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Friday, April 5, 2013

Age Perspective Part 2

My first car at 16 years if age

Have you ever wonder what awaits you at every level of age (pre-teen, teen years, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc.), if you are reading this blog, you have gone through a few of those levels.  By the time I entered my teens (13 years old) my mother had remarried a new little sister had joined the family, and we had moved from Texas (Rio Grande Valley) to Eastern Washington.  I had met a wonderful step-brother and sister-in-law, and they were about to make my teen years very special and fun.

My step-brother (whom I will from here forward refer to only as my older brother) was the example I lacked in my life.  He was a very good, and popular person to aspire to be like. His wife was only 6 years older than me and had been a cheer leader in high school, also very popular (within the context of our small town, back then population 3,500).  She coached me on how to behave growing up especially around the young ladies.  The lessons were simple, how to act around the girls, how to dress so I could be cool.  She told me to play hard to get, and to be respectful, and courteous (which I already was), not to hang out with the guys smoking and drinking beer.

I can say without reservation that together, my older brother (he was only 9 years older than me), and his wife made my teenage experience very easy, you could even say that I was the cool guy in school because of them.  During my junior high and high school years, I lettered in three sports, and carried a 4.0 GPA (from 6th grade on).  When I think back of the growing up years and the things that influenced me the most (I was blessed with a wonderful family all around-even if I missed the influence of my father), the trophy for giving me the kind of guidance a mother and father can’t give in the teens has to be my older brother and his wife.  I believe they actually tried to re-live their early school years through me, and I was the beneficiary.

My teen years were also influenced by the fact that I was raised on the farm, I worked hard (up and doing chores by 5 am) before going to school, and after I got home.  During the sports season if the coach said no staying out late, no drinking, and no smoking.  I accepted that as gospel.  I was especially popular because I was the only 15 year old with a driver’s license.  My mother signed some kind of form requesting that I be allowed the early driver’s license because (hardship) we lived out in the country (15 miles out), and I had to drive her into town for medical appointments, and other errands (wink, wink!)

I did have one major area of difficulty.  I could never tell when a girl was interested in me, or even if they were flirting with me.  Being the gentleman that I was, I preferred to keep all the ladies as friends then to be forward, and risk not having their friendship.  Many years later I found out that a handful of them wanted to date me, but they thought that I wasn’t interested in them.  I guess when you are always sober, you pretty much never take chances such as being forward.  When I tell my friends now a days why I never started smoking they think that I am crazy.  First reason I didn’t smoke was the sports involvement, but another major reasons was;  the cigarettes used to cost 25 cents per packet on the cigarette dispenser machines, and I wasn’t about to get hooked on such an expensive habit (compared to today’s price, I guess I was wise beyond my years).

I ended up getting married right out of high school (no it wasn’t a shotgun wedding).  When a marital union isn’t long lasting most people only see the negative aspect of it, but when you have some wonderful children as the outcome, that positive makes it all worthwhile (because of my children there are no regrets).  If you look at the overall picture you could actually see it as finishing school in preparation for the lifelong marital union that followed and still is. Up next the age of the 20’s.  The best is yet to come……

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