“Mother Nature is providential. She gives us twelve years to develop a love for our children before turning them into teenagers.” William Galvin

One of the things that hasn’t changed in at least the past three or four generations is asking, coaxing, begging and even ordering a teenager to do some work around the house. Nobody here has had that problem, right? Well, as it turns out not much had changed on the farm when I was growing up, either. My brother, cousins and I were always looking for ways to get out of doing any work. For instance, one hot July day, Grandpa deposited me with a ‘Grim Reaper type scythe’ by some ‘weed’ covered fence rows. Marijuana growth was ‘taboo’ in those days.

Besides, my high school friends later pointed out that the Central Illinois variety was not the right kind anyway. In other words, it wasn’t potent enough to generate the ‘desired’ effect. So, my job that day was to cut down the offending plants and other weeds by the time that he returned. When Grandpa came to collect me several hours later, he found me sitting up against a tree with a foxtail hanging out of my mouth. As Grandpa looked around, he noticed that there was still a lot of weeds on the fence row posts.

“Did I not ask you to get rid of all of these weeds, Tony?”, my grandpa questioned. “Yes you did”, I replied. “I’ve cut them all down, Grandpa. They just haven’t fallen yet!” My grandpa erupted in laughter and there was no way he could be upset at me after that response.

After all, teens will always be teens and so we might as well strap in and enjoy the ride, right? By the way, speaking of cars and teens, that reminds me of a great quote by Erma Bombeck:

“Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.”

Until next time!
Anthony Cota