61 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-19-18

  1. And a blessing to you. Sweet dreams.
    another bit of wisdom:
    I’ve learned ….
    That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.

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  2. Nite Jo…sleep well my friend….
    Chas you seem to always make my day…I was awakened in the middle of the night reflecting upon how the Lord has intertwined our lives over this crazy technology….and I was thanking Him for bringing you and your precious bride into our lives….He is good.

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  3. Squirrel! We have the grey tree rats here. I don’t know that I have ever seen a black squirrel.
    Funny that squirrels should show up today. I was speaking with ex MIL last night. She was telling me that last Sunday she and BG were at ex-husband’s for lunch. Somehow there was a BB gun and BG picked it up and shot a wind chime. By that, I mean the tube of metal that hangs down and makes the sound. Everyone was amazed at her skill. My dad had a BB gun that he used to chase squirrels away from his prized pecan tree and I had let her shoot it years ago. I told MIL, that BG should be a great target shooter, after all, she had two grandfathers who could shoot. My dad gave up hunting years ago and took to target shooting. I am reminded of things I have had in my possession that I no longer know where they are. I need to find that BB gun. It was mostly wooden.

    Also, since I have gone there this morning. I think it would be good to teach all children gun safety and the power a gun actually has. When my dad hunted, he sometimes took me with him. It was cold “in the woods” and as you can probably imagine, I wasn’t the quietest child. I did, once, shoot and kill a squirrel. He made me carry it back to the hunting camp by its tail. About halfway there the tail separated from the body. The lesson was that he taught me the power a gun has to take a life. I have never shot at another living thing. I used to be able to shoot and hit a target, but it has been so long now that I doubt I could do it.

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  4. We have black Abert squirrels in the forest…they are pesky and they will look in the windows and doors just to taunt the dogs!! They also destroy wicker furniture, eat the pumpkins I set out in the fall, chew the blossoms of my potted plants on the porch and they destroy deck railings by chewing on them…I told you they were pesky!!

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  5. We have big black and grey squirrels, but they are no match for the little red squirrel. We have seen red squirrels set the grey and black ones running. The other day, at my parents’ house, as we watched the birds at the bird feeder out the window, I pointed out to Tiny Niece two red squirrels, the one chasing the other, across the backyard.

    Wrote the exam yesterday evening. That is not a good time of day to write an exam, but, c’est la vie. One more exam to write, but not until next week.

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  6. The header isn’t the best photo ever, just two squirrels in my mother-in-law’s yard, but I figured that most of you have probably not seen a black squirrel. It’s actually a gray squirrel in disguise (the same species), but most regions don’t have them. Parts of Michigan and a little bit of the upper portion of Indiana, and for all I know some area I don’t know about, but that’s all I know that has them.

    I was once in Michigan, near Detroit, with my husband while he was attending a church meeting. Our hotel was next to a small cemetery, and during the day while he was in meetings I took a walk in it. The place was full of squirrels, all of them or most of them black. I mentioned it to my brother who lives in Detroit, and he said, “Most of the people in Detroit are black, too.”

    A few years ago my mother-in-law had one very interesting squirrel that would come to visit her. It got the gene for extra melanin, but apparently a mutated one; portions of that squirrel were black or gray, and other portions were red (no squirrels in this area are red, or rather no gray squirrels are–fox squirrels and red squirrels, our other two species, both have reddish features).

    It is also interesting to me that we have three species of diurnal squirrel, but I know of no area around here that has all three. We get only the fox squirrel out here, and Mom gets mostly gray squirrels (both color varieties) but an occasional red squirrel. At our state park a half hour farther away, I have seen lots of fox squirrels and quite a few red squirrels, but somehow never a gray squirrel. We also have flying squirrels, but they are nocturnal and I have never seen one.

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  7. Chas, We are headed to your old stomping grounds. My wife has always wanted to go to Asheville. She will shop and I will hit the white ball. I have heard there might be one or two mountains to climb.

