Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Being Scared!

     Ok, so lets just say growing up I was easily scared. I was scared of any bugs, especially ones that
fly. The flying ones never know where they are going! The dark scared me as well as creepy noises. So my Dad, being the understanding parent he was, would go to great lengths to scare the crap out of me. For example, standing outside our living room window in the cold with a flashlight to his chin for twenty minutes until I seen him. I mean, C'mon, who does that??
      The worst scare he ever got on me was once when me and my buddy were playing basketball in the dark front yard. We made a rule that a free throw would come from standing against the car bumper parked in the front yard. Now let me tell you, we had a yard light in the back yard and in the front...nothing! Well dad decides to go out the back door and sneak around and scare us. He walks to the front yard, then on hand and knee, crawls across the yard and under the car. A few minutes later I step back to the car, lean against the bumper and prepare for my free throw. Suddenly he grabs my leg and screams. They say when you are scared you either flee or fight. I, on the other hand, screamed bloody murder, fell to my knees crying and could not catch my breath. My mom rushed from the house to see what was wrong. When she realized dad was laughing because he scared me she began to tell him how wrong he was. With every laugh he took her tone would get higher. She told him things like "one day your going to kill him!" "he almost passed out!" and "why would you scare him that bad!" I finally caught my breath and get my wits about me. Dad helped me up and with a laugh said he was sorry. I began to laugh and we all got a good kick out of it.
     To this day, I still worry he is behind the door when I walk through and I am much more aware of my surroundings. Also, I am pretty darn good at scaring my family now!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Trip of Trips

   As I was growing up my parents would always come up with extra ways for us to earn money. Most of the time it was Mom who came up with the plans. However, one of the most memorable ones was thought up by Dad. He decided we should go into the doughnut business. We should buy this awesome doughnut vending trailer and sell these yummy little things at the flea markets on the weekends. He pitched the idea to Mom and after doing her Mom research she decided it was a go.

   A short time after the decision was finalized we proceeded to get packed up and head to get the trailer. This is where it gets fun. You see, we didn't have a big truck. No, we had a little Toyota SR5 stick shift with bucket seats. We used that truck for everything and never had much of a problem. This time though, we live in central florida and the doughnut trailer company was in Minnesota! You think that bothered the Grahams? Nope, just that much more of a challenge!

   Dad drove while Mom road shotgun and was chief navigator. I road on a pillow sitting on the center console with a leg on each side of the gear shift. We were off and luckily we had a whole five days to make the trip! Somewhere along the road I decided it was no longer comfortable in the front so I got in the back of the truck and went to sleep in the sleeping bag. I woke up just on the other side of Illinois!

   We finally reached our destination and finished the paper work. The trailer was as long as the truck and stuck up about five feet above it. Being in a hurry we quickly got hooked up and gone. We stopped for lunch at Mcdonalds and Mom decided they had such a pretty rock garden that we should get some rocks just like them for ours. Next stop, hardware store for rocks. Now the little truck is loaded with Lord knows how many bags of lava rocks and a trailer on the back. It began to snow and we were all three in awe of how pretty it was. However, we knew if we didn't get gone we could get stuck. It snowed on us all the way back down through Illinois where I was sleeping in the back of the truck just yesterday.

   It took forever but we finally made it back home safely thanks to Dads driving skills and Moms navigation. The next few days we practiced how to cook the doughnuts and get everything ready. The next weekend we were ready to get to selling. We headed up to the flea market about four a.m. Of course we were dressed for success. My Dad had on a matching hat and shirt that said Doughnut man, Moms of course said Doughnut woman and mine, you guessed it, said Doughunt boy. The first outing was quite a success and we sold lots of doughnuts and coffee. We continued doing this all summer til we finally decided it was no longer fun to get up at 4 in the morning to go make the doughnuts and sold the trailer to the next business man looking to make a buck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

a little yellow jon boat!

         Growin up i couldn't tell how poor we really were. I pretty much had everything i could have wanted. I mean, we even had a bass boat to fish out of. it was a metal jon boat that was painted a bright yellow color. I guess the previous owner was afraid he might lose it! anyways, it was a great boat. It did have a few cracks in the bottom that had fiberglass resin put on em real thick so they wouldn't leak. they still leaked though, so we always kept a jug to bail the water out. Me and my Dad would load that sucker up in the back of the pick up truck and head for the nearest mine pit we could find. Most of the time we would have to sneak it over a fence or two but back then nobody would give us crap about being there. great times.

