Ahhhhhhhhhh yes, those beautiful sunny Saturdays…

When I think of beautiful Saturday mornings, I think of my Brother Rich.  2-years my junior.  Full fledged card carrier of middle child syndrome.  Baby fat. Toffee wrappers hanging out of his pockets.  Nose dripping.  Eczema. Constantly whining about getting short-changed and hand-me-downs (so what if the pants are a bit big in the waist and too long – suck it up pal).  Never, ever getting enough attention and creating havoc to get it.  You know the profile.  Well, let me give you a few snippets on my life with Rich as a teen.

Sunny Saturday #1: Chores. Every Saturday morning, Rich and I would have a list of to-do’s.  Like cutting the lawn (what seemed like an acre filled with trees and shrubs and cutting with a push mower), or weeding the garden (with bees, bugs and scratchy things), or digging fence posts (3.5 feet down of mostly rock), or cleaning the chicken coop (My God, what a miserable job this was – grist for a post another day).  So, one morning we were asked to pick cherries. I’m up on the ladder.  He’s laying on the ground eating cherries.  There was Rich.  Assuming his standard positions – being horizontal and eating.  I’m needling him to get up to help.  He keeps eating cherries.  10 minutes pass.  15 minutes pass.  I’m glaring down at him from a 12-foot ladder.  He smiles back. He’s done eating cherries – Shamu is sunning and staring up into the sky.  His pudgy little face and fat little fingers are now crimson red.  He’s like a cartoon character. Yet, there’s nothing funny about me carrying the load again. I lose my patience with his lack of contribution.  I’m not getting his attention.  I DROP the aluminum bucket from the top of the tree.  SMACK.  It lands with a thud on his pudgy belly.  Mother hears the commotion and hears Rich screaming.   (MY CONSEQUENCES: THE RECEIVING END OF BEATING.  HIS CONSEQUENCES: ZIP.)

Sunny Saturday #2: Breakfast. House rule: you had to eat what was put in front of you. Rich hated (HATED) eggs. Especially sunny-side up. Not exactly sure why. (Perhaps scarred by cleaning chicken coops).  This was FANTASTIC morning entertainment for me.  I waited with anticipation for the Big Show.  He’d see the eggs. It would immediately trigger a gag reflex. He’d take a bite. Gag. He’d wash it down with milk. He’d take another bite. Gag. You could see egg goober dribbling down the side of his mouth as he’s lunging for the milk glass. I spew my milk through my nose and mouth all over the table laughing.  (MY CONSEQUENCES: A SMACK BESIDE THE HEAD FROM MOM & I REFUSE TO EAT RUNNY SUNNY-SIDE UP EGGS TODAY. HIS CONSEQUENCES: NO APPARENT IMPACT. LOVES EGGS TODAY.)

Sunny Saturday #3: Play Time.  After chores were done, Rich and I had a skirmish in the house. We would then be sent outside to play.  I convince Rich to play catch.  He reluctantly agrees.  We throw and return the ball 5x.  It couldn’t have lasted more than 2 minutes.  He proceeds to sit down: “’I’m hot.  I don’t want to play anymore.”  I scream at him telling him to get up.  He refuses. I heave the ball at him.  Everything moves to slow motion.  Everything sloooooooooows down. He doesn’t move.  Ball is racing towards him.  He still doesn’t move.  He’s glaring at me.  I scream at him to duck.  He doesn’t duck.  Ball continues to advance.  Next?  SWACCCCCCCCK.  Balls hit him squarely on chin.  His head rocks back.  There is 3-seconds of calm.  Then the moment of silence is broken by the pudgy man’s trademark WAIL.  (MY CONSEQUENCES:  THE RECEIVING END OF A BEATING.  HIS CONSEQUENCES: NADA.)

Sunny Saturday #4: Bedtime.  We slept on two single beds in one room.  It was a hot sultry night.  Very difficult to get settled.  We had no air conditioning in our house and we’d yearn for the few wisps of cool nighttime breeze.  He’d hop over to my side of the room, and poke me while I was trying to settle.  I hop over and punch him.  And this would go back and forth – with the pokes and punches being traded with increasing intensity.  After ten minutes of this, our Father sent us to sleep outside in the garage (Crickets, strange noises and my Achluophobia fully stoked by this event).  (MY CONSEQUENCES: NIGHTMARES AND SLEEP WALKING FOR REMAINING TEEN YEARS.  HIS CONSEQUENCES: NO APPARENT IMPACT.)

