This is the sixth in a series of blogs I’m writing for Mommy’s Piggy Tales. Janna has provided a forum for members to write and share stories from their youth. It’s a great adventure! Feel free to join in here. On my ninth birthday, I received my very own bicycle, and so did Louise and Scott. At first I felt a bit gypped and wondered why they got their birthday presents on my special day, but afterwards it was a lot more fun having someone to ride bikes with. We rode them quite often that summer, around the block and to the store. We lived in a very nice neighborhood and I enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t very social. Fourth grade came along and I graduated to the “big” playground at Holly Oak Elementary. That year was very exciting. First we got to learn how to play instruments. I decided that I wanted to play the clarinet, so Mom and Dad rented one from downtown. After a month, the music teacher asked me if I wanted to play the oboe because there was a spare one lying around the district. The first lesson I had on that, it took me half an hour to get a squeak out of just the reed, but I soon got the hang of it and really enjoyed playing the oboe. Mrs. Chambers was my school teacher, and she has always been one of my favorites. I guess it was because she made you want to learn. She gave us “keys” that were essentially book reports, but the one who had the most at a certain point received a prize. We were also divided into groups of five or six and every Friday the group who had the most points for being good got doughnuts at recess. There were also creativity stations where we could write whatever we wanted to write. For P.E. we played a lot of Dodge Ball, but I enjoyed it. Up to this time I had always worn dresses to school and everyone expected that, although girls were beginning to wear pants to school. One day I went home for lunch and came back to school in pants because we were leaving right after school to go on a picnic, or up to the snow, or some family activity like that. Everyone was shocked, and it was kind of fun being the center of attention. Even after that, I never wore pants on any regular basis until I was in high school. I only wore them on occasions like that. In high school, I wore pants half of the time and dresses the other days, and I still do. I guess I just like being feminine and that’s a lot easier in a dress. On Memorial Day, 1972, (about the time Arlene returned to her family on the reservation) one of the events that most affected my life occurred. This was the day that Tony, George, Ida and Benjamin came to live with us. I guarantee that my life would not be the same if this had never happened. Sometimes I wonder, but I’m glad they came to live with us. At this time they were 12, 9, 6, and 3, respectively. It was, and is, a great trial for our family the way their upbringing interferes with mine. However, it’s been a great learning experience and I now know a lot more about coping with others than I would have otherwise.

Today I am thankful for my parents. They are just amazing people. Can’t you just feel the love for others and desire to be righteous that emanates from them, even in a picture? I have the best role models anyone could ever want. I could go on and on and on, but I won’t. I’m just grateful I can call them Mom and Dad.