I would like to share a little history between Val and I.
Valerie is only a few years younger than I. So she will always be my little cousin. I tend to look out for her a little too much. But how can I not, when I only have one brother; I treat her as my little sister. We grew up only a few miles away from each other. We had the opportunity to cause lots of trouble and oh boy we did, especially at our grandparents’ farm.
Val and her siblings just got a pony, they named it Dudsey. Our grandparents housed the pony until their Dad finished building their barn. So one day after school, (I was in the seventh grade and Val was in the third grade) we had to get off the bus at Grandpa and Grandma’s house knowing Dudsey was in the barn. We raced down the driveway and into the barn as fast as we could. Val’s sister, CeeCee, and I convinced her that we should ride it first because we were older and we wanted to make sure he was safe to ride. We hopped on and rode around a couple of times in the corral. Val was waiting patiently and kindly asked if it was her turn. We told her it will be in just a few minutes, very snottily. That few minutes turned into a half hour. We didn’t care; we were already on the pony and just as we were going to head out into open pasture towards the old oak tree, here comes Val. Val snuck through the fence with her cute little ruffled dress, white tights and dress shoes trouncing through the corral with the meanest look on her face. CeeCee and I looked at each other then at Val and yelled, No Val…next thing we knew we were both face down in a gift from Dudsey! Val knew that if she were to give Dudsey a tap at the rear he was sure to start bucking. As we were getting up and brushing off what we could; we looked over and there was Val riding merrily along to the old oak tree. We tried to fib our way out of how we treated her but Grandma seen the whole thing. We walked with our heads hung low over to the sauna where Grandma used the garden hose to clean us off and changed into clean clothes. We said our sorry to Val and we all sat at the picnic table drinking lemonade and eating gingersnap cookies.
We were all best of friends until the next time. The lesson learned for me was, just because she is younger doesn’t mean I always need to watch out for her. But I did not always remember that lesson. Which will be proved in the following story that Val can take care of herself.
Valerie met a young man named Josh. I did not quite know what to think of him at first. When I first heard he asked her to marry him and she said yes, I knew I had to have a little talk with him. It was at our family Christmas Party that I felt I needed to let him know the rules. Here I am being Mrs. Protector, little did I know Val herself already gave him the rundown; of course I waited until Val left the room. I walked over with a smile and continued to smile the whole time as I was letting him know that if he were to ever break her heart, I will hunt him down to the ends of the earth. As I was finishing, Val comes walking around the corner and whispers I already told him what would happen. So I just turn to him and the gesture of the two fingers pointing at my eyes then to him a few times, I’m watching you. He tried not laugh, apparently Val told him the Dudsey story that day. From then on, I knew he was a part of the family; Val was sharing our childhood adventures.
Trees are the unity of time…
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