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  8. We have black squirrels in the National Forest where we camp, red colored squirrels in Kamiah (about twenty miles away, five as the squirrel walks), and grey squirrels in the town about five miles away. But we have never seen one here. We have flying squirrels around but not here on the property. Just mice.

    The swallows are back.

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  9. Mumsee, if it takes twenty miles to drive there, trust me it doesn’t take five for a squirrel to walk there. Have you ever actually seen a squirrel? They are the ones who invented the phrase “three steps forward, two steps back” except that in the sciurine original version it also said “five steps right, two steps left, and a run up the tree trunk and back down.” If you put a pedometer on the creature, the pedometer would get dizzy.

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  10. We actually have the edge of a pine forest not more than half a mile from us, which probably has squirrels as they are everywhere else but we have never had a squirrel on our property that we are aware of. And I have seen a lot of squirrels.

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  11. Red and gray only here, but one isn’t really native, forget which. I used to marvel at their acrobatics in getting into my “squirrel-proof” bird feeder back in the day.

    I could never shoot anything either — barring conditions that would force me to do so.

    It is, indeed, raining here this morning after the forecasters went back and forth all day yesterday with whether it would or wouldn’t. Good for my backyard wildflowers and good for my dirty Jeep (provided there’s enough rain to really rinse it off rather than just make the dirt streak and show even more).

    One more day and it’s Friday, at last. This has been a long week for me.

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  12. Found a man-woman (husband-wife) painting team that would paint my house (exterior) for $2,000 which is amazingly dirt cheap. I’d buy the paint but would have to go Home Depot where this couple have a 20% workers discount (so HD would have to match my Sherwin Williams colors — anyone ever do that before?).

    It’s about where I’m at right now, needing this job done on the cheap since some (more) unexpected house-related expenses have since come up for me that have cut into the painting fund, sadly. Dog park worker was going to paint for $3,500 but then he started waffling, saying well, $3,500-$4,000. I just feared the price was only going to slip upward even more as he invariable would encounter “problems.”

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  13. As my students would say: SQUIRREL! I suppose that comes from some movie I’ve never heard of.

    I first saw black squirrels at a provincial park on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario when we went with my SIL and her husband. We have grey and red around here in abundance.

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  14. DJ, I’ve had them match paint. It needs to be a dime-sized bit or larger (we once tried to get them to match one particular color in a pattern, and they said they couldn’t), and all the colors I got matched were perfect. In fact, when I was getting ready to sell my house in Nashville, I took in an old paint can with the paint dab on the lid and said I needed more of that color. They said it was an old color and they weren’t sure they could match it exactly, but they did, and when the new paint dab dried, I couldn’t tell them apart. I had several of the colors in my house done exactly that way, matched to another brand’s paint chips.

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  15. I thought the header was a squirrel and its slow shadow!

    My desk is still piled with leftover work. I am not sure how long it will take to really catch up. Everyone said their goodbyes until extension time rolls around again, but other work continues, and I need to be here to help Art. Today he lost his 13 columnar accounting ledger pad so I ran out to get a new one, and I just now found the other one in the stock room. There are always things like that needed for his support. I had to put paper in the bookkeeper’s printer because she works at home but prints reports here remotely. People have been in to pickup paperwork and pay, and people are still calling wanting to know why they have not yet received their refund. And the tax beat drums on…

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  16. They don’t have squirrels in Hawai’i and my daughter was one when we moved there.

    Upon return to the mainland when she was five, she was astounded to see squirrels running around and into trees.

    “But who are their owners?” She asked,

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  17. Michelle, we didn’t have squirrels in Phoenix, either. We’d see chipmunks if we went camping or went to the right park, but I was in my twenties before I lived anywhere that had squirrels (or fireflies).

