Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for...Underneath the House

The farmhouse where we lived

The year I turned 14 years old was memorable on so many levels.  Why, you ask?

First, know that memories are locked into our brains by the sensory experiences involved.  Second, know that these sensory images do not have to be good to be effective.

The north porch, where the air was fresh and cool

At fourteen, I was apparently blossoming into an attractive teenager.  I didn’t know it; my brothers kept me humble by pointing out my faults.  My father helped them.  My mother kept silent.

June 1966--Note that I am hiding on the far right, with my evil brothers around me

It wasn’t until we had attended a sister church’s revival in a nearby town that I met the teenagers from other churches.  Teenage boys…good looking boys.  Many asked to sit by me; many followed me to the car and wanted to know where I lived.  Heck, I didn’t know what they were thinking.  

This is what a revival can look like if we were lucky.

Weeks later on a Saturday afternoon, a car showed up at our farm and two of the cutest boys from the revival got out.  I sat and talked with them for a few hours.

They kept coming back! 

What is so amazing about that?  

No, no.  They are NOT cute.

That summer we were experiencing an infestation of animals under our 120 year old farmhouse:  skunks.  Man oh man.  A million skunks, and we couldn’t get rid of them.  We tried everything.  

How to get rid of skunks!

So while these adorable young men were courting me, we were trying to ignore the perpetual skunk odor that erupted from beneath our house.

That is why U is for…Underneath the House.


  1. hahahaha well the skunks do look kind of cute. At least you knew they wanted to be there as the skunk odor didn't drive them off.

  2. omgoodness--they are cute--but i know how awful they smell--charming house and story

  3. Haha, what a great story. I know the smell is awful but I still think skunks are cute - in pictures at least! Wonderful photos of your house and family. :)

  4. You must have been one hot chick for those guys to ignore skunk smell.

  5. There is no excuse for skunks and no cure, either. Can't believe you sat through their contribution. I came home really late one night and smelled one. Looked around and saw him grubbing the front lawn, near the sidewalk. It took him another half hour to work his way across the lawn and down to the road. Then I went up the sidewalk into the house.

    1. Your family photo is unbelievably similar to one of my husband's family. As a matter of fact, I did a double take.
      I hope i can find your email address so i can send you a jpg of his photo!!!!!

  6. Susan...Interesting that both of our "U" posts involved the word Under and pointed to things that were not particularly pretty.

    Great story.

  7. Now, that's an unforgettable stench! Skunks are a mess and I can only wonder what it must have been like for you and your suitors. A boy who liked me in high school once accidentally hit a skunk when he drove to pick me up for a date. While the Skunk was left on the street, the smell was on the boy's tires on the exterior of his car. Eww, funky, lol.

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  8. Oh skunks. My dog came in the house one time - newly sprayed - like brand new. It was chemically smelling, I thought it was a terrorist attack. Then I got it. I shoo'ed him out of the house but it was way too late.

    When I went to pick up my kids from school I had all the windows rolled down, their teacher came out and I said "Oh the dog just got skunked." She wrinkled her nose and said "Yeah, I figured it was something like that."

    And for some reason it ALWAYS happens on a cold day in February when you can't hose the dang dog off outside!

  9. Great U memory. We had a skunk living under our shed last year. We put bleach under it and it didn't come back.

  10. Ha! I didn't expect the skunks to be under the house! I expected some "rite of passage" of some sort to occur under the house! Fun memory and great family photo! Our photos look very similar from the 60's! (probably because I was 15 in June of 1966!) I had glasses like those you were wearing, too! I don't recall there being a lot of choices in frames!

  11. As someone who has never got closer to a skunk than a documentary they do indeed look cute. However, I understand that they are less than desirable visitors so the fact that your adorable young men kept returning and staying would suggest that you were more than attractive. What a wonderful memory to hug to yourself.

  12. Stopping by as part of the 2012 A-Z Blogging Challenge. I had a hound who chased a skunk once. That's all it took to keep him from forming the habit. :)

  13. When I saw the title: Underneath The House - I thought... uh-oh... my mind went into overdrive, imagining all sorts of horrific thinggies lurking or buried there. LOL!
    Thanks for the entertainment! *chuckles*

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  15. There is an awesome song by Ray Stevens, but being techno inept, I couldn't get it to show. title: Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road on YouTube. It was a big hit in our rural area.


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