Thursday, February 3, 2011

"I AM letting go"

We had a big yard as a play ground when we were growing up.  When we were working in the field, if we were small enough, the field became a playground too.  If we were old enough, we were working.  In the background of this photo is our garage and a station wagon that held all 10 of us.  On the closer side of the garage were a few banana trees.  I'd take the leaves and strip them into dollar size pieces.  Then I'd play store.  Even Mother would play with me.  While Mother was cooking, I'd go into the kitchen and ask "Mrs. Lee" if she had any "butter" or whatever I was 'buying' that day.  "Mrs. Lee" (my home version of the corner grocery store) would take time to 'sell' me whatever I came to buy.  Of course the butter, or whatever, was all imaginary and I never carried anything out of the kitchen.

The south side of the back yard, garage in the background

There wasn't much room in the garage to play. Sometimes I'd be found in the back corner or behind it, playing with a new batch of puppies or kittens.  

The dirt in the driveway was a great place to play hopscotch, marbles, and other 'draw in the dirt' games.  Sometimes we'd have a good group of us and we'd play games like Red Light, Dum Dum Dum, and Red Rover.  

One rainy day summer barefoot day I was in the garage and wanted to make 'money'.  I noticed a partial roll of wallpaper tape in the garage, tucked behind the light switch wires.  I reached up to grab the tape and my whole life changed from that instant.  I had no idea what happened but I knew that I was stuck to the paper.  I was hurting all over, screaming, and dancing a jig.  Everyone around came running.  Daddy stopped outside the doorway, looking at me holding the paper that was wrapped around an electrical wire - obviously the wire was bare somewhere under the tape.  I was jumping and screaming and everyone knew there was a problem unless they were deaf.  Daddy and others kept saying, "Edith Ellen, let go"!  I'd yell back, hopping on my bare feet on wet concrete, "I AM letting go"!  Judy went behind me and knocked me loose.  I don't remember anything after that.  

Sandra on the sidewalk behind the house

Ever since my hand touched that tape, I have not been happy around bare electrical wire or any electricity that isn't behind a sealed wall.  I can hook up jumper cables and jump off a car if no one is around to do it.  Mentally, I know it's safe.  Emotionally, I turn into a wreck when I see an electrical spark. 

To this day, I will give a yelp if I see a spark from almost anything except a 4th of July sparkler.

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