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  18. Thanks Cheryl and Linda, I have the small sample cans of the 3 exterior colors I want to use from SW that we used to test a large spot on side of the garage

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  19. Huh! Who were there owners! Probably the same person who provides us with some wonderful berries, we didn’t have to buy or plant, from time to time. πŸ˜€

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  20. πŸ˜† @ Cheryl’s If you put a pedometer on the creature, the pedometer would get dizzy. Very true. The squirrel could be the mascot of Indecision – or Hyperactivity. That reminds me of the squirrel character Twitchy in another fun animated film, Hoodwinked, a fractured fairy tale version of Little Red Riding Hood:

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  21. Michelle, your daughter was a squirrel when you moved to Hawai’i?

    (I puzzled over that for a couple minutes before I figured out what you meant. I have a knack for interpreting words in ways that are syntactically and semantically valid but that make no sense in context. Ask my wife.)

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  22. LOL, Kevin. I think that way sometimes, too. πŸ™‚

    Red. Gray. Black. Flying. We’ve seen all those squirrels. Found a dead flying squirrel in our yard the other morning. Cat had gotten it.

    I first saw black squirrels when we lived in a different state. So they’re in at least two Midwestern towns in which we’ve lived.

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  23. I am feeling old today. My baby has become a young woman. In a manner of speaking. (The ladies here will know what I’m talking about.)

    She’s only ten years old! The earliest of my girls to start…

    Time goes so fast. 😦

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  24. I had to take a trip to the basement last night because I kicked a breaker in the kitchen by running the microwave and hot air cooker on the same plug at the same time. While down there I noticed water leaking from a couple of different spots on the hot water heater, which is over 30 years old. So I took a trip to Home Depot, picked a new one, and the plumber is bringing the new one tomorrow.

    😦

    And I was just about to pay off the credit card balance from the new bed and couch. Now that will take another 3 months…….

    It’s always something….

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  25. Cheryl @ 9:05, as Peter notes, black squirrels abound in southern Ontario. And I note Peter was in Ontario! Well, in ’97 I would have been in my very early teens, and as he says, the blog wasn’t in existence then.

    Come to think of it, I visited Indiana a couple of times around that then and we passed through Michigan to get there at least one way. My father never went the same way twice if he could possibly help it, so we have crossed into and out of the U.S. at almost every possible border crossing in the province – plus a few in Nova Scotia, since we would sometimes cut through the U.S. on our way to visit my father’s family in that province (he also had extended family in Massachusetts – they originated from Nova Scotia, but ended up in Boston); and we have crisscrossed many different interstate routes to get to wherever we were going in the U.S. Those were the days before the increased security post 9/11, and no passport was required for Canadians to visit the U.S. There was/is an IBLP (ATI) training centre in Indianapolis (there were two there for a while), to which I went twice and other family members went several more times (one of my siblings spent an entire year there), and we went to Knoxville for IBLP conferences, which I attended once and other family members attended several times. The times spent in IBLP training centres and conferences is best forgotten, but we enjoyed traveling and seeing places. Later, when Eldest married Eldest in-law, who was then studying at Penn State, we would go and visit them. We loved winding through the Appalachians, especially during the fall (my father would buy recordings of bluegrass style hymns and play them as we drove for the complete cultural experience) and we all agreed that Ohio was the most boring state to drive through – which is very ironic, since Eldest and family now live in that state.

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  26. Kevin, I though the exact same thing you did when I read Michelle’s post. I had to read the post about three times before I figured out that Michelle was using the word ‘one’ numerically to tell her daughter’s age, not as a pronominal substitute for ‘squirrel’.

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  27. Six AT TEN?

    Ricky ,Asheville is in a pretty part of the world.
    But I never cared for the city.
    Just a few miles south is Hendersonville. I right pretty little town.
    Nice folks too.

    They brought her dinner and I left. She didn’t mind.

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  28. Roscuro, have you ever driven through Texas? Nothing surpasses the boredom of driving through Texas. Many, many hours across and much of it is quite tedious. When I was a child and we drove east (in the days of a 55 mph speed limit), we felt like we were making progress when we crossed into New Mexico, and again when we crossed into Texas . . . and then we had mind-numbing tedium ahead for a really long while as we crossed Texas. The same as we returned home. When we got to Texas, we were back to the Southwest . . . but not anywhere close to home, since we still had to cross its vast expanse.

