... that's what my daddy would always call my brother and I! Actually to tell the whole truth - he just called us brats! As harsh as this may seem, it was actually said in a loving way! He, being military, had a hard time being "soft". He was loving, but not soft. When he tickled us, he did it so hard and with so much force that we would finally be close to tears and my mother always yelled "Earl, stop it, your too rough"! When he loved on me he did so by rubbing his rough whiskers on my face! OUCH! Oh how I miss that now!
He was a military man through and through. He believed in well behaved children - and we were! He believed in treating all people equal - and we did. He believed "pretty is, as pretty does". He never would have allowed us to make fun of others - and we didn't ( lest you think I am claiming perfection in this area, I am not - I did not say that it NEVER EVER happened in my life-it's just never been a common practice).
He gave me my first Barbie doll the night before he left for Vietnam. I will never forget it. It was not normal for us to get toys on random days. Birthdays and Christmas - that's when you got something new. Anyway, it was hidden on top of the outdoor freezer that was in our carport ( no garages in Alabama at the time) storage room. He pulled it down and I thought I'd gone to Heaven for sure. It was actually a Skipper doll ( that's Barbie's kid sister for all you anti-Barbie folks). I guess, knowing my daddy, he didn't want me to have the full "grown" Barbie just yet!!!
He would miss Christmas and my birthday - so he jumped ahead to see my face. I can assure you he could not have been disappointed! I looooved that Skipper doll. Yes, I do still have her. I see a Treasure Tuesday coming!
It's funny, I look back now and realize how innocent I was then. I didn't fully realize that it was a huge possibility that he may never come back. I was just so young. I didn't know anything of death and dying or even war for that matter! I remember my mother sitting in our swing outside for days, just crying and crying. I remember the helplessness that you feel as a child when your mother cries.
My daddy was in Germany when I was born and was there until I was about two years old. When he came home, I didn't have a clue who he was and why he was suddenly invading my perfectly "manless" world. My mother,brother (older by thirteen months) Granny and I were doing quite well thank you! Needless, to say, I was TERRIFIED of him! That's a whole 'nother blovel!!! Anyway, I wasn't all that close to him when he left for Vietnam, so I basically - just didn't get it!
I do remember the day he came home ( although he went for yet another tour). He didn't even tell my mother that he was coming home! It was quite the surprise!!! There we were, just going about our day and up comes a taxi. You must realize - we didn't have or need taxi's in my town. It was quite a sight to see, in and of itself! We ran in and told mama, there's a taxi outside! She came out and then --- like a true,living, gift of God - there, out of that taxi came the most handsome soldier we had ever seen. My Daddy! He had in his arms, a dozen (or was it more) roses for my mama. He had his duffel bag in the other hand. My mama started crying ( different tears than before) and they ran into each others arms. I can still see that duffel bag falling to the driveway!
What a sight to behold! What a glorious memory!
There are so many more of these stories buried in the recesses of my heart and mind. This one just popped in my head this morning and I wanted, no, needed to write it. What am I trying to tell you? I don't know! God placed it in the forefront of my mind and here it is. That's all!