We moved into the house that my dad built on Lake Serene when I was 7 years. My dad bought the lot from my mothers parents. It was a large lot, about 1 1/2 acres right on the waterfront. It was beautiful! My dad had designed the house and did most of the work building it. We were all very proud of him.
He also designed the landscaping. Us kids kind of dreaded Saturday mornings for a couple of years because we knew that we would have to spend the day outside helping my dad with the yard. We got pretty good at digging holes to plant the shrubs and trees in. I was the youngest and wasn't expected to help as much as my brother or sister, but I still did my share.
Most of the tedious landscaping was done close to the house, which left a large area closer to the street for just lawn and trees. Being in the state of Washington, trees and vines grow like weeds, so there were a lot of trees and shrubs that had to be torn out. As a matter of fact, that is how my grandpa Williams died. He was clearing the lot by hand and had a heart attack, but that is another story.
There was some very specific trees that my dad wanted to be saved. He was able to borrow a small tractor from a friend of his so he could carefully go around the trees that he wanted saved. My brother was 12, so my dad taught him how to drive the tractor and allowed him to level the larger areas where there weren't any trees.
As I mentioned, it was a small tractor, probably only 5 feet long. The muffler was in the front and was vertical, so it came up next to the drivers seat at the very front of the tractor. There was a place to stand on the frame next to the drivers seat. So my 12 year old brother, being very proud of the fact that he was 'big' enough to drive the tractor, decided to give the 'little' kids a ride on it.
As I was standing on the frame next to him driving, he started to gain some confidence in his driving ability and decided he would try to make the ride a litlle more fun. He started to swerve back and forth causing my body to be tossed to and frow. One pass was a little more aggressive and I fell into the muffler, burning my arm, and causing me to jump backwards. It just so happened that Shawn swerved the same time I fell backwards and ended up driving the tractor right over me. The front wheels drove across my stomach.
I don't remember how my parents found out or how they got to me, but I do remember my mom taking me to the emergency room. I believe they did some x-rays and a lot of poking and prodding. I had a pretty good scratch on my stomach from the tire, and some bruising, but other than that, I was not hurt!
I remember coming home and Shawn had been crying. My mom told me that he felt very bad for hurting me. He was always a very good brother to me, and I know he would never, ever, have done anything like that on purpose!
Here is a picture of me when I was 10 or 11 years old. I am standing on one of the paths that we all worked so hard to landscape.