Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PICNIC - deadline 7-12-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/05/12)
TITLE: Wheezed and Sneezed
By Laury Hubrich
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The closer Daddy got to the top, the more he wheezed and sneezed. One time, I giggled so much I tumbled backwards. This caused my middle brother to lose his toe hold, which caused little brother to fall into oldest brother. I sat on top of the pile. Daddy looked down at us, his handkerchief over his nose and mouth, a cobweb hanging down from his ear. I started to guffaw. This made my pile of brothers I sat on jiggle like gelatin and howl like crazy, all except for big brother at the bottom. He huffed and puffed and threw us all off.
That made me, the princess of the family, cry. The boys dusted me off and dried my tears with their hankies. I looked up at Daddy, and he saw me with those fake crocodile tears on my cheeks. He shook his head; winked; then held up his little finger and wiggled it, our secret code. The only one who wasn’t wound around my little finger was Mama.
He put his two fingers in his mouth and gave his special whistle, and we all flew up the steps, not minding the cobwebs or the spiders or the dust or Daddy’s sneezes and wheezes. We were in magic land. We were only allowed in the attic a few times a year, and picnic time was one of those. Our mission: to find the Chaudoin family banner for our reunion at Miller Park for that coming Saturday, 1963.
Big brother found it. I’m sure he peeked last year when it was put away. The rule was: whoever found the banner got to go with Daddy and sleep on the picnic table underneath the pavilion to hold our spot. Mama said girls couldn’t go. I never thought that was fair. I got stuck helping make the sugar-raisin pies, but…I did get to lick the bowl. Everyone had their jobs for the reunion and making pies was Mama’s.
Auntie Sophie made the potato salad and Auntie Louise, the cole slaw. Auntie Gertie brought dozens of pitchers of sweet tea. The uncles, all except for daddy (whose job it was to camp out at the park), took care of the KFC (that is, Killed and Fried by the Chaudoins. The uncles took their axes. One held the body and the other chopped. I liked to watch those chicken bodies flop all over the yard. It sure isn’t something you ever forget. Oh the memories! Gramma Chaudoin’s job was to pluck and cook.
My job was to watch my little cousin, Lukey, at the picnic. He was in this big baby buggy, and Cousin Irvin kept hanging all over it. I was scared he would flip the whole carriage over and get me in trouble, not to mention hurt the baby, so I guarded the two every single second. I missed out on some fun stuff until Daddy spanked Irvin, and he went away with his feelings hurt. He didn’t stay gone long though.
Irvin dangled over the handle while I changed Lukey’s diaper. Just when I had enough of Irvin’s nonsense, Lukey took care of the problem. Before I could get his diaper back on, he made a perfect arc with his pee right up into Irvin’s face! I giggled so hard, the buggy fell anyway, and me and Irvin both got in trouble!
We sat around picnic tables laden with wonderful food, family members we got to see a couple times a year, with Gramma Chaudoin at the head of the table. Everyone got real quiet when she stood. It was time for her blessing for each family represented. A blessing, a prayer, delicious food, amazing fellowship, clean, wholesome fun. Good memories!
Daddy hid the Chaudoin banner for another year. Big brother tried to peek, but Daddy announced he would be old enough to help with KFC. I peeked just in case Mama might change her mind. She never did. Irvin still pays to this day for that little stunt he pulled that one Chaudoin family picnic!
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