My Mother Invented the Side Ponytail

This blog is ideally about my life of adventures, mostly related to Public Safety, but it all started at an early age.  I have to give some background, it’s all relevant.

I was a tomboy, or tomgirl, but mostly my mom called me Tom’s girl (my father’s name is Tom).  I was the oldest, my sister, 3 years younger, was mommy’s girl.  I liked to fix and build and do stuff in the yard. I learned about cars, and tools, and how duct tape can just about fix anything, at least temporarily.  Guy stuff, AND I was a climber.

I climbed out of my crib, up the cupboards, on the fridge, on the garage, over fences and into trees.  This started early.  Mom caught me by one leg one day, as I was exiting my crib head first, before I hit the floor (lucky for me)!  I was never afraid of heights, although I have developed a healthy respect for gravity (it’s the sudden stop at the bottom that’s the problem).  Anyway, back to my Mother of Invention.

My mom could sew. It’s a lost art.  She made many of my clothes, learning to sew from her mother (french seams and all).  I only remember disliking one thing she made me.  A pair of green plaid pants.  I have no doubt that they were made after the many dresses I came home wearing with dirt caked on them, rips in the arms and skirts, as well as the dirt under my fingernails.  She gave up on me being a “proper” girl.

Especially after that day in first grade.  The day I climbed into a pine tree before walking home from the school bus stop.  I loved trees.  I loved the ease of climbing the conveniently placed and spaced branches.  I loved the view, above everything, and the sound of the breezes rustling the leaves.  This particular tree was pretty sappy and I got a wad of pine sap caught in my hair.  Thinking I would again be a non-dainty disappointment to my mom when I got home.  I decided to fix it myself.  I yanked out the whole blob at once, and I was successful!!

OH BOY, a thick hank of hair came with it.  I had successfully given myself a nice round bald spot to the right of my center part. Uh oh, I was still going to be in trouble.  My poor mother had her hands full with me.  I do not remember being in a lot of trouble, but I did really feel badly for putting her through these things.  It was probably pretty embarrassing for her at times.  The next day, I was a little worried about going to school with a big bald spot (about the size of a half-dollar).  My mother ( I must get a little of my macgyvering from her!), surveying the damage gave me a comb-over ponytail, or side ponytail.  I wore my hair every day that way until my hair grew back.  Thank you MOM!!

Here’s the proof (and I was wearing a dress for picture day).

Renee First grade



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