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Sparing the rod
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Alias    Posted 12-06-2004 at 06:37:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
It was the year of the big storm. the year when Agnes wrecked havoc across the whole of the east coast. I remember it well cause I had some young trees which I had set out earlier that spring. And, I was in the process of pointing some 2"x2"x6' stakes for guying the trees in anticipation of the big blow.

I remember it also because it was on thar Saturday that the devil paid me a visit led there by his mother. Now, in reverence to his dearly departed parents, I shall not use his real name. Instead, I shall simply refer to him as Bobby C.

In order to better aquaint you with the events of the day, I should like to point out some of the activities, as follows: First, I woke early that morning and set right in to sharpening my hatchet for the pointing chore. Ordinatily, I would have used a circular saw but mine was on loan to my brother. So, sharpening was needed and sharpen I did.

Now, sharpening an ax or hatchet must be carried out with certain degree of patience and skill. First, you should use a water wheel to cut the heavy burs down and to rough grind the cutting edge. This, as many of you know, involves a slow process of applying just the right amount of pressure of the medal to the wheel, and a lot of swiching from one side to the other. The whole object of which, is to avoid allowing the friction to overheat the medal. Otherwise, loss of temper will insue and thereafter, forever more, the hatchet will not hold an edge.

So, on the morning in question, I work dilligently, working with wheel and file to perfect an edge that would have satisfied the likes of Jim Bowie. And, I was about to begin the stake sharpening operation. But, I was interrupted by my loving wife who want me to go to the store for a few item. And, because we had small children at home, it would have been a strain on her to go so I was unamimously elected. And, I distincly remember telling her to keep the kids away from my wheel barrow cause I had a sharp hatchet there.

Well good people the same hand that sent Agnes sent little Bobby C. while I was gone. And when I came back I brought in the groceries and said hello to Bobby's mother. She and Nancy had known each other for ages and were best friends. And, in keeping with the good manners taught me by my own parents, I stayed there in the kitchen just long enough to exchange pleasentries with the guest, pour a cup of coffee and with cup in hand I bade them a good visit and went to the wheel borrow to sharpen stakes.

I had retrieved a large, unsplit round piece of log from the wood pile to be used as a cutting block. Now, without taking notice of the hatchet, I held the stake at just the right angle and with my right hand I brought the hatchet in a hacking stroke down on the 2x2. Wellsir, for all the cutting I did, I might just have well hit it with a sledge hammer. I then took a look at the hatchet and let go a scream that caused people to look up in the neighboring towns.

Before I regained my composure, Nancy and her friend came running from the house to see what was the matter. when they got to where I was standing, they had a quizzical look about them. But, it couldn't match the red-eyed hatred that my own countenence showed. I was angry and the cords on the underside of my neck were drawn as tight as a banjo string. My teeth were clinched and my chin was drawn and my whole body trembled.
And, in those days, blasphomies were not a stranger to my lips. Of course, I let loose with a few choice unholy words.

A close inspection of the area revieled that someone had made a concerted effort to split one of the rocks lying neatly in a circle around the base of the nearest tree. Of course, I said, Nancy didn't I tell you to keep the kids away from here? Her reply was, they were not over here they were playing out by the swings and I was keeping an eye on them all the time. BeSides, Connie wouldn't let them come over here. Connie by the way is our oldest and she was allways the mother hen when it came to caring for her brothers.

About that time Nancy's friend spoke up and said, I wonder if Bobby did it, in the form of a question and an answer. She followed by saying, I'll bet he did, with a hopeless sigh. Which, was intended to show sorrow, regret, and in general, make allowences for the little devil. I spoke up and said to her, if he did do it, you should pull his pants down and make a few red marks on his little butt. She responded by saying, Oh, I couldn't do that he's just a little boy. And, I recall telling her, if you don't do it now, you'll live to regret it. When she died a little more than a year ago, Bobby showed up at the funeral with a guest. The guest was a uniformed officer from the local detention center. When it was over, I told Nancy that a little correction way back when and little Bobby might have amounted to something. But as it is, he's spent as many of his adult years in jail as he has on the outside.


Farmall    Posted 12-06-2004 at 18:21:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]

same way with my kids. Id whp them for anything, no matter how small. Here at home, I had bought 10 belts, and id tell them when they messed up, (one belt 10 times, 10 belts 1 time). My older daughter usually took the 10 at a time and had it over with, BUT, because I was only getting the satisfaction of the one swat, I usually put alot into it. The result was rather like a wide paddle that would actuyally make her move forward a few steps. My younger boy, seeing this, would opt for the 1 ten times. He didnt move forward anymore than in orthe directions, but he had to stand it longer. When id correct them in public, people would say, Oh now, that wasnt that big a deal, they didnt hurt nothing, they dont need punished for that. And the next thing outa there mouth was, My, what well mannered kids you have. I wish mine were more like that. Like you said, onceI got them started young, I hardly had to do much by the time they were 10. Now, there grown, have kids, have never asked to come home LOL, and work hard. All you could ask for kids. Sometimes thell get together and talk about those days and laugh abolut it. Theyve told me several times that they was glad that I laid into them for doing wrong, when they see kids of today doing the same. I usta have several bars of different kinds of soap, includoing lye. If they cussed, id make them take 10 likes off abar. One night Billy had cussed, as had Amy. Amy took her licks first, and retreated far enough not to be involved, but close enough to see how Billy took it. Billy took his 10 licks, was kinda gaggy looking and walked away. Just as Billy got to Amy, I heard him say, D___, that lye soap tastes like S___. So he got another 10 licks. Im smiling while im writting this. i teach Sunday School, and really like to TEACH, IF I have people wanting to learn. My class is made up of upper grade school kids. Mostly, the kids will settle down and learn if nothing better shows itself. But I got 1 for sure, and ,mabe 2 who live to cause trouble. They wont learn and they keep the others from learning also. The worst is a girl, who just got kicked outof school we heard Sunday. I get the idee of what Bonnie Parker was like at her age. What Id like to do brings back fond memories, but thatll never happen


