June 4th……..”HOW DID YOUR PARENTS CORRECT YOU AND YOUR SIBLINGS ON YOUR FARM THERE IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA”??
Mom’s perfectly pulchritudinous peanut butter cookies pleasantly pervaded the premises of our humble farm home that day. And, like any ravenous young farmer boy, my nostrils locked on to the “beam” from the steam that was still emanating from those savory homemade cookies as our sweet mother pulled them fresh from our combination wood-burning and gas driven oven. Ohhhh the ambrosia of those delectable, delicious delights that sat there in their splendor with Mom’s classic meat tenderizer mallet pattern that she pressed into each cookie.
With a herd of fifteen Holstein cows, down in our barn, I knew I had a never-ending supply of ice-cold milk waiting for me in the refrigerator to make a heavenly match of “white gold” to wash down the stack of warm cookies I was about to consume in voracious abandon while I went into our cozy Living Room to watch cartoons.
It was the Summer of 1963, and like many a little 9 year old boy on a Saturday morning, I grabbed a handful of Mom’s scrumptious peanut butter cookies and a tall glass of that cold, marvelous milk and settled myself down into Dad’s overstuffed easy chair in preparation to enjoy one of my cartoon heroes, “The Mighty Mouse Show”. Trotting across the linoleum floor of our little Living Room, I gave the ON/OFF knob a twist on our old black n white television set and heard the internal crackling of life as the picture tube came alive and began to glow with one of my favorite cartoons of those days.
Our big sister, Rosemary, in 1963, had just finished her Junior Year of High School, there in our hometown of Kiester, Minnesota and, like many a young adult through countless generations, was beginning to “push the envelope” of challenging our parents God-given authority to “train us up in the way we should go” (Proverbs 22:6).
Pretty soon, above the antics of my cartoons on the TV, I began to hear a clashing of wills out in our Kitchen between Rosie and our mother, Clarice. Voice volumes, intensities and challenges to Mom’s authority, as “Queen Of The House”, reached a crescendo that our mother could no longer abide. Mom grabbed a nearby yardstick and was about to “correct” our big sister in a distinct fashion. Rosie, realizing she had “met her match”, took off on a run for escape from that wooden version of discipline. At that precise moment in time, I had just walked over to the TV to change a channel when, spinning around, I saw big sister burst from the kitchen saying, “Don’t you dare spank me with that………..”!!! when KER-SWACK!!!! Mom swatted her teenage daughter with that yardstick that was so on target that it literally snapped in half on big sister’s “posterior motives” as she squealed and ran upstairs to re-think what she had done to raise Mom’s ire!!! 😉 Myself? I laughed heartily!!! 😉
On the other side of that corrective “coin”, discipline had taught me a lesson a couple years earlier. I had been a Proverbs 22:15 kid cause I was being downright “foolish” one day in our Kitchen. Having watched and absorbed so many family situation comedy shows on television, in those formative years of my life, it seemed that the children on some of those programs “got away with murder” by just having an anger tantrum and storming off to their bedrooms to pout until mommy and daddy gave in to their whims and wishes. Well, little doofus Elliott figured, if those kids can get away with an anger tantrum, so can I!!!
Mom was over by the sink washing dishes, that afternoon, and Dad was sitting in his spot at the Kitchen table have his afternoon “Lunch” (as we Midwesterners called it) of coffee and cookies or a sandwich before going out to milk our cows. I opened the refrigerator door and was scrounging for something to eat when Mom said, “Now Elliott, close that refrigerator door and wait till Supper or you’ll spoil your appetite”!! Well, with my vacuum cleaner type of tummy yearnings, that’s the last thing I wanted to hear! “Ahaaa”!! I thought to selfish self, “I’ll just throw a tantrum like that TV kid did on the show last night”!! So, I hauled off and slammed that refrigerator door so hard, you could hear food containers rattling against each other inside. In a micro-second, Dad launched from his chair by the table and had one muscular hand on the back of my neck with his other powerful hand picking me up off the floor by my gluteus maximus (butt) cheeks!!!!
I am now, literally FLYING aboard “angry daddy airlines” as Dad flies me to the corner downstairs bedroom and throws me over his knee. That massive, iron Norwegian hand of his began to make my backsides wiggle like a bowl full of jello with every intense indicator that what I had just pulled back in the Kitchen NOT acceptable behavior for his son!!! And, ohhhhhhh did he EVER get his point across to my “base” understandings “down there”!!! Heheheh 😉
As I was getting that intense correction to my attitude and behavior, I was saying to myself, “Heyyyy, that sure didn’t turn out like it did on TV last night”!!!??
Even as a child, I knew without a doubt that our parents didn’t hate us. As a matter of fact, they spent their entire lives doing their best to show us God’s love and care for us. It’s just that they, with their Christian convictions of living life according to God’s Word, they knew that we, at times, needed to be corrected so that we would learn to travel in life’s best pathways that would come back to bless us later in life. So, for those loving parents, I will always be one very grateful Norwegian Farmer’s Son!!! 😉 ><>