Posts Tagged ‘teenagers’

Today I am revisiting a post from March 9, 2015 for Throwback Thursday Link Up hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Check out the link for more revisited blog posts.


Earlier today, I read a blog which talked about the Eric Burdon and War song, Spill the Wine. I commented that I recalled the song well and that it was a favorite when it came out in the early 70’s.

“I was once out strolling one very hot summer’s day
When I thought I’d lay myself down to rest
In a big field of tall grass
I lay there in the sun and felt it caressing my face”

I remember walking home from high school (we lived within bus riding distance and we rode the bus except when we manufactured reasons to stay after school and miss the bus), my sister and I, listening to music on the radio my sister smuggled into school. Every day we would hear Spill the Wine played by the same DJ. It must have been a favorite of his, too. It’s one of those singable, danceable songs and we would do just that…sing along and practically dance home while it played. Once in a while a car would drive by and they would honk and wave at us while we pranced home singing. Unfortunately, one day one of those cars that honked at us was driven by our dad. He had gone to pick get our younger sister at the middle school so he decided to drive by our walking route and give us a ride. He was very angry that we were “parading down the street like clowns.” That put a stop to our walking home for a long time. We would have to ride the bus or call our dad to come get us. No more prancing along to Spill the Wine or any other song.

CJC laughing

1974…Those were the days!

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Yesterday, I read Deb’s post in which she wrote about trying to learn to ride a motorcycle.  It reminded me of my motorcycle adventures.  I’ve written about it in this post in which I wrote about my dad’s money-making trades.  Here’s the part that I was reminded of: 

My personal favorite of my dad’s deals was a white Honda 90 motorcycle.  I loved it.  It became mine.  I was 15 and there was talk that when I turned 16 I would get my license on the Honda 90.  We lived on a cul-de-sac with very little traffic so I was allowed to drive it up and down the street.  I loved feeling the wind blowing through my long dark hair (even though I was only going about 35 or 40 mph).  Unfortunately, I never got my license on that motorcycle.  I ruined my chances of that one early summer evening, four months shy of turning 16.  I persuaded my sister, Irene (aka The Drama Queen) to go down the street on the motorcycle with me.  There were three boys who lived down the street.  They were all cute.  They were a few years older than us but they always smiled and flirted with us when we went by.  I had seen them in the window when I had driven by earlier so I knew they were there.  When Irene and I go to their house, I turned toward the window where they stood and smiled, tilting my head in a greeting.  When my eyes returned to the road, I realized that the STOP sign was much closser than I had thought.  I hit the brakes so hard that the motorcylce flipped and threw Irene and me  into the air.  Irene claimed not to be able to walk or even get up.  Although my legs and arms were cut and skinned, I picked her up and put her on the curb then I picked up the motorcycle but I couldn’t get it started so I ended up walking it up the hill (and it was a steep hill) to our house.  When I got home, my mom and dad were in the front yard and they asked what happened.  I told them we had flipped over and they asked where Irene was.  I told them she was on the curb because she couldn’t walk up the hill so they both panicked and jumped in my dad’s car to drive down and get her.  I was upset at my parents because they left me bleeding to go get Irene.  And I was more upset at the boys we were trying to impress because they had seen us flip over and knew we were hurt and they didn’t even come to see if we were okay.  The Jerks.  Needless to say, my mother persuaded my father to get rid of the Honda before one of us got killed on it (her words, not mine).  Losing that motorcycle was one of the worst things that had happened to me in my almost 16 years.

Since then, I have wanted to ride a motorcycle again but now, as I grow older, I would be satisfied to be the rider and not the driver!


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When I was a teenager, I was often caught up in the romance and sentimentality of song lyrics. One of those songs was Eighteen Yellow Roses, sung by Bobby Darin. For those that haven’t heard it, you can hear it here. The song’s lyrics tell the story of a father’s realization that his little girl is growing up. One day a bouquet of eighteen yellow roses comes for the daughter, and the dad says “…eighteen yellow roses will wilt and die one day but a father’s love will never fade away.” I had a different kind of relationship with my father and I think it was a longing for something I was missing that made me love that song. I used to turn the volume up every time I heard it on the radio and that was a lot because I always listened to the oldies station, even as a teenager.

As my own eighteenth birthday approached in December of 1973, the song became more and more special to me. I had no hope of getting the roses as I had no boyfriend. My father was also gone from our home so having him around for my 18th birthday was up in the air. On Christmas morning, the day I turned 18, I was surprised to find a bouquet of 18 yellow roses and more surprised to find that the card on the flowers had my name on it. The bouquet was from my mom. She wanted to do something special for me and in my eyes, she had done just that.

My mom continued to gift me with yellow roses on my birthday for a number of years. In fact, yellow roses have sort of become my trademark. Now, when I get them (and it’s rare these years) the gift is made more special because I know that the persons giving them to me (my kids) know how special they are and intend to give me something very special.


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While reading blogs yesterday, I came across this friend’s post which mentioned he had left his pumpkin out in the rain after Halloween and eventually had to pick it up with a shovel and toss it in the trash. It reminded me of my daughter, Susie. Let me preface the story with the fact that Susie comes by her stubbornness honestly. Her father is stubborn and I am even more so.

