We moved to Pete’s Mountain in West Linn Oregon on May 21st 1980 and moved out 21 years later – to the day. We had two and half acres with nothing but woods behind us, plenty of room for a growing boy, a dog named Thor, a pony called Shadow, and our Mr. Allie Cat.
The Dead Mouse
One day Rick and I had just come home from shopping to see 4 little ten year old boys coming from the house, headed for our camp trailer that they were using for a sleep over. When they saw us come in they sorta hid the matches they were holding, and complained about the ‘dead mouse’ smell in the trailer. They were wanting to burn incense to mask the odor. We went in to see how bad it was and were over come by the smell of GAS. One of the boys had turned the stove dials on and thought – how dumb it doesn’t even work – then walked away leaving it open. Had we driven in just 5 minutes later, we would have witnessed our little trailer with 4 young boys going up in a huge explosion!!
Ryan’s Prized BB
When Ryan was around 12, he and his best buddy Jerome went out hunting gophers. They were both sitting in our cherry tree patiently waiting for the varmint to surface below, where they hoped to plug him with his bb gun. But just as the gopher showed his head, Jerome who’d tired of waiting, swung down out of the tree – at the same time that Ryan took his shot … only when the tree limb swayed so did his gun and he shot himself in his foot! When I looked at it later that day, it seemed only bruised and that the bb hadn’t actually gone in.
Years later while we were lying on opposite ends of the bed talking one nite and he had his size 13 big feet in my face, I notice his big toe had a ‘lump’ in it. I said “what the heck is that!” He said “it’s my bb!” Well needless to say I was shocked and took him to the doctor right away to have it removed. Only the doctor surprised me by asking RYAN if he wanted it out saying it wasn’t hurting anything and there was no danger of it causing any problems. Ryan said no – so the bb stayed.
When he was 28ish married and hosting a Christmas Eve party one year, he came up to me smiling and said “hold out your hand … I have a special gift for you”. Well as soon as it hit my palm I knew what it was. After dancing one nite and having his foot stomped on, his toe swelled up and the bb popped out!!
We were living in Redding and just before Ryan’s second birthday, he disappeared! Now he had pulled some Houdini acts before like hiding in my large Tupperware drawer and pushing all the containers towards the front so when I opened the bin I couldn’t see him. And another time when he climbed to the back of my ‘lazy Susan’ cabinet and just laughed when I called frantically. But this time … he was gone! We were out in the tiny back yard area just outside the kitchen when the phone rang. Now mind you it was a wrong number so I quickly hung up and went back out. I called – no answer. I ran first to make sure the pool gate was still closed and locked. I ran out to the opposite corner of the property where we’d climb the fence to watch the trains go by down below … but no Ryan. I screamed his name running down our long gravel drive way towards the heavily traveled road to where our mailbox was. He was used to going out with me and loved opening the box to see what was inside. He was nowhere in sight. Frantic I ran back to the house screaming the whole time. Another look at the pool, then the fence, then back to the mailbox. I started to turn when I heard a whistle ACROSS the main road and down a couple of hundred feet, there was an old man holding my son. I was almost hysterical by then. I ran, I grabbed and ran home, never stopping to thank the man or get his name – something I’ll always regret. I was just so relieved I couldn’t wait to get back safe inside our home.