January 28th…“WHAT DID YOU AND YOUR SIBLINGS FIGHT ABOUT THE MOST?”
That’s an interesting question to muse upon as my Norwegian “time machine” takes me back to childhood days. As I peruse that past, I would say that the reasons we had for our sibling fights tended to parallel the time frame of life that each of us were living in at any given moment.
She’s the sweetest soul to walk the face of the Earth, nowadays, but in our younger years there on our farm northwest of Kiester, Minnesota, I would’ve said that the “burr under my saddle” was my little sister, Candice. She was a year and 10 months younger than myself. In my little boy thinking at the time, little sister, Candi, was guilty of “bothering” the layout of my toy farmyard that I created in the cool, powder-soft soil that was under our giant shade trees where the tire swing hung. I had painstakingly manufactured my own home-made fence line, consisting of tiny branch twigs, to hold in my imaginary herd of Holstein cows. Little Sister would either want to “help” me play farmer or argue that she wanted to enjoy a time on our big airplane tire swing and now it was ME who was “in the way”……..NOT! :oP
Long, long before there were televisions in every room and now a cell phone “TV” in every hand, we had ONE “Zenith” black and white screened television located in the corner of our cozy living room on our farm. Being the normal kids that we were, here was another venue for a squabble as to which channel each of us wanted to watch. Out in the kitchen, Mom and Dad would listen to the whining only so long and then they’d make a “command decision” for us, OR, they would stride into the living room, grab the on/off knob on the set and “flick it off”. That would get BOTH of our attentions……negatively, of course. Candi and I would then be ejected to our own bedrooms or “get outside and find something to do”.
An epic sibling battle ensued once between myself and big sister, Rosie (8 years my senior). I was 10 years old in 1964 and I had heard of this new Rock n Roll band from England called “The Beatles”. They were scheduled to appear on the very popular variety program called, “The Ed Sullivan Show”….THAT VERY NIGHT! Our folks, not being connoisseurs of this new modern sound, had decided to watch a different type of program to their liking on our one and only television set. SUCH a dilemma I faced!!! I really just HAD to see “The Beatles” perform that night! I thought to my sinister little self, “Ahaaaaa!!, I’ll just sneak into Rosie’s room and watch “The Fab Four” on the little television that her fiance’ recently gave her!!” I slinked and slunked upstairs and right into her room and dared to touch her “sacred” television set. Ever so gently, I turned the knob on the plastic cabinet to hear the set click “on”. Now I could hear the tubes inside the TV hum with current and the little screen “crackled” to life. THERE THEY WERE!!!, THE BEATLES!!! They were in the middle of the song, “She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. I had the sound turned down somewhat, but I hadn’t counted on one thing. You see, old farm houses, in those days, had at least one square hole in the second story floor covered with an open metal grating. We could actually look down through the grating and see our folks downstairs. The concept of the opening was for allowing heat to rise from downstairs to the upstairs so it wouldn’t be so cold in our bedrooms at night, during the cold Winter. In my musical case, though, it was a dead giveaway, cause Rosie could hear HER television being used WITHOUT her permission. Like a German Gestapo Storm Trooper, she ripped the stairway door open and charged up the stairs, bellowing all the way for me to get away from HER television set!!! Whoooeeee, did I EVER get a “tongue lashing” from her!!! There was “trouble in River City” THAT night for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.