DD    Posted 12-06-2004 at 10:06:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good story Alias, would those symptoms you described also be known as having a conniption(sp)??? Or as my Momma likes to say "pitching a fit" about something...lol There's just some things that happen that can turn ya from the sweetest most gentle natured person into a lunatic in 2.2 seconds flat and this one sounds like it would definitely qualify : )


Alias    Posted 12-06-2004 at 12:16:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
DD back in those days I was a gentle creature. But, with just enough of my grandmother's Irish blood to cause me to react in a lot less time than 2.2 seconds. Maybe, 2.2 nanoseconds.....gfp



Texas    Posted 12-06-2004 at 09:08:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
My sons understand that I for one wont spare the rod. Seldom have had to use it once they figured that out. When their friends come over I tell them and their parents "I'll whip you like youre mine if you cause trouble here". Most parents give their blessing, the odd few are aghast that I would whip their child...or state that I would. Those kids usually dont come back.


EngineerJoyce    Posted 12-06-2004 at 12:48:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, in my family, the one that does the spanking is the one that gets to the offending kid the fastest, no matter whose kid it is.


Alias    Posted 12-06-2004 at 12:11:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
You know Texas, by the time our kids got to be 2 years old, the mold had been set. They pretty much knew that not behaving was flirting with danger. So, I rarely had to correct them. But, at the time, Dr. Spock was telling mothers and dads that spankings could lead to long term psycological disorder. Therefore, I explained his theory to the kids and further explained my theory which states, in part that if it came to the question of their sanity or mine, they lose.

Hey, I must know more than Spock. Because, all of our kids are decent, hard working, sober citizens. So, pardon me while I pat myself on the back........gfp


SusieQ    Posted 12-06-2004 at 14:11:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Spock's book was the beginning of the end.....and the book itself, to use on bad, misbehaving child;s backside...believe me when I say, prisons are full, detention centers are full, a little correction in those formative years could have saved a lot of heartbreak now.......


DD    Posted 12-06-2004 at 09:58:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I Agree with you Texas, I figure if they're at MY home then they might as well consider themselves mine too. Like you said, some parents don't like it but for the most part they agree and mine knows the same goes if he's in their home too : )


bob ny    Posted 12-06-2004 at 06:55:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
i guess almost everyone has a point in life when a little correction turns one straight or lack of would have not.mine was tomatoe plants. we used to grow tomatoes for cash crop.we grew from seeds. i transplanted about 400 plants from the bed to the ground on a real hot day ,trying to impress ny dad that i was old enough to make decesions .well when he came back from the fields
and saw the plants all withered he made me carry water untill the sun went down. the water had to be poured around each plant not to touch any part of the plant.my lesson among others by the way we had a good crop that year


MikeT    Posted 12-06-2004 at 09:04:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Have you ever observed animals and how they discipline their kids? Such as members of the cat or ape families. They give a swift spat right then, right when the offending act occurs. No time-outs, no tongue lashings, no to-bed-without-supper, no wait-till-your-daddy/mama-gets-home, and no venting of old pent up emotions.

That's how I believe discipline should be handed out to our children. It should not be handed out just because they have displeased us; rather for things that can cause harm to them or other wise have a negative effect on them in life. And, that includes behavior that could cause a negative effect in how they react to society as a whole. Sometimes it takes a spat or two to get their attention. More than that and your probably just venting your own emotions that were caused by who knows what. By the time a child reaches the age at which they are able to understand and reason, verbal correction is all that should be necessary. I believe that age is reached by most kids at 6 or 7 years old.

I wish I would have had this attitude and understanding when I had young children. It is really miraculous how most children grow up to be well adjusted in spite of their parents.


Clipper    Posted 12-06-2004 at 06:44:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good read there Alias ! Hasn't the Supreme Court just issued a recent ruling giving parents the right to spank their kids? I recall seeing something in the paper about that last week.
"Spare the rod and spoil the child" seems to be applicable in this case. And I hated having to go get my own switch off of the tree for Dad too. :^)


Alias    Posted 12-06-2004 at 12:24:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Clipper Dad seldom punished us because we too learned early on not to do anything displeasing to him. But, try as you might, there were always occassions when things went haywire and out of control. But, he was very understanding. And, if something happened which wasn't intended he would usually let us off with a good talk.


Clipper    Posted 12-06-2004 at 13:32:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Also known as a "butt chewing" in my family. :^)



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