Todd My Cousin

Toddie-Boy
Tickling the Boundaries of Trouble
I am thankful for the memories…..
2013 has been a bugger of a year for me! Four people who once shared my life have been enveloped by the dubious wonder of death and no longer walk this earth. Wednesday, November 6th, Todd Alexander Doughtie my first cousin was the fourth one to be taken. I desperately tried to find a photo to honor him on my Facebook page however I after searching, sadly realized I didn’t even have one. Therefore, I sit here with only the help of words instead of pixels, and it is with this media I will attempt to paint his picture. Todd and I were buddies that lived on the same dead end dirt road named Wood Street. It was on Washboard Avenue (the roads nickname because of the ruts that layered her path) that we as children had fun and through this fun we often found trouble. Or rather Trouble found us! Either way we were habitually in cahoots with said entity! These antics would find us playing backyard football, BB gun shooting, including the time Todd accidentally shot my big toe, fishing in the creek and cooking and making messes in the kitchen. However, there is one memory that remains constant in my mind. On this particular day we found ourselves being cared for by our Grandmother while our parents were taking care of business whether it be work, groceries or paying bills… we cared less, our mission that we chose to accept was finding adventure and warding off boredom. Therefore we took our five year old bodies into the wondrous woods that boarded the parameters of our Grandmothers back yard. Laughing and giggles prevailed as we scrambled deeper into the forest and finally reached the creek. There we clambered over fallen logs and even found some rotten dislodged trunks in which were able to maneuver into makeshift boats to carry us over the murky water. It was so much fun that I almost forgot about the god-awful dress I was wearing. I HATED dresses and by Golly I was not going to let it ruin my day with my cousin. Both of us became lost is our rapture floating in our pretend canoes, so much so that we were, at first, oblivious to the faint cries wafting through the trees. That is until the sound finally slivered like a snake into our ears. “Todd….Lisa!” …our Grandmother’s freighted voice interrupted our euphoria like the needle being ripped across a vinyl 45 record. Shit…we’ve been missed. We hurried back falling over bramble that we had mastered on the trip in. Finally pulling away the branches we saw our apron clad grandmother standing with hands on hips at the foot of the back door steps. We stood there transfixed and witnessed her face transpose from fear to relief and then into something akin to anger. Slowly I trudged onward, cheeks flaming head down toward my Grandmother all the while assuming that Todd had fallen in step beside. However, a quick zip that skidded past the corner of my eye confirmed he had run away to hide from the arms that were soon the spank my naked hinny!
Now I’m almost 50 years old but I still smile and shake my head every time this memory crosses my mind. It was just like my Toddy-Boy to be mischievous and escape where I was always the sucker who chose instead to walk the plank. I love you Todd and I treasure the memories I have of you! I realize that you’ve once again ran ahead where I’m here left to walk this path. I look forward to the day when we are reunited and can once again conjure new ways to tickle the boundaries of trouble.
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