As a child I don't actually remember moving to the house in Taylorsville, even though I have spotty memories prior to this. It is in my mind as if this was simply the home I grew up in until I was around 9. With that I will share more of my memories from this period of my life.
There are many simple memories like making nachos and sleeping on the trampoline and going shooting... I will focus more on some of the memories that will not be as common... at least not now.
One thing I have noticed is the difference between how Saturday morning cartoons were a big deal when I was a child. I remember getting up at 4 AM so I could catch the best cartoons and then watching cartoons sometimes until noon. I remember favorites like Voltron, Thundercats, Transformers, Go-Bots and the list goes on and on. Of course this is not as interesting to me as the change in how cartoon and video viewing has changed since I was a child. My children watch the cartoons or shows they want on demand and when it is convenient for them. Most of the shows can be found easily online or through Netflix or other streaming options. Looking back I think this is cool to see the huge discrepancy between experiences.
With that I will start into some of the experiences that changed me and gave me some of the perspectives I have.
As a child we raised goats for some time, and I was often one to feed them and milk the females. On a side note I used to butt heads with the females, because I thought it was fun (this may explain some things for those who know me). We had a billy goat so we could raise and breed the goats. To start with for those that do not know much about goats (I would imagine this is a majority). I will explain some grounding information about billy goats. Billy goats stink like no other. This is because they urinate on themselves to attract females. It's OK to cringe I think I did when I first learned this as well. They are also quite grumpy animals if they do not get their way. I will speak of one particular experience I had with our billy goat and how it almost got me killed.
Our billy goat was in heat and I was going out to feed the goats. I started to notice he was always the first to eat and that he would get what he wanted before any of the other goats could eat. He had long curly horns, and was what I considered to be bullying the other goats. I always had felt like I could handle him pretty well and would play with him as well as the other goats. I decided I was going to help the other goats that I thought should be able to eat and enjoy their food as well. So I took food and started to go to and feed specifically the other goats. This really made our billy goat angry and he decided to teach me a lesson. He charged me down and started to butt me. By this time I was pretty afraid and tried to get away. He pinned me up against the fence and started butting me (hitting me over and over with his horns). I was out of breath and unable to move and he just kept going. I heard my father in the background and screamed that the goat was killing me. He jumped the fence and ended up trying to get the goat away which was not working. He finally had to grab a 2x4 which was in our yard and broke it over the goats head. This broke one of the billy goats horns, and it finally backed off. I was taken to the house and cared for. This was quite traumatic to me and I wondered what had flipped the switch and why he was acting this way. I learned that as far as goats are concerned there is a hierarchy and the billy goat is the top and decides how things work. I had basically stomped on his domination of the other goats, and infuriated him.
I learned a few things from this experience, first that my father would do what it takes to save his children; even to the extent of jeopardizing himself. He got hurt a little as well and I am surprised at the strength of this billy goat, when in a frenzy. I also learned much more about how quickly animals can take control and that there is a safety in understanding why certain animals act in certain ways. This gave me a new found respect for them and the power they have.
We also had a mean rooster that we ended up getting rid of ( think it could have fought in cock fights). I believe I talked about raising chickens in a previous post... I was responsible for gathering eggs and feeding them as well. As a person can guess with raising animals as well as with pets people get attached. There were a number of our animals I really liked and spent a fair amount of time with. Because I really liked a number of our animals, it was very difficult when I had to learn to kill animals so we could prepare them for meals and for stores where we sometimes sold the meat. I remember learning to prepare chickens and rabbits and other animals for food. We had a chopping block where we would have to cut the heads off of the fowls, and when preparing rabbits I had to learn to break their necks so they could die as painlessly as possible. I even learned to work with bigger animals like goats and deer and cows. However I will not go into any gruesome details.
Although it may not make a lot of sense these experiences taught me to show love and respect for the animals, and to care for them as creations of God in a way that I knew of their sacrifices and that they were caring for our needs. This taught me that life is precious and to be cared for. I learned through these and other experiences of the love God has for his creations and I have tried to have the same respect as I live my life. This passed over into hunting and the care of other animals as well.
I am in no way an animal activist, but I respect and care for animals as a creation of God. I care for the world and my brothers and sisters and all of God's creations. I echo the thoughts of Adam that the world is glorious and beautiful.
One more experience... We used to have a few doberman pinscher puppies and one day while driving up into the mountains we stopped by a river. To make a long story short one of the puppies fell into the river and we had to rush to get it out. I loved those puppies and although all worked out well, I worried for those puppies and know things could have turned out much different. I got in trouble for not watching them the way I should have, if I remember right I was told not to take them out of the car and decided to ignore the warning. I was scared enough by the experience that I was much more careful when intrusted with a task of caring for them from that point on.
Through each of these experiences I learned more of trust, of differences and to respect them, of dedication and persistence. I was tried, but I learned much from the experiences of my youth and I am very grateful for them.