Monthly Archives: February 2011

Early Childhood

It’s amazing how much I don’t remember about my childhood.  My memory can check back to images, but ages and dates are really fuzzy.  I can remember places, faces, some names, events, and some very specific things, but most of what I remember about early childhood is unclear.  (It must have been the 70’s that did that to me).

Most of what I remember of my childhood are images of a positive nature.  I remember playing in our neighborhood with my good buddies Jeff and Danny.  One of our favorite things to do in the summer (which used to be at least three months long) was to camp in the back yard.  We would set up one of their tents (my family didn’t camp so they had the supplies) in a back yard of our choice and spend the night outside. 

Usually, we spent the night sneaking around to find what we could get into.  There were apple trees in many of the yards in our neighborhoods.  Ready for the picking, we helped ourselves.  One would climb the tree, shake the limbs, and the other two would collect the apples.  There were many times that we would eat so many apples that we would get stomach aches the next day. 

Another of our favorite neighborhood things was to take broom handles (or any old stick that was straight would do) and make rubber band guns.  A nail in the tip of the stick or just a groove cut in order to wrap the band around was the first step in making the gun.  Then a clothes pin would be mounted on the other end to hold  the rubber band ready for firing.  Releasing the rubber band would send it flying through the air toward the intended target.  The target was usually one of the other “friends.”  It was a blast!!

We lived on a very busy road in Florence.  It was called Huntsville Road.  It connected us with Huntsville Alabama about 70 miles away.  At that time it took an hour and a half to travel there.  Now it takes about 45 minutes.  Anyway, next to this road was a “sweet gum” tree.  We didn’t really know what kind of tree it was.  That’s  just what everyone called it.  On this tree were these prickly round pine cone-like balls.  They were perfect for throwing at passing cars. I couldn’t believe that my friends would actually do that.  That’s all I have to say about that.

I will never forget the day that Jeff fell out of one of those trees and broke his arm.  He fell right on top of my dog.  Needless to say, neither he nor my dog were too happy about it.  He jumped up and ran and so did the dog.  I think that dog’s name was Rover.  I know that’s not to original, but oh well.

One things I remember about my friends at that age.  We could be fighting like crazy one day and best friends the next.  We would get into it for the smallest thing, scrap a while, and the next day it was like it never happened.  Part of the reason that was true I think was that the parents hardly ever got involved.  Mom would just say, “Ya’ll  just work it out.”  And most of the time we did.

More later…


The Beginning of Me 2

I know what you are thinking.  “At this rate, how long will it take Keith to write this story?”  I said that with my schedule, it might take a while!

On August 16, 1964, I came into this world.  Born into an average middle-aged family, I was very blessed.  My mom and dad were two of the hardest working people on the planet. They were married at a very young age.  Dad was nineteen and mom was only fifteen.  My mom’s dad was very much against them dating.  Can you imagine your fifteen year old getting married?  I don’t much blame granddaddy.  But, in that day and time it was not as unusual for teens to marry.

They would tell stories of how dad would do things to “work out” a way to see mom in spite of my granddaddy’s wishes.  He once ran his car through some water to “drown out” the motor so that he would have to go to mom’s dad and borrow tools to fix it.  That gave him a “reason” to see her.

Dad’s dad, papa Davis, died before I ever got to know him.  He was a carpenter.  My dad followed in his footsteps.  Dad was a master builder.  He learned it at a young age.  he could take wood from scratch and literally build masterpieces.  I was always amazed at his abilities to draw out on a piece of paper from his mind and then translate that into a cabinet or a desk or a house!

Aside from being a carpenter, just before I was born, dad spent time in the army as a post commander driver.  He was responsible for driving the commander anywhere he was asked to take him.  It was a sweet job for the army.  Dad told stories about how cool the commander was to him.  He told once how the commander would say, “Let’s see what this thing will do Davis!”  He loved being given permission to drive as fast as he wanted.  In the one picture to the right he is receiving an award for his service from the commander.  Both of the pictures seen here of him were taken less than a year before I was born.

Dad was a quiet man.  He was one of those people who when he was in the room you would hardly notice him.  Many times dad would try to say something only to have someone else but in.  He would never say anything about it.  He would just quietly wait his turn to return to the conversation.

I will always remember that my dad was a man of generosity.  It did not matter what it was that we needed, he always found a way to get it for us.  Times were really tough for us for many years because of the economy.  Work was slow lots of times, but I don’t ever remember missing a meal or not having a place over our heads at night.

Mom was quite the opposite from dad in many ways.  She never has had a loss for words.  She has always been the kind of person who will take the bull by the horns and do what it takes to make things happen.  She is a resourceful, smart lady who has one of the biggest servant hearts I know.

Part of the reason for her resourcefulness stems from the fact that she was one of four children.  She is pictured here in the top right hand corner.  When she was younger, she had many responsibilities.  My grandmother worked outside of the home in the “knitting mill.”  That left mom to take care of her siblings.  She tells of having to run the cow down in order to get milk for the family.  While taking care of the household chores, she had to take care of her siblings.  That was a recipe for growing up way too fast, but I guess it did teach her how to be responsible.

I credit mom for helping me shape my faith.  She was committed to going to church and making sure that we boys did the same thing.  There were many fights at my house on Sundays about going to church.  I’m so thankful that she made me do it.  It really help me shape my future even though I didn’t know it at the time.

There are so many more things I can and probably will say about my mom and dad and our lives together.  I’m just really tired and it’s really late.  I’ll write more later.


The Beginning of Me

One would think that writing the story of one’s life would simply start at the beginning.  But thinking about my beginning has been a difficult thing.  After all, I was just a little one.  Thinking back then was not something I–well–thought about!  Besides, when is the beginning of someone?   I could say it was when I was born,  August 16, 1964.  However, my mom tells me that I began to be thought about much earlier than that.

She tells me that they began trying to have a baby and for many years it just did not happen.  They were beginning to think it would never happen and seven years into that process, they got pregnant with moi!  How awesome is that?  To think that I was seven years in the making makes me feel very special.  Not that I am, it just makes me feel that way.

When I really give that some deeper thought, it is mind-boggling!  Imagine what would be different for me if they had birthed me seven years earlier.   I would have been born in 1957.  I would have graduated high school in 1975.  When I turned sixteen I could have gotten a “classic” car for my birthday!  I would be 52 years old now and qualify for AARP! But I digress!

Another side of this is, how many things I would have missed.  I would not have met Ellen and I would not have the absolutely most awesomest family in the world!  In this regard, I’m glad it took them the time that it did.  This teaches me a lesson.  God allows things at just the right time. He has used me in ways that I would have never imagined and could not have happened had I not been born at just the right time for Him.  So, whether for good or bad, I am glad I was placed here for such a time as this!  Thank you God for using mom and dad to get me here.

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I have for a long time been wanting to write my story.  The story of “me.”  I don’t yet know what to call it, but I’m still thinking about it and hope that someday I can put it in book form for my kids.  My friend Greg did this some years back and I thought at that time it would be really cool to do this.  I’m going to try.

So, I hope that my kids appreciate it.  It’s kind of cool to that, if anyone wants to, they can read along. Of course, if you choose to do that, it probably means don’t have much to do, but you are so welcome here.  I will change the subject from time to time I’m sure, but I will come back to the story.  I’m also not going to put a lot of pressure on myself to write so it will be a long process.

Maybe I can learn some things by doing this.  Maybe along the way I can discover things about myself that will help me live this life in a more productive way.  We shall see.

Thanks for reading.