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  29. Cheryl, the furthest south we got by driving in the U.S. was Georgia. During a break in one of the Knoxville conferences, my father took us down to Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga (we stopped by to look at the underground sea on the same trip), and since we were so close to the border, we drove a few miles into Georgia, just to say – tongue firmly in cheek – that we had been to Georgia. I have touched down in Dallas, en route to Chihuahua, Mexico, and back (we landed in El Paso, were picked up and driven across the border through Cuidad Juarez and down to Chihuahua and then returned by the same route) so I have seen Texas and the lower corner of New Mexico from the air, but have never driven so far south.

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  30. Oops, I don’t think I worded this quite right: “The earliest of my girls to start…”

    “Started at the earliest age of all my girls” would be better. She’s not the first one of my girls to start — her older sisters have all hit that milestone… But you probably knew what I meant.

    Anyway…

    Yeah, Chas, she’s only ten. (Well, technically, she turned 10 1/2 a few weeks ago.) Her oldest sister was right around her eleventh birthday, which seemed awfully early, too, considering I’d been almost 15 1/2 when it first happened with me.

    My other girls were around 13.

    Roscuro, were your sisters around the same age as you when they started? I remember wondering if my sister who was about 2 1/2 years younger than I would get hers first, mine was so delayed (compared to my friends’).

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  31. Only part of Texas I’ve seen is the Dallas-Fort Worth area — we missed that state, of course, on our drives to Iowa. I remember Nebraska always had the biggest bugs that would splat on the windshield in clear, wet blobs.

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  32. It may be that young people are maturing earlier.
    Years ago, when Chuck was a young men, I was in the real of our church service in Falls Church. I noticed that all of the teen age boys were a bit taller than their fathers.
    Not a scientific conclusion, but it seems to be so.

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  33. I loved driving across Texas. Except Houston. It is a beautiful state, the little I saw along the highway, a few times going across the country.

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  34. Kevin – I often notice those unintended meanings, too, and giggle to myself. I know Peter often points them out when he sees them here.

    My dad was like that, too, and he usually found it humorous, except when the mangled grammar was on the TV news. He thought they should know better.

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  35. Chas, there is some truth to the idea that puberty is occurring earlier, though there are varying theories as to why that is. I wonder whether it is for the same reason as why the young men you saw were all taller than their fathers, which was probably due to better nutrition and fewer childhood diseases. Malnutrition may not kill a child, but it can severely stunt their growth (I saw that in West Africa all the time – and there were a few instances where the child had got better nutrition than their parents and were a lot taller than them as a result); while childhood diseases, that are now vaccinated against, if they occur during times of growth, can stop the growth (I had a great aunt who never became a woman, as 6 puts it, because she had mumps just at that age) because of the stress they put on the body. I do not know if any of you have ever heard of or met Karen people – they are a tribal group from Myanmar (Burma) who are routinely persecuted (not to be confused with the Rohingya people of Myanmar who are also routinely persecuted) and as a result, many are refugees and a large group of them came to Canada. Generally, the Karen were quite petite, many of them 5 feet or less in height. Many of the Karen identify as Christian, and so quite of few of them ended up coming to the city church. That was well over a decade ago, and one of the ladies at the church, also a nurse, has remarked several times at how their children, who are now older teens, tower over their parents in height. The parents were malnourished and stressed, as they struggled to survive first in the hills of Burma and then in refugee camps in Thailand. The children had much better nutrition and healthcare in Canada.

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  36. 6, I was the youngest in terms of starting age. Even my youngest sibling started at an older age, although I don’t think any of them started later than age 12. I also have had the most physical problems related to it, as I fainted the first time and always have had a great deal of pain.

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  37. Speaking of height (not related to Roscuro’s observations), two of Nightingale’s close friends, Stacey and Stephanie, are short. I’m 5′ 3 1/2″, and Stephanie is an inch or two shorter. Her live-in boyfriend (the father of her daughter) is tall, but I’m not sure how tall.

