Family Traditions

When I waxed nostalgic about Pensacola I mentioned a little something about a little house that would forever be a part of my childhood. Today, I explain.

I get my sense of humor and all things mischievous from my mother (I mean this in the most loving way, Mom!) And she gets it from her father. Who got it from his…you get the idea. I’m a kidder who comes from a long line of kidders. If we can crack a joke, pull a prank or even just laugh about something we will. If your mom got detention for stealing blackberries out of some kid’s locker and then throwing them into the classroom she’s supposed to be studying in (but got kicked out for passing notes); or convinced her sister she was adopted; or hugged all over her brother while they were cruising down the strip to make it look like he was already taken, then you know what kind of childhood I had. To this day she and her siblings don’t wave goodbye and blow kisses to each other as they depart from visits. No, they shoot each other the bird to see who can flip it first.

Growing up she would tell us off the wall things and we would believe her. Don’t all children believe everything their parents tell them? So why would I believe anything else when she would tell us that a midget family lived in this house:

As a kid I didn’t know anything about perspective, so the fact that the bushes rise to almost the height of the first story meant nothing to me. So she brought that to our attention telling us they built the house to accommodate the owners. Nor did I notice that those windows were boarded up. But I believe those were clear when we were young because as we would drive by she would say, “that’s the midget family’s house! Look! Do you see them inside?” And our little minds believed and our little eyes did see. I would swear up and down that I had seen some movement in that house.

And the fact that there were no other houses near this one didn’t phase me. Nor did the fact that there is a huge water pipe sticking out of the attic wall…

But to my defense my mother was probably speeding by it so we wouldn’t have time to think about placement and perspective.

Why did my mother do this to us? Well, because it’s a pretty awesome trick to play on kids for one. I wish we still lived down there so I could pass this one down. And second, her father played the same trick on her when she was a kid. As they would drive down the street he would point out the window and say, “look kids! Do you see the midget family living in that house?” And their little minds believed, and their little eyes saw. I wonder how many other kids throughout the years have grown up believing a little family lived in that little house. And when did I come to realize the ruse? I don’t remember. Mom, can you comment on that?

Here’s the prankster, caught in the act of getting these pictures for me:

What makes this prank so endearing is that my great-grandfather–my mother’s father’s father, helped build that structure around the pipes at the water works plant. Yes, all three of them (my mom, my aunt and my uncle) climbed the fence in order to take pictures next to the house their grandfather helped build.

I’ve got to start taking my daughters by there whenever we go down to visit. After all, I’ll just be carrying on an old family tradition…

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13 thoughts on “Family Traditions

  1. I LOVE this story. I can’t believe that the midget house really houses pipes. Now that’s some love and dedication to beautify a project. My dad has always joked like that too…..I could almost see those midgets, if you have to know! 🙂

  2. I love your tradition! I’m going to have to come up with some of my own ideas for my son because my personality sounds a lot like your family’s. I am ALWAYS pulling pranks and trying to convince my family of the most ridiculous stories. Thanks for the nice read!

  3. Grandma Dee says:

    Vicki: sorry for responding so late but as you know I was down in Pensacola for several days and when we would get in I was too tired and brain dead to keep up with happenings on the computer. One correction to the story of the house; it was my mother’s father and not my father’s father that helped build it. And you know, I really don’t remember when y’all realized it wasn’t really a midget’s house. I remember when you first started doubting but would then “see someone” it made it all the more fun to me. Back then the windows weren’t painted over so with the car moving (slowly), the sun and the shadows it was easy to “see” someone/something in the house : ) And I guess I need to fess up once again; the fence climbing was staged, we walked right through the unlocked front gate to get the pictures ; ) Your aunt and uncle (my partners in crime) send their love!

  4. Oh man… that is hysterical! Your mom sounds like my dad! He was always telling us stuff like that with a straight face. And of course now I do it to my kids. (visiting from your other blog) 🙂

  5. We drive past the “Easter Bunny’s” house all the time. I used to tell my youngest daughter we would stop in if his car was in the driveway (knowing of course it would not be). I’m sure there’s a special place in hell for moms like us who make up such stories. Hopefully, like you, my kids won’t be permanently scarred, but have fond memories of their childhood.

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