Yellow House

Yellow House 1967

It was July of 1967.  I was 12 years old.  We lived in a two story house on the north side of Sheboygan.  My family consisted of Daddy, Mama and the six of us kids.  I was the oldest.  After me came Mary, who would be 11 in August.  Tammy turned eight in the spring.  The boys had their birthdays at the end of the month.  Jerry would be seven, Michael, three and Patrick, the baby was almost 2.

The house was a pretty yellow and so much bigger than the last one we lived in.  I didn’t care about any of that.  Who needs a big house when all that really mattered was that we left our old neighborhood and all of our friends.  I was mad for a short while.

My new school was a block away.  I quickly made new friends, but I could also jump on my bike and ride back to the other side of town in 20 minutes.

My sister Mary and I shared a room upstairs.  All the kids were up there except Patrick who had his crib in a room downstairs.  My parent’s bedroom was also on the first floor, next to the living room, at the front of the house.  It was the room Daddy died in.

Sunday, July 30 1967.  It was a day I will never forget.  My brother, Michaels’, third birthday.  Daddy had one of his headaches and wanted to lie down before church.  He died suddenly during that nap of a cerebral aneurysm.  He was 33 years old.  Mom had just turned 30.

We moved back to the south side shortly after that.

This was for Writing 101, Day 11.  Where did you live when you were 12. The twist is to pay attention to the sentence length.


The Red Sweater

Crystal’s Story

The sky has been gray all day, with darker clouds moving in from the west.  Looks like it could rain at any moment.  But, she’ll be here, she always is.  Rain or shine, the old lady comes to the park every evening at 7 p.m.  She knits sweaters for an orphanage, she calls it her meditation time.

When Herbie told me about his Grandma’s daily ritual, I knew what my plan would be.  I’ve run it through my head for months, it’s so simple.  All I needed was for him to see what I saw.  Granny had to die!

The only reason I went on that first date with him was because of his name, Herbert Farnsworth Jr.  His family had money and I wanted it.  It wasn’t until the second week that I found out, the skinny nerd lived on an allowance, and not much of one.  Only when the old lady died did Herbie get the Farnsworth fortune.

So, for six months now, I’ve paid my dues.  I laugh at his stupid jokes, I smile at all the right moments and I let him crawl on top of me whenever he wants, and he wants all the time.

Last night he popped the question and I said, “Yes, I would love to marry you and have your children.”  But, only if he went along with my plan.  He fought me, but I can be very persuasive.  In the end, I won.

No guns I told him, too loud.  A knife would be perfect and the police would see it as a robbery gone bad.  There shouldn’t be much of a struggle, as I met her once and she is not a big woman.

There she is sitting on the bench, same bench as always.  All alone, most people had either left the park or were in the lit up area near the fountain.

She looked up from her knitting as she heard us approach.  Smiles for her grandson and then as she looked at me, the smile disappeared.  Herbie says she doesn’t like me.  Bitch!

I look over at him.  Shit, he’s crying.  At this point I know that I’ll have to take over.

I reach into his jacket pocket, pull out the knife and step toward her.

What the Hell!!!

Herbert’s Story

“This is crazy!  This is Crazy!!”

What am I thinking?  What is she thinking?

When Crystal told me her idea last night and all the reasons we should do it, it almost sounded okay.  Not rational, but okay.  I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that we were on our third bottle of wine.  Or, the fact that she had brought up the idea of getting married while she sat on top of me and rode me like I was a wild stallion.

I know she wants my future fortune and it’s the only reason she is with me.  I’m not her type.  She dates the muscular, good looking jocks, hoping they will make enough money to someday give her the big house she never had.  To take her to the places she dreams of.

I’m a computer geek, a gamer.  I run every morning, looking forward to the next marathon.  But, you will never find me in the gym.

I want Grandmother’s money, but at 75 years old, I just thought I would wait her out.  Although, in the back of my mind, I remember what Father said before he died.  “Herbert, make sure you finish college and are prepared to make a living for yourself.  Your Grandmother is a bit on the strange side and some of her ideas are not what the rest of the family would want.”

That was 10 years ago while I was still in high school.  The money continues to show up in my account like clockwork, so I’m not too concerned.

It’s a little after 7 p.m. and I see her sitting on the bench.  Crystal grabs my hand and squeezes really hard.  Grandmother sees us and smiles.  I can’t do this!  Tears well up in my eyes and I can’t stop them.

I hear Crystal swear as she grabs the knife from my pocket.  I reach out to grab her but she’s too quick.  Next thing I know, she’s walking toward Grandmother with the blade over her head.

Oh my God!


Tell me that didn’t just happen.

Now what do I do?

Grandmothers Story

Today has been a busy day.  Up at 5 a.m. to get ready for Jason to be at the house at 6 a.m.  We re-evaluated the workout he has me doing.  I told him I thought the weights were too light and I needed more cardio.

