Telling Stories: You’re Not Sick

Growing up in my family being sick was something that was at most a mild inconvenience. After all people are only sick if they allow themselves to be sick and that is a sign of weakness.

To drive this point home if we were ever sick enough that the school would send us home. We would have to work on the ranch for the rest of the day. No resting and recovering. Time to go fix fence and wrestle some cattle.

Also yes we were never allowed to decide not to go to school they would have to send us home. This made for a fun time when we got the whole school cancelled for two weeks because a flu we had infected 90% of the kids and they cancelled everything.

During those weeks my parents still got my teacher to hold classes just for me. It was fun being the only person in school and I certainly learned a lot those couple weeks.

I’ll tell you now the conditioning worked, I only ever missed a total of two weeks of school in my entire career. Even now that I have a degree and work full time I have only missed 4 days of work due to being sick in two years, because god damn I have to be there.

One summer, I would have been 15-16, while working for my grandfather on the ranch I got sick. How dare I. Well instead of recovering and having the day off I was put to work building a one quarter mile, 4 wire with 2 gates, barbed wire fence.

Well by golly I did it. Finished it that day and everything.

One small problem.

I don’t remember building the fence and in the years that have followed I still have no memory of building it.

My grandfather thinks it’s the best fence I ever built and I must say it is very nice which has led me to doubt it was me.

However my grandfather remembers it clearly and I was the only grandkid on the ranch at the time to have built it sooooo I had to have.

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