        One summer we decided to head to a local pit to fish. It had a real long steep bank that we had to slide the boat down. The front of the pit was small but open water. The middle of the pit was full of cattails that were real thick. We used a machete to cut a halfway decent path through them to the back of the pit that was big and open with some of the best fishing around. Now these pits were dug with a huge crane so the banks were like mountains that kept you from seeing the horizon or an approaching storm. We were too caught up in fishin to notice the dark clouds coming up and before we knew it it started to rain. It quickly began to come a storm of storms and dad decided we better head for the nearest bank to wait it out. As the boat quickly filled with water from the flood, and lack of bailing, we made it to the bank. Me, Dad and the dog hunkered down under the nearest little tree there was. I was scared to death and Im sure Dad had to be but he sure didn't show it. Lightning began to flash and boom all around us while the wind and rain got even harder. I was sure that we were going to be struck by lightning and it must just be our time to go. Fear does weird things to people I guess because all of a sudden we began to laugh. The laughter suddenly got louder and more constant with every bolt of lightning and wind gust. I quickly found myself scared to death, freezing and, in a weird way, having one of the best fishing days I could imagine.
       After several hours the wind and rain began to let up. We bailed out the water and headed for the truck. It was beginning to get dark and even though the lightning didn't kill us we were both pretty sure Mom would kill dad for having me out in such a storm! Heck we figured she might kill me too just for letting dad put us in harms way. The thought of that started the laughter all over again and we laughed all the way home.

ps.....Mom was fine with it and expected no less from to two of us!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Mailbox Bandits

Later on in my teens I seemed to find way to have fun with my buddies that probably were not the best things to do. Don't get me wrong, we never did drugs or got arrested for anything. It was just when we did do something a bit on the edge getting caught was never on my mind. That's why i just about always got caught.

When i was younger I always thought how cool it was when my dad could throw a Pepsi bottle out the drivers window, all the way across the hood and hit a road sign dead on. So when I became old enough to drive it just came natural to me I guess. Now don't let me pass the blame to Pops at all. I knew exactly how bad it was and what the hell could happen to me. The only problem I had was bottles were just too easy.

One night my buddies, cousin and me were out lookin for somethin to do. We were so bored and with a bad case of small town blues. As we were riding around I finished a soda off and quickly decided to show off my skills. I threw the bottle across the car and nailed the sign. All my buddies were greatly impressed and we all decided at that moment we had found something to do. We began to search for bottles and with not much luck one of my buddies exclaimed "my Dad's got a bunch of watermelons at my house!" That was a no brainer to the rest of us so off to his house we went. Now, it just so happens that his house was just down the street from my house. We began to stuff my little Ford Escort with as many watermelons as we could with the four of us in the car. We didn't go far before we decided to try one out on an old mailbox. With the car speeding down the road I eased over close and my buddy tossed one out the window. WHAM!! The watermelon had taken the whole damn mailbox off its post. We were in awe to say the least.

I think we had hit maybe one other box and missed quite a few when we came up on a four boxes all in a row. They were on the left side of the road so I eased over to that side and hurled my melon out the window. A loud bang was heard and cheers roared through the car. We decided that it was regroup time and probably would be best to get out of our own neighborhood. We stopped on a short dirt road down from the house and picked up another one of my friend who was riding with someone else. He had decided he would like to go with us on our venture. He had no idea what was fixin to take place.

After he loaded up we headed out and decided to take the back way to a different town. As we drove down the road we had to pass the dirt road that led to my house. As we approached it we began to make out a couple of people standin by a parked truck at the end of the road. Once we got close enough to see who it was I realized it was my Mom and A man I knew from her office. I slowed down and Mom jumped in front of the car and pointed to the house in a way I will never forget. Not a word was spoken but I knew exactly what she was sayin. As we passed them and headed for the house I could overhear them talking about weather or not the man was gonna whoop my ass or not. My cousin broke the silence of the car by saying he didn't think she was too mad since she didn't say anything. I told him he was wrong, dead wrong and we were probably fixin to witness my last day on our wonderful planet.

We sat inside the livin room like criminals waitin a trial. When Mom hit the door she busted in like gangbusters. She was on my like bees on honey. She would ask me a question and I would just say I don't know. She informed me that the man was actually her best client from work and that I would be fixin his mailbox along with the rest of them. Dad was sitting there quiet as normal with the most disappointed look on his face and just kept agreeing with Mom. She finally asked me where in the world I would get such a stupid idea. Well, since we had told them nothing of the watermelon and that it was only bottles I said "well dad can hit a sign from the driver side of his truck!" Dad's eyes got big as moons and his face was overtook with shame. Mom said "See this is exactly why you don't do that kinda crap in front of him!" I felt horrible for throwin him under the bus but it did take a few of the bullets from

We finally settled in for the night. Dad took my buddies home and they were scared to death the whole ride. I was so glad that Mom never found out that we were throwin watermelons and not bottles. I really think that helped keep me from gettin killed. However, when I awoke the next mornin I was already prepared to go fix the mailboxes. I was not prepared to find Mom and Dad sittin at the supper table with a great big bowl of watermelon that dad had scraped off the side of my car. My heart stopped beating at that moment!!