    Stacey is the little one, at about 4’10 or so, and her husband is 6’3″ ! So far, their four children take after their mom. They’re little peanuts! (There’s a fifth one on the way.)

    Nightingale is tall, at 5’9″, and she says it’s not fair for the short women to be taking up all the tall men. πŸ™‚ (At least her current beau is about 6′ tall.)

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  38. Phos, there is a Karen church which our church supports, they meet in our facility.
    They were persecuted and some of them came to Greensboro.
    Turns out, there was a local man who was a missionary in Burma who had to return for health reasons. He connected with them and formed a church.
    Several of them are citizens now. Many still require help.

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  39. Kizzie, I had a housemate once whom if asked what she was up to would answer, “Five-foot four.” If she was pouring you a drink, she would say, “Say when.” And she didn’t stop pouring if you said, “That’s enough” or even “Stop.” You had to say “When.”

    My childhood best friend wore a bra before her older sister did; the sister was two years older. I thought that I would really have hated to be that older sister. My sister and I are only 15 1/2 months apart, but I hit puberty well about three years before she did. The first-day-of-school photo taken when I was entering fifth grade, she was going into fourth grade, and our brother was entering second shows me really towering over her (she came just above my shoulder and was only an inch or two taller than our little brother); I look like a teenager in the photo and she looks like a little girl.

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  40. The Boy is gonna be a tall man, as he’s already a tall boy. He’s up to my shoulder already.

    It’s funny seeing him playing with Stacey’s boys, as they are so much smaller than he is.

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  41. Kizzie, I made my previous comment before seeing your post on family height. When I was a child, among the people at the church we attended (different than the one I call my family church) was a couple just like the one you described, a very tall man and a very short woman. We left before I saw to what height their children grew.
    I am shorter than you by about an inch and a half. Second sibling is the same height as Nightingale, and her spouse towers over everyone else at well over six feet (at what point, I’m not exactly certain). Youngest is the next tallest of the siblings, and her spouse is about the same height as our father. My mother and Eldest sibling are the same height, at three inches taller than me, and Eldest’s spouse is about the same height as she is. Their two eldest children are now stretching out to their adult height – I’m not sure if Eldest Niece has stopped growing yet – and the last time we checked, they had passed Youngest sibling and were catching up to Second sibling. Eldest Niece greatly resembles Second sibling, so it would be fitting if they were the same height, but I think Eldest Nephew, who greatly resembles my father, will probably be over six feet.

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  42. I was also really, really happy I hit puberty before my sister, because I had looked forward to it from the time I was really little–I wanted to be a woman and not a child. When I was about seven, Mom told me that occasionally girls got their period as early as eight or nine, and I wanted to be one of those girls.

    Well, I had about three years of “being a woman” before my sister got there, and it was a good thing–because for her it meant lots of pain, vomiting everything she consumed for a day or two, and also a few days of very volatile emotions in PMS. She often had two days of writhing in pain, moaning, and screaming, and it was rather scary just to watch; had I not known how I myself would react when it got to be my turn, it would have been frightening. Mom would give her Midol, but she would throw up the water and the pill. My little brother (who was very close to her) asked once, a year or more after watching this happen every month, asked why we didn’t take her to the doctor and what was wrong with her, and Mom said, “Female trouble.” He likely thought that she had some really serious illness and wondered why no one else seemed upset enough, but I didn’t know till then that he didn’t know “what was wrong.”

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  43. I don’t know if you have heard the term ‘epigenetics’, but it refers to changes in gene expression (rather than mutations of the gene itself) that can be passed from one generation to the next. The field of research is still relatively new, but we do know that health stressors on grandparents will influence their grandchildren’s health – if you think about it, that makes sense, especially on the distaff (female) side, since infant girls are born with all the eggs they will ever produce, meaning that one’s grandmother directly influences the development of one half of one’s genetic material. So, healthy growth and development would also affect the health of descendants. I see that in my small relatives. I call them small, and there are a few shorter ones among them (Third nephew was below average in height), but most of them, when their parents take them for their routine checkups, are unusually tall for their age. Eldest niece and nephew were in the top percentile, and that has been borne out in their teenage growth. Tiny niece, who is the child of Second and spouse, is not yet two, but she looks like a three year old. People are surprised to hear how young she is.

