Thieves In The Temple

Let me start by filling you in on some of my back story.

I come from a family that is quite....colorful.  I would love to just sum them up in one blog post, but even if it were possible, it would be an injustice of gross proportion.  I grew up with my grandmother and father.  They were quite eclectic.  Creative.  And incredibly smart.

But incredibly uneducated.

They also probably had about 75% of the listed mood disorders used by the American Psychiatric Association. 

Too bad they never sought psychiatric consultation.

But not really.  Because that was part of the fun.  You see, I had a wild, volatile, tempestuous childhood.  It had extreme highs of laughter and adventure.  It could also be painful and raw at times and still can be when my siblings and I take all that visceral emotion out from where we've packed it to be seen, heard, and discussed.   It was a childhood steeped in financial poverty as my "parents" (I have always and will always refer to my father and grandmother as such) did not work due to physical disabilities.  Probably, in hindsight, some psychological and emotional ones too.

But we were rich in other ways.  I value education, reading, and philosophy because of my parents.  They were not formally educated--my father left school after about the 10th grade and my grandmother left after about the 3rd, by some accounts.  But as an example, she read the newspaper front to back daily.  Discussed and argued politics at the kitchen table every morning with my uncle before he went to pour concrete as a Teamster.  I learned many things sitting at that kitchen table, not least of which was just how much Folger's black coffee two people could drink while chain smoking Marlboro reds without dropping dead on the spot.  It was quite impressive, actually.

But I also learned that it was important to read.  To self educate.  To think.  And to have opinions for myself and to know why I had them.  I have never been one to import my political, religious or any other affiliations from my family as if they were some sort of inheritance handed down from generation to generation.  My grandmother would roll over if she thought I did that.  My legacy that she imbued in me was to think.  Form opinions.  Be able to discuss and defend them.  Keep an open mind so they could change.  She also taught me to be honest and to have integrity.

My father, on the other hand, taught me how to be self-sustainable. Not directly, necessarily, as it was not as if we had formal father-daughter sessions on independence and self-sufficiency.  No, he led more by example.  He couldn't necessarily work a "normal" job with his disability and illnesses, but he found ways to provide.  And not all of them aligned with my grandmother's lessons in honesty and integrity.

Nope, Dad was a grifter.

He had charisma.  I'm not sure people even minded so much being taken advantage of.  But it really is the best take advantage he did.  So, growing up in this mixed bag of a household, you might wonder how I turned out.

Whose lessons were stronger?  Grandma's?  Or Dad's?  Well, as it turned out, I try to keep things honest.  I try not to lie, and I don't cheat (well, not unless it's for fun) and I do NOT STEAL.

Well, I didn't.

Let me explain.  Because June and Johnny forgot to stock the barn with hay.  Now, the white board instructions for us to take care of their farm clearly stated:  "2 flakes of hay in the a.m. for goats and lambs".
Don't worry, I had to figure out what the hell a "flake" was too.  But regardless, there was no hay!  They told us the cows didn't need any (poor Eli) as they wanted them to graze the pasture as it had greened up nicely from the recent rain (what if it got hot again?).
So, we had no hay.  Tomas and I looked at each other that very first morning and simultaneously said, loudly, to each other,
"Now what the fuck are we supposed to do?"

I'd like to point out that Tomas usually has a much more cultured vocabulary and would not use such language as freely as I.  But the situation was dire.  No food for our wards.  We were in charge of these animals.  They were entrusted to us.  AND they were trusting us to take care of them.  So, I have to say the solution came as naturally and clearly as anything in my life ever has.  I looked Tomas deep in the eyes and said,
"We need to go steal some."

From the neighbors.  We had toured their farm and barn and land just the week before.  I always heard that people in the country were friendly.  You know...neighborly.  So, I figured they couldn't mind too much if we lifted a few bales.  For the children. 

And just like that, I understood my dad.  Hungry kids = hungry kids.  So what if one type are human and one are goats.  Same diff.  We had responsibilities.  And come hell or high water, we were going to take care of business and feed our "family".  Even if we had to steal it.   

So, we hopped in the Polaris, rode down to the neighbors, jacked some bales and rode back like the hounds of hell were after us.  We were laughing like loons as, in our hearts, we knew that we would confess our crime and June and Johnny could settle up the hay account when they returned.  In the meantime, we could be stealthy and pretend we were Bonnie and Clyde riding around in an ATV like mad gangsters.

It was magnificent.

Of course, when I updated June with the problem and our brilliant solution, she just said they wanted the goats and lambs to graze on pasture.

Hello?  White board?  Oh well.  It's another bullet for the resumé, we figure.

Hay burglars.  

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