Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Piggy Tales: Peculiar creatures, POWs, and snapshot memories

In "Heading South" I told of our family's move from KS to Homestead AFB, Florida, but settle in for a few more stories of life in this coastal state. 

green anole (not a true “chameleon)

I loved living in Florida! The curvy street we lived on was abundant with kids who enjoyed strapping on those metal skates, playing hide and seek, tag, or drawing with chalk on the sidewalks. We didn't play inside much - who wanted to with ALL that sunshine! 

Sometimes we would color pictures and go door-to-door in the neighborhood trying to sell them for 25¢. Other times we would chase down the ice-cream truck that passed through daily - taunting and teasing us with it's circus type music.  I loved the ice cream bars and the fudgesicle, but my brother always got one of those multi-colored frozen treats. Most of the time, we had to share, so compromise was the key.

At night, I would lay in my bed and listen the throngs of frogs that flooded the streets sing, like a huge slimy choir, all wanting to be the lead.  In the morning, it was with great effort to walk in the street without stepping on the ones who literally croaked in the night, murdered by passing vehicles. We could almost hear the squishing if we listened hard enough. 

One thing we loved playing with were the lizards - they were EVERYWHERE!  We figured out if you hold onto them by their tails, it will come off, so we had to be really careful. The horned toads we had in KS were not near this fragile! We loved digging in the flower bed under the banana tree looking for  their super small eggs.  If you kept them too long out of the dirt, they would shrivel up like dried peas. Bryan and I had huge hopes of bringing some inside and raising them, but Mom wouldn't have it. Last session I wrote how my brother hid one in Easter egg... 

My bird wasn't the only thing that used to get out.  Sometimes our poodle, Minnette would run out the front door and chase any helicopters that were flying overhead.  I think she truly believe she thought she could chase them down and bark them down. We later figured out that, once we went back to KS, that we could set off a firecracker, and she would come running back.  We made sure we kept plenty on hand for just that occasion. 

I remember when Mom took us to the airport for a special event - some POWs were coming homeIt is still clear in my mind seeing President Richard Nixon, exiting the plane first, waving, smiling... As each soldier stepped off the plane, a ripple of excitement passed through the observers. Children called for their daddies, wives stood with tears in their eyes, shaded from the sun, each straining to see their hero descend from the plane. Their uniforms hung on their gaunt frames while tired smiles as they scanned the crowd. There were throngs of people and, while I don't recall all the controversies of that time, one particular protester had a German Shepard sitting out front with sunglasses and a sign over it's back protesting Nixon's presence.
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  What peculiar pets or experiences did you have when you were growing up?  If you would like to read more Piggy Tales from other ladies, click on over to Mommy's Piggy Tales.   If you would like to join in and start recording your own Piggy Tales, contact Jana at Mommy's Piggy Tales to find out how  (jannajoy25 (at) If for some reason you missed any of my previous posts, you can find them here.


Rachel said...

What a fun place to live as a kid!

I love that your mom took you to welcome the POWs home! Has that experience become more meaningful to you over the years?

Anonymous said...

Great story! I love your details and really enjoyed ready it!

Nina said...

Aaaw just caught one of those lizards for my son today in ga and the research we did said it's to cAll them a chameleon. :)

Visiting from group 4

Beth (Elizabeth) LaMie said...

I hadn't thought about ice cream trucks and bomb pops for ages. Thanks for the memories!

Beth from Group3

Anonymous said...

We had a beloved snow cone man in our neighborhood. I think I might write about him in my next piggy tale.

We went to FL every summer to stay with our grandparents. My sister and I were always catching lizards. We saw lots of tiny frogs, but we were never able to catch any of them :( They were so cute! Now I'm glad that we didn't catch them since the lizards never faired so well in our uncapable hands. Hopefully the little froggies got to live long happy lives!

Great memories :) Thanks for sharing!