For the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about funny memories of my family and friends. Maybe these thoughts are coming back to me because I need to have back surgery (again), and this procedure kind of has me worried. It doesn’t help that I have a very active imagination.
One memory was when my son Tommy was little and determined to teach me how to ride a bike. That’s right; I have never ridden a bike in my life. Tommy put me on one in our driveway and told me there was nothing to it; just steer it like a car.
He did not, however, tell me how to stop it. I made it onto the street, started going faster than I was ready for, and thought the only way to stop was to go uphill on my neighbor’s yard. In doing this, I took out their mailbox which, in fact, was the only thing that stopped me. I never tried that again, and Tommy stopped insisting. I do believe he was more embarrassed than I was.
Then there was the time we were forced to cut down one of the pine trees in our back yard. Heaven forbid Jay Fickle even considered paying someone else to do this. Oh, no; he called one of Tommy’s friends who had a wench on the front of his pickup. After attaching the cable from the wench to the tree, Tommy’s friend Brian started pulling the tree back.
Now, you have to understand that my husband was usually a very intelligent person. Not this time. He was standing under the tree with both arms wide open, waiting for it to fall. I don’t know why; it was a very big tree. Later, he told me he wanted to make sure it didn’t hit the house. Hello?
There are lots of memories about Tommy growing up, including lots of memories of going to the vice-principal’s office at school. It got to where we were on a first-name basis, and Tommy thought the man was a mind-reader because he always knew what Tommy was doing.
Tommy was constantly bringing home tardy slips, as he was always walking some girl to her class and making him late for his own. He told me one time he was collecting enough to wallpaper his room.
Those were the days. Jay and I used to have parties a couple times a year and, for some reason, our dear friends thought we deserved to have our front yard toilet-papered after each event. It went from toilet paper to a gross yellow toilet with black plastic flowers in it. Once, they stole a sign of a little man pointing with the words “Parking Here,” and put it right by our front door.
At around 3 in the morning, Tommy knocked on our bedroom door and said he had a present for us. Still asleep, Jay and I stumbled into the hallway to find one of those construction signs with the bright red light on top. We kept that for years and couldn’t figure out how to turn off that light. Jay finally put it behind the shed with a styrofoam bucket on top.
I hope the statute of limitations is up on that, or I might wind up in jail instead of the hospital.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)