“Where in the love of mud have you been?” is what my father would say to us if we got home particularly late, or if my mother had been waylaid while running an errand and it took much longer than expected. My father has always been a man of few words – even more so in recent years because of a neurodegenerative disorder he has (ataxia with tremors) that makes speech a real struggle for him. But his thriftiness in communication was present long before that.
I spent the first ten years of my life, 1968-1978, on a goat farm in Ohio. The town we lived in, Champion, was so small in those days it didn’t even have its own zip-code. My father was an electronics technician at the Youngstown airport, but in addition to working his full-time job, we also had this farm with 36 acres of land, half-a-dozen goats and a flock of chickens.
I saw the tiniest little baby at the food co-op the other day and it brought back so many memories of when Heather was pregnant with Willow. Here’s my favorite:
My Dad Works in the Golf Ball
I left Ohio, the state where I was born, when I was ten. I should say my parents moved our family out of Ohio in 1978. I don’t recall having much say in the matter. My father left Ohio for a job. He was an electronics technician by trade and was heading to a Federal Aviation Administration radar site in the Allegheny mountain range of central Pennsylvania.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my name: G. Sherman H. Morrison.
I love my name, but it took a long time for it to evolve into its present form. As a young child, I understood my name to be Jerry. I had two older brothers, Joe and Jim. Three J’s – Jim, Joe, and Jerry. Very neat and tidy, right? Except that Jerry wasn’t really my name.