Staples on Jared's Birthday
Jared turned five years old on September 23, 1990,
just after moving into our home out in the countryside. This was a special
birthday for Jared because he got a new bike of his own, and a neat pair
of cowboy boots.
Jared couldn't wait to ride his new bike so he
took his bike out for a spin and promptly ran into a barbed wire fence
cutting the side of his head above his right ear. Mom took him to the doctor
and they stapled up his wounds. As soon as Jared got home he got back on
his bike and rode it up and down the road making motorcycle noises as he
turned or sped up. Jared couldn't wait to show his friends his new bike,
boots and the staples he got for his birthday.
The Tree House
Jared was very pleased to see a large tree in the backyard of the new
home. The first order of business for Jared was to investigate making
a tree house. Junk was dragged from all over to make a ramp up the tree
and boards were found out in the desert in front of our house to make a
platform to sit on. With the help of his sister, Tara, a fairly stable
tree house was constructed. The tree house was a great spot to hide, take
a little nap in the shade, eat lunch or have a club meeting, with designated
members. (Tara and Jared were the two designated members.). Rarely were
new members admitted to the club, unless they could comply with stringent
rules, such as total obedience to demands.
As Jared grew older, another platform was built by him in a very high
spot up in the tree. This was Jared's private tree house that he could
be alone and think. Since no one wanted to climb up to be with him, Jared
found his quiet time undisturbed in the top of a tree.
The Dungeon Becomes a Fort
It's perfectly natural for a child to want to
build forts. Most of the time they do it outside. But Jared and his sister,
Tara, enjoyed building their forts in the basement of our house. The basement
was nicknamed the Dungeon (see "The
Skittles War") because mom didn't like going down there much, and because
it seem to be a perfect name to create interest for parties, guests and
friends. Actually it was a really fun place to be, since mom and dad rarely
went down there, they could do whatever they desired, messes and all. Rarely
did anyone ever complain about cleaning the basement up.
So Tara and Jared made a fort in the Dungeon.
Every sheet and blanket in the house, not on a bed, was used and every
chair. The ping pong table was rigged as the main room and the chairs were
rigged up as the halls to crawl though. Many hours were spent perfecting
the fort before showing it off to mom. Many times Tara and Jared would
stay up all night "guarding" the fort from enemies, big brother and sister.
They were like, "Fort predators", enjoying the negative reaction of a little
pull on a sheet and whines of "stop it," "leave our fort alone", "I'm telling
In the end, Dad usually discovered the "mess"
and made them clean it up, but not before letting them have some fun with
their fort building talents for a few days.
The Sheet Kite
It could get very windy in the Tri-Cities Washington.
Normally, one would retreat to the comforts of home, watching TV or playing
a board game on days like that, but Jared and his brother and sisters would
take sheets out into the front yard, skillfully open them up at just the
right time and, "whish" it would almost take them off the ground.
After awhile it started to scare them as the wind was very unpredictable,
and what if, what if it really did take them off the ground and fly them
away like a kite? Time to go into the house - time for mom to wash