7th son of a 7th son

February 9, 2009

I grew up in a lovely little suburb of Minneapolis called Golden Valley (a name so quaint, when I told Kim that’s where I was from, she asked me if I was friends with the Keebler Elves). My parents had grown up as farmer types from Southern Alberta, Canada, and thus we had a garden in the backyard as big as West Texas.

I hated that garden. Hated hated hated it. I hated digging and roto-tilling the grass to make the garden. I hated roto-tilling in the spring to prep the garden each year. I hated planting seeds that I knew would eventually grow into plants I would have to tend. I hated weeding the garden. I hated watering the garden. I hated harvesting the carrots and lettuce and beans and corn and shit. Well, we didn’t harvest shit, but I did have to spread it. Literally. My dad arranged to get horse manure from a farmer friend of his, and I had to spread it in the garden.


I say I. I’m sure my brothers were involved. I don’t care. They can bitch on their own blogs.

As we kids aged, the garden went through a sort of boom and bust. It boomed in my middle years and busted as I left the house, leaving only my youngest brother at home to tend the thing. So instead my Mom planted raspberries. Rows and Rows of raspberries.

But my youngest brother was smarter than all of us. He took the mower out and cut the raspberries down.

“Whoops. I dunno, Mom. What raspberries? We had raspberries?”

How does he do this and not get disowned?

You know how parents get tired as they move through their kids? Super strict with the oldest, they experiment with the middle kids, and by the time they get to the youngest, they just don’t give a crap?

Especially if the youngest is the youngest by 5 years.

Dad–What’s Rob up to this weekend?

Mom–Do we still have kids at home?

Seriously. If I had mowed down the corn and the beans, I would have been dead. DEAD.

But Rob? I think it took my Mom a month to even notice she didn’t have raspberry bushes anymore.

25 Responses to “7th son of a 7th son”

  1. forgingahead Says:

    You crack me up. So I take it you don’t tend a lovely vegetable garden for Kim?

  2. mark Says:

    It never ends. A few years ago I offered to purchase my dad’s truck from him for full market value, an amount north of 10 grand. He said “no, I think I’m going to hold onto it.” So I bought my own truck. Then, not even a year later, he GAVE the truck to my youngest brother.

  3. tonks Says:

    Wait, are you the oldest?

    I couldn’t get my ears pierced til I was 13. the middle sis was 10 and the youngest was 8. I got to drive a 76 AMC Hornet (cousin to the Gremlin and the Pacer). The other girls? ’91 Toyota truck and ’97 Ford Explorer. And my brothers??? ’67 cherry red MUSTANG (one of my fave cars), Nissan Maxima.

    No hard feelings though. No, really!

  4. dug Says:

    tonks, nope. i’m 7 of 8. but everything changed during that 5 year gap after me. there was number 1, then the middle 6, then number 8.

    67 cherry red mustang? where are you from?

  5. tonks Says:

    AND, while I’m whining, we used to have to weed our garden too. We each had to do an ice cream bucket full of weeds and I’d get up early and get it done while the others would dawdle. It was a mystery why there never seemed to be any other weeds picked…I finally figured out that they were recycling my hard-earned weeds and claiming them as their own.

    SO wrong!

  6. Jdub Says:

    I was the oldest ranch kid who had the “privilege” of pitching in to clean the horse stalls and doze the cow manure into small mountains – then load it in the pickups for the folks like your dad. Builds character…so they say. Most likely it just was what it was – turd.

  7. tohellandback1st Says:

    keebler elves? that’s hilarious! 10 points to Kim.

  8. christa89 Says:

    I grew up in APPLE Valley, also a suburb of Minneapolis. But I’ve never heard of any Golden Valley. You sure you’re not making it up? šŸ˜‰

  9. Jeff Says:

    My brother is the youngest by nine years.

    There have been times I’ve seen him say something I would have never gotten away with saying, then I’d look at my parents expecting them to beat him with a wooden spoon or something, and they wouldn’t do anything!

    it’s maddening!

