Wednesday, November 12, 2014


ready to face and endure danger or pain
showing courage

I was either very brave or very stupid as a child.  Maybe I was a bit of both.  If there was a dare, I would take it.  Every time. I didn't care if it involved picking up a snake or swinging from a vine in the woods over a deep ravine or crawling through the window of "the haunted house" or standing up to someone.  Even as an adult I tend to be the same way:  very brave or very stupid.

These photos of my sister and me were taken in 1968.  I was in 5th grade, and 
she was in 4th.  I believe my grandmother gave these matching dresses to us
which was a huge deal since my mother made most of our clothes.   It is 
obvious that I had fashion sense (with the addition of the lovely pin) even then. 
Maybe the true test of bravery was wearing that lovely pin.  *wink*

One of the bravest things I think that I did quite regularly as a child, though, was spend the night sleeping outdoors with another friend or my sister.  We would usually build a make-shift tent on the porch by tying sheets or blankets or whatever we could find to the porch poles.  Sometimes we would just sleep out in the backyard.  No one owned a sleeping bag, so we would pad the ground with whatever we could find. 

It may not sound like it took much bravery to do, but around the middle of the night, it did.  When the lights went out in the homes around us and the night noises set in and the scary stories inevitably started . . . oh, my!  And I can't imagine my ten-year-old, fifth-grade granddaughter thinking this would be a good idea.  *grin*  And I know that I was sleeping outside before I was ten.  

And it's not as if our parents were light sleepers or checked on us.  Once our doors were shut for the night, they were shut.  We were on our own.  This was before air conditioning, so I suppose that somebody would have heard us scream if we were in trouble.  Or maybe not.  We definitely didn't count on that.

Apparently, I loved it and the idea that I was brave enough to face the night, because I don't ever remember going inside before morning.  I still love to sleep with windows open--even in the city, and intend to extend the porch at the cabin to accommodate sleeping kind of outside.  
All posts from the 31 Words project can be found here.


Kolein said...

I love the pin. And the memory. Our boys sleep outdoors, inside and underneath one of our pine trees in the middle of winter. Of course Dad sleeps out there too. But I'm sure they all feel very brave being out there at night.

I was brave like you when I was a kid too. Everything on your list, except for the sleeping outdoors part. ;)

Andrea from Raising Peanut said...

Hi Denise,

I haven't checked your blog in a long long time! Brave is a good one... brave enough to face the day. Maybe too chicken to sleep all day instead. ;P

Great to see you're still blogging. :)


Sabrina Starnes said...

My first memory of being brave was my first visit to the dentist. I think I kind of knew what to expect going in. But I was tricked when I first walked into that small office in Bartlett because it looked just like a giant playroom. All kinds of toys I'd never seen. I remember running to them and playing for what seemed like 5 seconds. Then they called my name and I bravely walked back to that table I had to lay down on while Dr. Williams looked inside my mouth. Even at 4 or 5 I remember being confused as to why his teeth were so crooked. I was so frightened, I peed my pants on that table. I don't remember any more details other than knowing from that day on, I would hate the dentist for the rest of my days.

Audra Picarello said...

Brave makes me think of September 2004. I was 11, and we were getting ready to move. My dad was in TN looking for a house for us. My mom, sister, and I were home by ourselves. Victoria had already been sent to bed, and I was heading that direction. Our home was nice - in the historic district, all brick, close to 3,000 square feet. It had been a project of Dad and Mom's, and it had been fixed up really nicely! It had sold in under a week, and there was a for sale sign in the yard, with a sold sticker above it. We had a decently sized deck at the back of the house that could be accessed by a door in the kitchen, and there was a window looking out on it. I had just been in the kitchen with all the lights on, and I was getting ready to go in my room upstairs, I heard a loud crash. Mom was the only one downstairs, and I panicked, thinking that something had fallen on her. I screamed out, "MOM?!?!" and she yelled back, "I KNOW, I HEARD IT TOO!" I remember standing at the top of the stairs, absolutely terrified, trying to process what was going on. I ran down the stairs and met Mom in the kitchen, where she had flipped on all the lights. In the middle of the floor was one of our huge landscaping rocks from the backyard and shards of glass. I'm not sure how it happened, but I got Mom's cell phone and ran back upstairs to my room and dialed my dad. He picked up and couldn't hear me, and I remember fumbling with a connector mom had plugged into her Nokia for her headset. I finally got it unplugged and remember trying to tell my dad as calmly as possible that someone had tried breaking into the house. He was 3 1/2 hours away, and there wasn't much he could do, and he told me that, but I do remember him asking if we were okay, and telling me to make sure we called the police and his parents, and that he'd be home as soon as he could be. While that wasn't a very "brave" thing, I remember how scared I was then, and trying to keep it together and be as brave as I could be as Mom and I put the pieces together, and then checking on Victoria and staying with her until my grandparents arrived (20 minutes away and got there before police!!). Still gives me chills thinking about it... whoever tried breaking in sat on our deck and ate peanuts and discarded the shells everywhere (!!!!!!). I never knew whether they saw me or not, and whether they knew their were people home and had intentions of harming us - whether they wanted to try to rob the house because we were selling and because of the neighborhood we were in.