any clothes.Image

The Animals

I have always loved animals. I had a dog, Sweet Thing, growing up. Sweet Thing was a little AKC Sheltie. Her AKC name was “Debaton Caprice Delight.” And a delight is what she was for me. I told her my deepest, darkest secrets. When I was sad, she sat under the pecan tree with me, watching me cry and offering her paw to me for comfort. I gratefully took it and it calmed me, warmed me and saved me many times from further tears. She always listened and always there. She was beautifully tri-colored, graceful and worthy of the name “Sweet Thing.”

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So, here she is in all her glory. My first. I would have loved to have had a kitty to go with her, but, my mom told us that when she was little, there were cats everywhere…  cats “slithering” around her legs, “sneaking up on her, oh  my, how she hated cats.  There would be no cats in this little girl’s early life. But, there were plenty to follow.

I love to name my animals unique names. I once had a solid white cat. Her name was “Honkey Cat.” I once brought a kitten home when i was out of Prozac. yep, you guessed it. Her name was Prozac in case i ever ran out of Prozac, I would never truly be out ! I used to take Desyrl for sleep. yep, a cat! Currently, we have Barn Cat, who , guess what? lives in the barn. We have Short Fat Cat and she is and Little Foot whose feet are very small! See what I mean? Unique, fun names. How else would you name an animal?

Starting at the Beginning

Florence Nightingale Hospital
Florence Nightingale Hospital

I was born in Florence Nightingale Hospital in Dallas, Texas . If you are thinking to yourself, “I’ve never heard of it,” it could be because a) you are not old enough,or b) because it is non existent except in the form of Baylor Hospital in downtown Dallas. I’ve only found one other person who mentioned they were born there and funnily enough, it was my second cousin, once removed. I’ve only spoken with her, I’ve never met her. Pretty ironic, don’t you think? Me, too! Even though I was born in Dallas, I was raised and lived all of my life in Richardson, Tx.

Richardson has always been a utopia of sorts. There was a little city newspaper, but I rarely saw any kind of bad news in it. Richardson was a pretty sheltered little community in which doors were not often locked (except at our house). People knew each other, ( pretty cool to know your neighbors) and interestingly enough, liked each other. Kids went next door to play with other kids and most of the time, played outside- kickball, dodgeball, kick the can or even witch. The game “Witch” was more like chase with one person being the “witch.” We played hopscotch, Simon says- you know, most of the games that kids nowadays never heard of.  My neighbor, Julie and I , hooked up a tin can telephone from my bedroom window to hers. Suffice it to say that we had to open the windows and yell at each other for them to work properly. It was good fun and something to laugh about later on in life.

My parents owned two beauty shops. The Pandora and The Orchid Beauty Salon.  They worked hard and it is my opinion we were fairly privileged growing up. There were drawbacks to being the beautician’s daughter, such as everyone knowing who you were. There was absolutely no way to do something that was remotely “bad”- no- everyone in town knew us, me, and my sister. My mother had her people watching out for us and so we got told on if anyone happened to see what we did.  Still, that didn’t stop me from doing my own thing, marching to the beat of my own drum.

My mother and I had a unique relationship. I had always been an independent sort, but in a dependent way. I don’t remember ever thinking about things like self esteem or things that are quite popular these days for parents to teach their kids to think about . I guess I had a good deal of self esteem before I got to junior high with my pimply face and bouffant kind of hairstyle.I can imagine that my junior high and high school years were not all that much fun for me although I had a few good friends who made me laugh quite a bit.

I was not allowed to date until three weeks before my 16th birthday. I was not technically supposed to date until I was 16, but I cried, begged and carried on til my parents relented. And with good reason. I ended up eloping in March of 1974. My junior year in high school.

 

Thirteen, a New Life at Baker’s Acres

Friday, June 13, 2014, an odd day indeed being friday the 13th AND a full moon all in one. A sweet new life was born on Baker’s Acres. Thirteen Donkey, son of Bambi and Chris Donkey and new brother to Gregory Donkey, was born.

A sweet chocolate donkey with a black cross on his back, wobbled to and fro on his just born legs trying to find his mama. He was just warm and safe and now – where was this place- what was all this stuff around him? He didn’t know, but thought, “It’s nice here, innit?”

Here are some photos of Thirteen and his family  tree. All the humans and animals are excited and the barnyard is abuzz with the news of a new life here. Life is precious- no matter whose it is.

"nice here innit?"- Thirteen Donkey
“nice here innit?”- Thirteen Donkey
Bambi and Thirteen.
Bambi and Thirteen.
"Brother? Who ordered a Brother?" - Gregory Donkey
“Brother? Who ordered a Brother?” – Gregory Donkey
"We had a what??"- Chris Donkey
“We had a what??”- Chris Donkey