  10. MOCougFan Says:

    I’m the oldest. My youngest sister is 11 years younger. She got/gets away with anything. I called my mom on it once. She grinned and said “She’s my baby”. Apparantly I was chopped liver.

    Funny enough tho, I hated gardening when I was a kid. I love it now. My garden is much bigger than when I grew up.

  11. bikemike Says:

    dang Jeff, yours is the mirror image of mine. “my baby”, if i hear that line one more time…
    he never had to cut the grass, wash the dishes, blah-blah-blah. it’s a dadgum crime is what it is.
    i demand a recount.

  12. Rob Says:

    I’m the youngest. I sacrificed my birthright blessing to my twin (who snaked it via C-Section.) That said, it’s an easy swap for all the extra stuff and favored treatment I get…I won’t go into detail since he reads this blog sometimes and my mom told me not to tell him.

  13. b_banks Says:

    classic Maiden album!

  14. bikemike Says:

    ooooo…Rob just named the new wave group of the day…”Via C-Section”.

  15. tohellandback1st Says:

    christa89, you never came up up old highway 18 and saw the sign, ‘welcome to Golden Valley, please wipe your feet…’? we made the reverse trip to the zoo and valleyfair at least a couple of times. although, with that 89 i’m guessing 18 was 169 by the time you came around…

    bikemike, now you’re giving the youngest naming rights, too!?! i think via c-section should always be linked with ‘snaked birthright’.

    nicely done, Rob; 10 points to you, too!

  16. tohellandback1st Says:

    Dug, could you use that dashboard thing to clean up my up up? and then maybe delete this one, too : )

  17. steveA Says:

    Rob-Twin? hmmm

    Christa89-look at a map of MN and find MPLS. Look west, Golden Valley was the first suburb to the west. Ideallic (dug, would you fix this if it needs it please) place really, except for the yards large enough to put a garden in. Although, not a bad place to bury the youngest , overprivelaged son.

    The garden was hated by all! Even worse was when we had to ride our bikes 2-3 (felt like 50) miles with the hoes over the handle bars to tend the plot we first had before the homefront garden. I don’t believe the older 5 had to deal with this garden.

  18. rachel Says:

    I was the middle child, which is where you get picked on the most (and, yes, I still have issues). Still, I loved the garden on our farm. I loved the fresh vegetables, I loved the smell of canning tomatoes, but I was never in charge of the fertilizer. That might have ruined it for me.

  19. dug Says:

    just as an announcement, the superpower i possess to edit your comments is not for YOUR benefit, but for MINE. i will not be correcting grammar and spelling mistakes. where’s the win in that for me?

    and steve, that’s the worst attempt at idyllic i’ve ever seen. i mean, i haven’t seen tons of attempts, but that was, in this age of easy access to dictionary.com, or even just right-clicking a questionable word, pretty bad.

    christa89, how do you grow up in apple valley, minnesota, and end up in amsterdam speaking (or at least writing) dutch?

  20. MOCougFan Says:

    So now I’m curious… what will get edited?

    If I comment that dug is fatter than a walrus will that get edited?

  21. Rick S. Says:

    Dug- I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this but YOU have a farm in your backyard. What, like 10 acres?

  22. dug Says:

    but dick, that’s all grass. and where i live, i don’t even have to mow it.

  23. steveA Says:

    Sorry, you didn’t include a spell checker in your post box!

    Quick, someone try telling dug he has no butt and see if it gets edited!

  24. BurkeInTheOzarks Says:

    Iron Maiden? I instantly thought of the White Stripes. I guess I was never a big Maiden fan. So, which one were you thinking of, Doug? Or were you?

  25. isela Says:

    This is hilarious and it brings back so many memories. I am the oldest so I know what you are talking about. I was 23 when I bought my own laptop, my youngest brother (who is 12 right now) got his own laptop a year ago. It is not fair but we can think of ourselves as hardy šŸ™‚

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