Fast forward 30+ years.  Rich has shed his baby fat.  He’s the most well adjusted adult of the Kanigan boys.  Dave is still recovering from the beatings and still suffers from Achluophobia.  I’m sure there’s a learning here somewhere – I just haven’t found it yet.

Ahhhhhhhh, yes.  Those wonderful, beautiful Summer Saturdays.  What wonderful memories.

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Image Source: Bolin and Mako by palnk


  1. Dave: I had a younger brother, Jim. Still do. You brought up some great memories, and some painful ones. thanks…John Childress


  2. Still laughing out loud…..I can so see that ball hitting Rich square on the chin…..great writing!


  3. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Laughing.This was good.
    Sounds too, too familiar – but with devious, manipulative girl stuff – end results were the same 🙂


  4. I was the recipient of my older sister’s gleeful retribution (with our without reason, so I guess it wasn’t retribution, really). I’m sure everyone can identify with this…Btw, nominated you for a blogger’s award today – all the details are on my post.. You do rock, you know, even if you delighted in your birth order…:-)


  5. richardkanigan says:

    Well I can’t let this one go without defending my honor and childhood reputation. Not sure if the cherry tree incident occurred as written above. It’s true, I enjoyed my food (and still do!) however I recall you being too lazy to move the ladder while I was pointing to where the really good cherries were, you grabbed the big branch and pulled it towards you and Crrraack! Uh oh, “Now you are gonna get it from Dad” And down came the bucket.

    I almost spit out my coffee laughing so hard this morning about the eggs. I remember that evil glint of joyful anticipation in your eyes even when the eggs were just being cracked in the pan, we both knew what was coming. Pure torment. To this day, there are still a few days when runny eggs can set me off. Gimme scrambled any day!

    Sleeping in the garage is one of those childhood memories that makes me smile. I recall that we were giddy with excitement (think Christmas in August) as it was the night before we were heading to the Okanagan for fun in the sun. The poking and prodding continued in the car as did the blame game. I also remember that big shadow of dad staring us down in the darkness – we knew he was gonna give us the ‘what for’ if we didn’t stop immediately.

    Thank you for this post Dave. Makes me smile. Enjoy the day!


    • arizonakanigans says:

      What a great post! I was so hoping there would be Rich’s version of events to read…


    • How appropriate for you (Rich) to reply as you did. OK, so maybe I left out the broken tree branch part. But there you were. Laying in the grass – grazing… Pointing up to the tree branch in search for more plump cherries. While I’m struggling to move the 75 pound antiquated ladder around. As to your honor and reputation – I have an Epilogue behind this one – Hair Brush in Car – And Fishing with Net. The Fishing with Net story deserves it’s own chapter. Stay tuned.


  6. Oh yes, this all sounds SO familiar. I had a younger brother too. Don’t you know the older sibling is always supposed to know better, hence the smacks to straighten us out?


  7. Ha! As the eldest of three boys I completely empathize. Here’s one for you. I had a flashback in Patagonia this past January. Jill and I are walking around a large estancia when I stopped short. Someone had begun to paint a long wooden corral fence. One and a half sections of the fence were painted (out of probably 100 sections) and the bucket of white paint was lying, lid-off, on the grass. Next to the bucket was the brush, dropped bristles down into the dirt. Jill looked at me in shock after I stopped short. I pointed and told her. “Jill, that is a Matthew job (my middle brother). He started (barely), didn’t finish, left the paint drying in the sun and the wet bristles of the brush in the dirt. He is nowhere to be found…and somehow I would be the one who got in trouble for this.” She looked at me as if I was from Mars, but I am guessing you might understand.


  8. I am the parent of such a pair………..so this definitely gave me a giggle!
    My “Rich” character gives a sly little grin as he creeps out the room as “Dave” gets a tongue lashing! 😀


  9. lkanigan says:

    LMAO!! Going to keep my comments to myself…got a feeling my turn will be coming one day!


  10. As the eldest sibling, I know just what you are talking about. However, being female and my own younger sibling being male. my inherent sneakiness got me out of those negative consequences along about the age of eight or so. Didn’t you ever get taught that revenge is a dish best served cold? (tee,hee–I never set up anything to actually HARM my brother–just disgust the heck out of him and get him scolded for complaining about nonsense!)


    • Hmmmmm. You are far wiser than I granbee and far more controlled. I need that 3 seconds of pleasure fully recognizing that I will pay. It is just irresistible I’m afraid. 🙂



  1. […] Ahhhhhhhhhh yes, those beautiful sunny Saturdays… When I think of beautiful Saturday mornings, I think of my Brother Rich. 2-years my junior. Full fledged card carrier of middle child syn… […]


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