Two years ago, when Susie was 16, we carved our pumpkins on Halloween afternoon and put them out on the front porch. We always wait til Halloween to carve our pumpkins because, being in California with the warm weather, the pumpkins rot right away if they’re left outside after they’ve been carved. The routine is to buy them a week or so before Halloween, put them outside in the front til Halloween then bring them in and carve them in the afternoon. It also buys time between “after school” and “getting your costume on”. Then they go out and after trick-or-treating is over, we bring them in and I bake them or boil them. In 2006, we had two pumpkins because it was only Susie and I living at the house. In previous years, we had as many as five pumpkins when all three of the kids were home and their father still lived with us but that’s been a long while. That year we had a Mama pumpkin and a Susie pumpkin. She wanted to carve them both so I let her. We put them out in the front, complete with a little candle, to await trick-or-treaters.  Before she put them out, I told her it was her job to bring them in when she got home from her trick-or-treating with her friends.  She agreed.

Fast forward through the evening of Halloween in which I was deluged with over 500 trick-or-treaters! It was a big surprise because it was the first year we lived at that house and we didn’t know that the two churches in the neighborhood each had a Halloween party and people used our street for parking and they trick-or-treated on their way to the church! We got van-loads of kids!

Oops, I said fast forward and instead I paused! Sorry! Let me push “play”.

So when Susie got home, I reminded her she had to bring in the pumpkins. She said she’d do it after she changed out of her ladybug costume. Two hours later I reminded her again. She said she’d do it before she went to sleep. The next morning I reminded her again. She said she’d do it before she left for school. She didn’t do it. Every day I reminded her at least three or four times and every day she’d put me off, saying she’d do it at some point later in the day. I don’t like to yell. I don’t like to threaten. I don’t like to nag her. I also don’t like to do what she is supposed to do just because she is being lazy about it. What will she learn if I do that? So the more stubborn she became about bringing in the pumpkins, the more stubborn I became about not bringing them in for her. I eventually started asking her if she wasn’t embarrassed to have the rotting pumpkins out there. She said she wasn’t and that they looked kind of neat as they transformed from jack-o-lanterns to a moldy pile of mush.

The pumpkins stayed out there for what seemed like forever! They got gross. They got more gross. They started oozing gook from the bottom. Not even flies would go near them.

Then she asked if she could go out with a new boy that I hadn’t met. BINGO! I had her! They could never go out with anyone that I had not met in person at the house. So she had to bring him over to meet me and he had to come in the house and sit down and make small talk for at least ten minutes. This meant she had to clean up the pumpkins before he could come over!!! She agreed.

She went out to assess the situation and asked me how she should clean it all up because they were so gooey that she couldn’t pick them up without her hands going through them and making a mess all over. I suggested she use a box that was out by the trash can as a kind of dust pan. So she had to cut the box apart and bring the trash can to the front porch. She also had to go find a dish towel to tie around her nose and mouth while she did it. It was THAT gross. After she scooped it all up and tossed it in the can and returned the big trash can on rollers to the back yard, she had to get the hose and hose down the mess. Then she had to scrub it with disinfectant (it smelled bad so we had to get the smell out) and hose it down again. The whole process took her well over an hour. She did it all herself. Finally.

I was delighted. It had been very frustrating for me to deal with this through weeks. (I think it was the weekend before Thanksgiving when she finally cleaned it all up.) But at least now I thought she might have learned a lesson about why she shouldn’t put things off for so long.

The following year, the pumpkins came in on Halloween night, after trick-or-treaters were all done.

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Remember Leave It To Beaver? Remember Eddie Haskell, Wally’s friend? You know, the one that was ready to stab you in the back while kissing up to you? Remember how the look on his face would change whenever a grownup came within hearing shot? Remember him saying something like, “Hello Mrs. Cleaver. You look very lovely today, Mrs. Cleaver.” Then he’d turn around and his regular face would return. Remember? Remember?

Well, I had all but forgotten until I moved here. It was August. Because of the heat, I pretty much stayed indoors most of the day and ran out to do my errands in the early evening. On my way down the street, I would run into a group of teenagers playing basketball in the middle of the street. I would slow way down to give them a chance to get out of the way. They would all scoot off, giving me dirty looks for interrupting my game. All except “Eddie Haskell” who would look right into my car window with that big sugary smile and then he’d wave hi to me. The moment I went by, I could see his look change in my rear view mirror. That’s when Leave It To Beaver came back to me, especially Eddie Haskell. I even told my daughter about it. At first, she didn’t believe me. She thought I was exaggerating but then one day she was in the car with me when it happened and she cracked up saying I was right. It was definitely an Eddie Haskell look!

Now that summer is over and they’re not out there playing every night, I kind of miss Eddie Haskell. Once in a while, I’ll see him on my way down the street and I’ll get that Eddie look from him. Every time. It cracks me up.

I can hardly wait til they start playing basketball out in the street again!

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