That time I accidentally flipped my mother off

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

As Summer slips away, I’m reminded of one early Lucille Ball Moment that occurred when I was probably 12 years old.

During August, my mother and I often spent evenings on lawn chairs gazing up at the darkened heavens, watching for falling stars.

Growing up on the North Dakota prairie, our nearest neighbor was my uncle Lyle’s place a mile away, and our back yard was affectionately called “the park,” complete with picnic table, swing sets, a merry-go-round and a teeter-totter. Life was so quiet and tranquil on the farm you could hear cows lowing in Canada–5 miles away!

So one summer night Mom had the idea that we sleep outside in the hammock, stretched between 2 tree trunks in the park. We brought pillows and blankets and placed our eyeglasses on the nearby picnic table before carefully mounting the suspended webbing.

We lie side-by-side, talking softly as we watched for meteor showers. Then Mom glanced over at the picnic table to find a cat sniffing our glasses that rested there.

“Oh, Peni,” Mom said. “The cat will knock our glasses off. Go chase it away.”

Always eager to please my mother, I leaped out of the hammock and shooed the cat away.

When I turned back to the hammock, mom was lying on the ground, on her back, the pillow still beneath her head.

I wish I could remember the quick, funny remark Mom made as she lie there. But whatever it was, it sent us both into a fit of giggles that to this day bring a smile to my face.

This summer was lacking in such moments, but the memory is a sweetly golden one I’ll treasure for years.

2 thoughts on “That time I accidentally flipped my mother off

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