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Last week I drove through torrential downpour that led directly into a hailstorm. It was so bad at one point I was having trouble seeing the fog lines on Highway 70. So instead of driving around 60 mph, I was going about 30 mph through Daniels.

But luckily for me, the Buick held up to the storm and I didn’t get washed away. Also, the hail that followed the rain only did minor damage to the top of my car. I was truly terrified that my windshield was about to crack and I would have to kick it out like in the movies.

With my luck, I probably would have just put my foot through the window and it wouldn’t have shattered and my foot would be stuck like in the movie “Pineapple Express.”

I made a trip home and visited with the family as we celebrated my mother’s birthday.

My niece is obsessed with the childhood that my brother and I had. She often asks for stories about us growing up. I’ve told her a bunch.

There’s the story where I tried to choke her father to death when we were kids, but my hands were too small to get around his fat neck.

She knows about the time I cracked my skull open while watching “The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars.”

Most of these stories revolve around my older brother being a jerk or us having too much fun, making our parents mad, and then we’d get hit.

My niece turned six back in May and she is growing up in a completely different world than us. She doesn’t know the terror of dad getting up from the dinner table, walking to his bedroom, and moments later all we would hear is the snap of the belt.

Do you know the sound I’m talking about?

We would call it – the cracking of the belt. You hold both ends of the belt in one hand and hold the loop with the other hand. Then you use all the force possible to crack the belt on itself.

As I said, this is a terrifying noise and runs a shiver down my spine whenever I hear it.

So, during my recent visit, I demonstrated to her how scary that sound was. Her eyes got very big and she quickly realized how good she has it.

It’s not all doom and gloom when Uncle Jonathan visits.

I was able to explain to my niece what Sprite is. I said, “It’s basically sugar water.”

Then her eyes just about popped out of her head and she stuck her tongue out like a panting dog.

Also, she is a smart mouth and takes every moment to talk back to her mother and father. A skill she definitely learned a little bit from me.

It’s great to see aspects of my childhood coming out in the personalities of my niece and nephew. I guess it’s true the wiseacre apple doesn’t fall too far from the family tree.