When I was five and a half years old, my Ganny told me one day that Mom and Dad were bringing home a baby brother from the hospital.  I promptly went and hid my new pack of gum!

My brother was (and still is at 40+) all boy from the word go.  Rough and ready and smart and big hearted.  If today’s standards of watchfulness were in place back then, my parents would have been questioned regularly over his many scrapes and bruises.

Because of the difference in our ages we didn’t have a lot of years at the Cabin where we actually played together.  I do remember a really good hike that we took, just the two of us, before summer jobs kept me from going with the rest of them.  We took the boat across the lake, pulled it out, scrambled up the steep bank and just explored until suddenly we were on the edge of a deep gorge overlooking a big, fast running creek.  We found a trail down to the creek and splashed around some and then made our way back up and out of the woods to the lake.  I have tried twice to find that trail again and still haven’t managed it.

A favorite camera subject at the Cabin

We spent a lot of time down on the dock, though the water was cold for swimming even on the warmest days.  One day I gave up on catching sticklebacks and swimming and was just sitting on the dock.  My brother was wading, slowly getting used to the cold so that he could swim.  He was probably about 5 or 6 years old.  I would taunt him about taking so long; he would retort that he wasn’t going to give up like I had.  This went on for awhile before he did give up, climbing out onto the dock beside me.  We were both shocked to see that the lower half of his body was covered in tiny little leeches.  He had gotten into a nest of babies apparently and they found him tasty.

Mom remembers me screaming “GET THE SALT!  GET THE SALT!” over and over again as we raced up the hill to the Cabin.  I was sent inside and ordered not to look while they stripped him down right there on the deck and salted him.  In my pre-adolescent innocence the salt made me think to say “mama mia, thatsa spicy meatball” after some TV ad. 


Hysterical child, smart mouthed big sister and parents choking between laughter and sympathy!

Sorry dude!  Hopefully it’s funnier for you now than it was then!

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