Keep Your Ducks in a Row {2}

The autobiographical anthology continues with a much lighter, less heavy post. Thank you for continuing to read and comment. I appreciate you all coming along on this journey with me!

You can find the complete anthology: Injustice: My Bell Jar Diaries Page, at the link below, stories currently {1-7} and supporting pieces.

***Readers Beware***
These are true stories that may shock you — anger and haunt you. Posts under this category may contain disturbing content that could upset or trigger individuals.

Duck, Duck, Duck — MY BIG Mouth!

My mother took all of us to the grocery store and to avoid being a burden to others we were told to walk in a straight line so we wouldn’t take up a bunch of space. It was a spectacle, people would stare and point, counting our heads like little ducks! A common and unfortunate occurrence, but this one time, and I cannot emphasize this enough, just the once. Me and my big mouth popped off:

There are 8 of us, ma’am! You can stop counting now! (Complete with an eye roll. It’s worth mentioning I said ma’am and didn’t step one foot out of line! Well, not physically anyway.)

The clickity-clack of the metal cart came to an abrupt halt! My mother marched, her face painted with disapproval, to the very end of the line, my designated spot. She smacked me right upside the head and said the classic ominous line “just wait till your Father gets home.” I was sent to the van till the shopping was done. That line never failed to strike the fear of God in our hearts! That’s how they put it, now that I give the phrase more thought, GOD had nothing to do with it!

I had the misfortune of having a big mouth. Not to say that I was disrespectful, if that was the case I would’ve been put in an early grave but occasionally I got brazen. Can’t keep a strong woman down, even one in development! I remember in the parking lot smirking and thinking, “Well, at least I said ma’am and the look on that ladies’ face was priceless. Even my insubordination was respectful.

The tires screeched as his truck pulled into the driveway and the hills were alive with the Sound of Music! Ironically, during the worst moments of my childhood, I’d quietly hum, “My Favorite Things” sometimes the situation called for a mental hum because my vocal cords were otherwise engaged. Like when he used the paddle. The glossy light oak was lacquered up and ready to go. If you remember from my first post, crying and flinching were considered unacceptable weaknesses. I did both and another unforgivable act: an ever so slight groan. In my head I sung, “Raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens…

My groan prolonged my punishment: whooped twice on my behind, once on my thighs, and once square on my forearm from flinching and reaching back. That flinch left an inconcealable bruise I had to lie about repeatedly. No one thought much of it though, since one gets all kinds of scrapes and bruises growing up on a farm.

There’s something about being in a seriously warped von Trapp Family alone that makes you want to cry. Being counted like ducks, marching in line, smacked in the head in public, and forced to sit in a hot van for half an hour with looming anticipation of doom and dread — doesn’t help either.

As you read these posts you’ll find personal nuggets of information. At the time, there was just 8 of us. Eventually, I was the oldest of 10 siblings! She went out with a bang; my mother, a twin herself, had twin girls.

Looked a lot like this

Just as I chose to share, you chose to read. I humbly and respectfully thank you all.

To Be Continued…


  1. Thats well written with the scenario and details , as a child to go through that everyday and still not put up with that fear knowing what is awaiting, only God knows what might have given the child so much strength. Thank you for sharing your parts 🙂🌼❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sorta been there done that too
    my father was fifteen years older than my mother
    i was unplanned she was 48 he was 63
    i was the rear of four older sisters
    you carry that load with you
    allyour life

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That contrary duck in the photo says it all. It’s amazing what you do as a child to cope. You were one of 10. How have your nine siblings fared? May I ask?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Please, ask any time, any thing, I’m an open book! I pride myself on my transparency because there was so much secrecy and lying growing up! Each one of us ran away from home before we were 18 yrs. old. Of course, I led the way and ran first. I carried a great deal of guilt for leaving them all behind. We have all had major obstacles in adulthood and still do, it affected us in different ways. The most common element is depression and anxiety. We do not speak to one another. None of us are part of each other’s lives. I think we all just wanted to get as far away as possible from our past and start our own lives, a new family. I suppose it is too painful a reminder for us to communicate or have contact. There is so much more that happened to us that I will eventually get to and then I think you’ll understand better.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for sharing. It seems sad to me that you all don’t speak to one another, but I think I can imagine why that has to be. I believe you are doing a world of good for other people with dark family pasts.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Our stories are not the same but I relate to abuse, depression, and, in my case, suicide attempt and opiod addiction. Childhood is fertile ground for sowing the seeds of depression and dysfunction. Writing about it helps and may even heal. Thank you, brave new friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry we have similarities in our stories. We may have more in common than you might think. Stay tuned…

      You’re so right! It’s a double edged sword: finding someone who can uniquely relate to you and your past, because it makes you feel less alone while at the same time it’s sad knowing that they went through similar things. Writing about it does help a lot! Makes me feel like I’m shifting the power the memory has over me and reclaiming that power back. You know? Thank you for your thoughtful comment, my sweet new friend.


  5. I love that song!! I was sad to read this sad memory!! Yes, I thought your insubordination was respectful, too!! I’m glad things are different for kids these days!!

    Liked by 1 person

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