After that, I had my kick boxing class at 10 a.m.  I taught the older children at the orphanage in an advanced class and basics to the younger ones.

A meeting with my lawyer at 3 p.m. regarding this year’s contributions left me a bit stressed and looking forward to my quiet knitting time tonight.  He argued with me about the new orphanage I wanted to build and the increase in scholarships. He told me I might outlive my fortune.   I won, I always do!

There was a sweet, little 5 year old girl who was brought in last week.  She loves red so this sweater will be for her.  I am just working on the finishing stitches and will drop it off in the morning.

I looked up as I heard someone walking up the trail.  It is Junior and the sleazy blonde he’s been dating.  Crystal Bleu, what kind of name is that?  I had a private investigator check her out a few months ago.  His report showed me nothing good about her.  She changed men like she changed her shoes.  She was after money and my grandson was her latest target.

I smile at him and then look at her.  She’s smiling at me and I can’t help but feel something is wrong.  Junior’s crying.  What’s going on?

All of a sudden, the little blonde gold-digger has a knife over her head and is walking toward me.  The look on her face was evil.

Sorry, little girl, I don’t play that game.  I pull out the loaded .45 from my knitting bag and shoot her.  You never know when someone will decide to rob you in the park.

Junior screams like a girl.  I grab his face, look him in the eyes and say, “Herbert, go home.  You were never here.  Grandmother will take care of it.”

Juneathon Day 14 – 20

Well, I completely blew that.  Spent a week up with my Dad and looked at buying my Grandparents old home.  That was all good but did not have internet and could not post.  I did things every day including biking, walking, weeding, planting, filling all the bird feeders, cleaning up and cleaning out.  I was Dad’s daughter and son for a week.  We went to the dump and cleaned up the yard.  It was a great time and I did buy my Papa’s house.

I blew it for the Juneathon, though.  No biggy, there’s always next year.

Oh yeah, there was no swimming as Lake Michigan is so flipping cold.  I would’ve been cold in a wet suit even if I had one.

Juneathon Day 12

Got in my challenges but my wrist hurts and I may have to stop my burpees.  May have something to do with laying tile in the bathroom.  Worth it!  Looks great!  Leaving tomorrow to see my Dad on the Island.  Hoping I can find somewhere with internet.  At one point about 5 – 10 years ago, the only place I could find cell phone coverage was at the airport(small grass field), in one corner by the driveway.  Wish me luck.  I should come back with great pictures, though.

Juneathon Day 11

I thought I would try a swim in the river.  I’ve never swam in it before as it is very shallow in the summer.  It’s not at it’s lowest yet and it’s cold, but I went out anyway.  If I stay within 10 feet from the dock I can stay in one place doing the breast stroke.  Any further than that and the current starts taking me downstream.  May sound dangerous but all I have to do is stand up and walk in thigh high water back home.  I swam for 25 minutes and it felt great.

I also finished the other 3 challenges.

Juneathon Day 10



On my bike ride this afternoon, I saw my second box turtle in three days.  The first one I stopped by and took off the road and this girl was already on the side.  Can’t wait to see the big snapping turtles come out of the river.  It will soon be turtle egg laying season in N.E. Wisconsin.

I biked for 35 minutes and finished my challenges for the day, with a rest day for burpees.

Juneathon Day 9

It’s been a beautiful cool day and we went out early on our bikes.  We did our 6 mile trek down the 3 campground roads.  Today it took us 35 minutes.  It felt great and I get faster every time.  I think the squats have something to do with it.  Lots of hills out there.

The 3 challenges today had me doing: 38 tri dips, 26 push ups, 5 X 5 curls, 35 burpees and 100 squats.

Juneathon Day 8

Today was 34 tri dips, 23 push ups, 8 X 5 curls, 25 burpees, 80 squats.

Another busy day with Church, a trip to Goodwill, lunch and back for a nap.  Yes, a nap!  It is Sunday, right?  Besides that, more friggin mosquitoes!!  I am going to look for a natural spray and do it every day and just go out.  I went out to the dock earlier and there was a cloud of them around me. I do not like the word hate but…

I just got an email from my sister Dawn regarding a sisters challenge for fitness and weight loss for 4 weeks.  She threw it out to all of us.  We have been doing this for many years.  When one of 5 thinks she needs some help from the sisters, she throws out a challenge.  We talked and tomorrow we will tell each other what our “rules” are.  We have decided that My Fitness Pal is the one rule we will all abide by.  We will all have 2 more rules for ourselves.  It will go for 4 weeks.  More decisions tomorrow. This is good, as this morning as I dressed for church I felt like a sausage stuffing myself into a casing.  I am at a weight and fitness level I haven’t been at for 20 years.  I want to be healthy and fit as I go in to the last half of my life.