Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Family History

Recently my father-in-law sent us his life history.

Before I delve into how this is good for writing, allow me a personal moment. When we showed our kids the baby pictures of their grandpa, my son says, "He looks like me". I saw a young photo of my husband's grandfather and I saw the family resemblance. I had only seen pictures of him as an old man and therefore I had never seen the family resemblance. My husband is a trim, younger version of my Father-in-Law and my son follows suit. Now the chain has been lengthened--they all look like the earlier generations. In fact the resemblance is so pronounced that a woman in our congregation has a half brother who's last name is Conger and he has the same eyes as my husband.

OK, now back to writing. I am currently working on a few middle grade books with boys as my main character. I love hearing stories about how boys think--because it is completely different than the way girls think. My father-in-law shared a story about him and his friends. They collected rubber bands with the goal of creating the longest rubber band ever. They used their allowance to buy them, they stole them from their parents. When they finally thought they had the longest rubber band ever, they stretched it out. This creation stretched three blocks!!! Can you imagine a rubber band that stretches three blocks? Sadly, a truck went through one of the intersections and ripped the rubber band out of the boys' hands. All their hard work went barreling down the hill to lower Seattle.

Boys brains amaze me. Someday that story may be in one of my stories. I love hearing "true" stories that are so better than fiction.

So, its time to spill it. What are some of the crazy hair-brained things that you've done in your pre-teen years?


  1. One time we threw a chair off the balcony because we thought it would land right on its feet and trap my brother like a cage. We ended up breaking the chair and trying to hide it from my parents. Didn't work.

    Then we tried rappelling from the second floor of our house to the first floor of our house using the banister. Also didn't work. (No boys were harmed in the making of this story.)

    And when I was 18, I went with a bunch of guys out to the desert to light a car on fire, but the cops caught us. I guess that one doesn't count. Also, cops suck. :-)

  2. Being a girl I'm not sure I qualify for the hair brained 'boy' story category, but I've done a few thoughtless pranks in my life (almost all of them emotional rather than throwing things off buildings or stretching bands down the block.)

    I did once try to jump from a swing onto a trampoline with really, really bad results.

    Still my 8 year old son had me beat on 'the hair brained stunts' by the time he was 4 years old. What is it about boys and throwing, crashing, building and breaking? I love all of his stories though. So thank goodness for little boys.

  3. I don't think I can top Graham's stories as mine have more to do with staying out too late and going places I probably shouldn't have with people I probably shouldn't have been with.

    I CAN tell stories about my brothers, all of whom have done incredibly stupid things at different points in time. The most infamous was when my family went camping and all three of my brothers went for a hike. (I might add that two of them were adults at this point). Anyhow, they decided to knock over some dead trees by karate kicking them. This ended badly when my youngest brother did a two-footed, in-the-air kick and a very large root came out of the ground and punched him in his ribs. One Life Flight to the hospital, a few broken ribs and a punctured lung later, he decided kicking that tree over was probably not a good idea.

  4. I can't compete with any of those adventures. I've always been cautious by nature.

    However, I do have a collection of embarrassing moments. Remind me to tell you about my water skiing experience in Cancun sometime.

  5. These are awesome. I didn't have any brothers and I am cautious so I don't have many stories to tell.

    After spending 3 days in the wilderness above Eagle Mountain with 280 teenagers, I should have lots of stories. But I was so busy dealing with blisters, heat stroke, sprained ankles, and such that I didn't notice too much.

    However, at one stop there was a rattle snake. We told the kids to stay away from it. And all they wanted to do was pet the dumb thing.

    The kicking of the tree is awesome. Thanks for sharing guys.