    It can be detrimental to appear older than one is at that age. Eldest niece was both unusually tall and had a very advanced vocabulary as a young child (at the age of two, she used the word ‘phrase’ correctly in a sentence), and as a result, people expected her behaviour to match what they thought was her age. The same thing happened to Little niece, who is approaching five, as she too was unusually tall and very advanced verbally.

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  44. Roscuro, my first and second brothers are (respectively) the tallest and shortest of my five brothers, with a nine-inch difference between them. That means the oldest is quite far above the average male height and the second a bit below average (but not as far out of the “average” range as my tall brother).

    My second brother, the short one, is good with language and was always very good at academics. My oldest brother is very smart, but not as precocious with language. Mom said that people’s responses to these two boys was very different. Brother A was thought to be a year or more older than he actually was, and thus his “childish” behavior was seen as immaturity, while Brother B would come into a room (like your niece) using vocabulary beyond his years but looking younger than his actual age (especially when he was with his two-years-older but much taller brother), and so people would give him credit for being even more precocious than he was. (Second brother went away to college in another state a few months before his 17th birthday, and people at church told my mom that he seemed so much more mature than the other 18-year-olds heading off to college–but he was actually only 16.)

    From what I hear, early maturity and early height is an advantage to a boy (he is seen as a leader), but it can be a disadvantage to a girl (I don’t remember the reasons). I was one of the tallest in my class in third and fourth grade, though I’m only about two inches taller than the average woman. Whether that was a disadvantage, I have no idea; I didn’t have peer friends till college. In eighth grade I was in a spelling bee at another school (having won the one at my own school, I advanced to the next level), and I asked a teacher where the bathroom was. She directed me to a certain room, but when I got there I was confused; it was the teacher’s lounge. Another teacher asked if she could help me, and I told her that I’d asked for the bathroom was and had been sent in here. She then asked, “Are you a substitute teacher?” and I said no. So she sent me to the correct rest room. A year and a half later we moved, and the summer of the move I had several people ask me if my sister (15 1/2 months younger) was my daughter. So very clearly I didn’t “look like” my peers, but I also didn’t feel like them, and gravitated to adults.

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  45. My second brother is the same height as my dad was, by the way, so my oldest brother finished up MUCH taller than either parent (a foot taller than Mom). A family photo when I was an infant and that brother was 14 makes me smile. Brother A was the opposite side of the family grouping from my dad, but clearly inches taller than Dad. I’m guessing that someone (possibly my dad) was trying to keep it from being super obvious. But the two or three inches of wrist showing beneath my brother’s tight plaid jacket (he’d clearly outgrown his clothes) made it clear he was “growing like a weed.”

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  46. Cheryl, I was the shortest among my siblings, but I was precocious in other ways (when my mother went to teach me to read at age five, I began reading so quickly that she said it was as if I had already learned how to read). I’m not sure it was ever detrimental per say, but I also didn’t have any real friends in my peer group (beyond my siblings and dear friend and relative). There were so many other factors at play, such as being homeschooled, that I’m not sure my lack of friends can be attributed to my precocity. I found little to relate to in other children, since I shared few of their likes and dislikes, but I do not know if that came from my family culture of enjoying classic literature, art, film, and music, rather than the current popular media; or whether it came from the fact that I read Jane Austen and Charles Dickens when my peers were still reading the Baby-Sitters Club series.

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  47. Second sibling was more than once mortified at being considered Eldest’s mother (once was at Eldest’s shower for her first baby). Only once was I similarly mortified. Both Eldest, Second, and I were with our father, when we met a woman who only knew Eldest. Eldest introduced her father to the woman, who then looked at me and said, “And is this your wife?” She almost at once realized her mistake, but I could have sunk through the floor. I was about 13 at the time, and Eldest is half a decade older than me.

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