When I think of home, the first thing that comes to mind is my parents house in Sheldon, Mo. My parent's bought the house in 86 and I was born in 87. It's where my brother, sister and I where raised. My parents home is the country. They operate a small scale cattle farm of 250-300 acres with around 120 cows. This is what my Dad does full time, while my Mom is an RN.
It was odd to me to live in town at first. People right next door was pretty foreign. At first I noticed every car that drove past, door slam, train ect. After a while I got used to it but living in town is not what I think of when you say "home". I remember home as 60 acres of "back yard" to play in, gathering chicken eggs, splitting wood in the winter, canning vegetables, making jam, Sunday service then lunch with my family, always sitting at the dinner table to eat, reading books with my Mom, feeding hay to the cows, breaking ice in the winter for them to drink, cattle dogs riding on the back of the truck, hunting, fishing, driving by the time I was 8, my Dad wrapping all us kids in warm blankets in the winter to take us to the truck and off to Grandpa's house for him to watch us, coffee with Dad in the morning, Chiefs football, town being 25 minutes away, summer vacations every year, Sleeping in the same bed with my sister in the winter, Dad and Grandpa taking us kids out to breakfast every Saturday like it was a religious practice, planting a vegetable garden, drinking from a garden hose, swimming in ponds, prayers at night and before meals, spankings and real grounding if you got in trouble, closed stores on Sunday, doing what your told, making your bed everyday, snacks made by Mom waiting on you after you got off the bus, and no TV until your homework was done.
I can honestly say I didn't have a computer until I was 17. Even to this day they have dial up internet! I was never hung up on the computer or setting on the couch. I was an avid sports player for as long as I can remember. My Dad was my softball coach where I learned how to pitch and play shortstop. I remember my Dad teaching me how to catch a pop fly and I missed the catch and the ball hit me in the lip! It go so fat that I begged my Mom not to send me to school. She let me stay home. :) I ran hurtles and sprints in track, was setter in volleyball, and my favorite: forward in basketball. I was never interested in cheer leading or pink. All that girly stuff came to me after I turned 21. My parents came to all of my games.
My parents are such great people, they are what make my "home" what it is. They have been married 38 years come July and honestly still love each other. I've never seen them argue. They do a whole lot of teasing but never a cross word spoken between them. I remember my siblings and I doing the in unison, "Ewww" when they would kiss. When it was Christmas time my Mom would work extra and always took night shift on Christmas Eve. She worked in Joplin and that was an hour away, so on Christmas morning we would have to wait until 9am to open our gifts. When you look through our Christmas photographs you won't find my Mom in her PJ's, she will be in her scrubs. My Dad did dirt work for about 35 years. He ran heavy equipment like trackhoes, backhoes, skid steers, and so on. He was always dirty when he came home from work. I remember how much I liked the way he smelled. Sounds odd but he smelled like freshly dug clay and I really liked it. He even taught me how to run the equipment! I am proud to say I am the mechanic between my husband and I. Actually, I'm more the "man", all thanks to my Dad! When he would show up at any of our games he was always dirty and I was always proud. I remember both my parents as strong, kind people. They love to travel and saw the world together. They were married 14 years before they had me! They always took us on a vacation every year. It was always fun.
My family is by no means perfect but I want to raise my children the way I was raised. I think it made me a better person. My Mom and I butted heads when I was living at home but now she is my best friend. I think it's because we are so much alike. She lets me know when I'm wrong and I like that about her. My Dad is always calm and has a great view on the world and I look to him for advice. I've always been able to talk to him. He's the Dad who, when the weather was getting bad, would move your car into the barn and watch the skies and the weather channel, all night if he had too. When it got unsafe he would take us all down to the basement and he had everything we needed down there. He's been my foundation/voice of reason all my life. He and my Mom are both strong Christians and attend church where my Dad is one of the deacons.
My brother and sister... Oh lordy. They are my partners in crime! My husband says we all have the exact same mannerisms! We all love to scare our parents. Put fake snakes in the wood box kind of thing! We used to wrestle all the time, as kids do. I remember my sister, Shelly, when she was really small had a lisp. And one winter day my brother who was 8, Rocky, and her were sledding and I was folding laundry. Shelly, all of about 6 years old, comes running into the house in her pink snow suit and says (with a lisp), "Samantha come quick Rocky broke his leg!" I said, "Whatever I'm not going out there in the cold. Go play by yourself." She had to of came in the house 3 times and had this same conversation! Turns out my brothers leg was really broken and my 6 year old little sister had to pull him, on a sled, back to the house. When they came inside and I saw Rocky, Shelly immediately says, "See I told you his leg was broken!" To this day I still feel like the worlds worst sister for not going out to check on them. But to my credit they used to like to get me outside just to throw snowballs at me. Rocky is now 21 and happily married and I have a new sister Marissa. They live in Mount Vernon, Mo. Shelly, 18, just bought her first house in Nevada and is going to be a freshman in college this fall.
Writing this, makes everything seem to flood my memory and makes me kind of sad. I just cannot wait to be with them again. So after lots and lots of writing, you now know what comes to my mind when I hear the word, "home".
Small town life isn't for everyone but a good memory of "home" should be!
|Dad giving Tyler the "approval" handshake at our wedding|
|Mom and Shelly at my wedding|
|My family at Rocky and Marissa's wedding|
|Mr. and Mrs. Rocky Castlebury!|