Finish This Sentence
I Knew I Was Grown Up When ...
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I could kill my own spiders.
Sylvia Williams, New Boston | Bowie-Cass EC

I sat at the dinner table and realized my feet touched the floor.
George McNew, Spring Branch | Pedernales EC

I realized I could eat ice cream for breakfast if I wanted.
Robin Hodges, Bandera | Bandera EC

I started buying four-door cars.
Bubba Sitton, Nacogdoches | Deep East Texas EC

I hosted Thanksgiving for family from out of town.
Bethany McMillan, Austin | Pedernales EC

My dad said it was time to join the Rotary Club.
Howell Howard, Center | Deep East Texas EC

Playing in the dirt pile with my trucks was no longer an option.
Al Vanbenschoten, Whitesboro | Pentex Energy

I had to hand over my parents’ Shell gas card after moving to Austin from Iowa at age 24.
Jennifer Smiley, Austin | Pedernales EC

After my Coast Guard grandson stationed in Michigan received links of Cuero’s Striedel’s dry sausage for Christmas, he commented that he knew he was grown up because he received his own sausage that he did not have to share with his dad.
Thomas Foegelle, Yorktown | Guadalupe Valley EC

I wrote my first check, to cover my freshman year of college, having worked all through high school to save the tuition to do so. I continued to work as I studied and graduated with no loans and no expense to my parents.
Loretta Bedford, San Augustine | Deep East Texas EC

I was 18 years old and bought my mother her first brand new car.
Gloria Burton, Granbury | United Cooperative Services

I pick up the ice cubes from the floor instead of kicking them under the fridge.
Israel Peña, Edinburg | Magic Valley EC

At the grown-up age of 16 in 1978, my mother let me drive 48 miles in her car with a friend to go shopping at a mall.
Amy Winn, McKinney | Grayson-Collin EC

Going for an afternoon walk and realizing I didn’t get to arrive home with homemade fried chicken waiting for me.
Sharon McMichael, New Braunfels | Guadalupe Valley EC

I liked my naps.
Gloria Morley

I reached into my purse for my keys and came out with a handful of half-eaten, very sticky peppermint candy and it didn’t belong to me but one of my kids.
Angie Kalnins

I started drinking coffee and playing 42 after watching my daddy and granddaddy doing the same.
Patrica Dean Ely, Montgomery

I realized that everything that went through my head did not need to come out of my mouth.
Sue Berry, Cass County | Bowie-Cass EC

I could reach my hand into the sink/tub to unclog a drain without worrying about wearing gloves.
Jillian Weiss, Cedar Park | Pedernales EC

I had to file my first income tax return.
Ray Boughner, Bleakwood | Jasper-Newton EC

The cutting-edge, underground music that never got played on the radio from when I was in high school got played by the high school band at a football game.
Bart Holland, Henderson | Rusk County EC

I bought my parents dinner for the first time, and they sure did enjoy the pizza.
Sue Skidmore, Huntsville | MidSouth EC

I became a parent for my elderly mother.
Susan Z. Marburger, San Antonio | Bluebonnet EC

I heard my mother’s voice come out of my mouth, telling my kids, “Because I said so!”
Fred Sawtelle, Glenn Heights | HILCO EC

When I married two weeks out of high school.
Glenda Gurley, Bagwell | Lamar Electric

I was 19 years old in Vietnam and getting shot at.
Ben Neel

People started calling me Mr. Bristow.
Jim Bristow, Waxahachie | HILCO EC

I went back to my dorm room after having gone home the first time and found a candy wrapper I had tossed on my desk before I left.
Jim Kirby, Stephenville | United Cooperative Services

I became a parent.
Judy Pickel

I moved into my own apartment.
Renee Bradley Powell

I could do the dishes whenever I wanted to.
Diane Engert

I had kids of my own.
Christal Ellison

I got my first paycheck and bought a brand-new ’76 Ford Pinto on a three-year note.
Sherry Davidson, Robert Lee | Concho Valley EC

My name changed to Mommy.
Emily Hamilton, Montgomery | MidSouth EC

I voted in my first presidential election.
Linda Kolar, Port Lavaca | Victoria EC

The bills started coming addressed to me.
John Lowey, Kerrville | Central Texas EC

I traded in my stick shift for an automatic.
Sharon Berman, Kerrville | Central Texas EC

Both Mother and Grandmother passed away a year apart. I was the next generation.
Melodie Robison

I married the most beautiful woman in my life 49 years ago.
Loyd Owen

I voted for the first time.
Charles Booher

My mom told me I needed to save a gift to open on Christmas Day. (Before that, I would wake up and my gifts would be in the living room). My childhood had ended.
Jeanette Smith Schwartzer

I made my first car payment—on a loan I got without a co-signer.
Kimberley Bailey Riggs

I walked into the voting booth and closed the curtain behind me. I felt the responsibility of casting my vote. (In 1978, I voted for the first time in Illinois, and they had enclosed booths.)
Sandra Redford, Hamilton | Hamilton County EC

When I got my first real job and opened a bank account in my name only.
Linda Wooley

My mother told me I was.
Deeann Flores, Pattonville | Lamar Electric

I had to go to court to try and talk my way out of a drag racing ticket. I was found guilty.
Pete Vera, Georgetown | Pedernales EC

Daddy gave me his deer rifle to keep as my own and left me in the deer blind to hunt by myself for the first time.
Diane Horn, Calliham | Karnes EC

My physician was younger than me.
Rick Scott, Crawford | Heart of Texas EC

I paid a poll tax to vote.
Harry Smith, Early | CECA

I’m a firefighter and I knew I was old when everybody they’d hire would be younger than me by at least 10 years.
Tim Hockaday, Royse City | Farmers EC

I began taking note which side of town had cheaper gas prices.
P. Rowland, Kemp | Trinity Valley EC

I figured out who this FICA guy was.
Robert Walters, Oletha | Navasota Valley EC

My wife of 57 years told me to “grow up and quit complaining.” I still complain but in an adult way.
Dee Stewart, Alba | Wood County EC

I got my driver’s license at 16 and was allowed to take the car without a grown-up with me.
Ken Konvicka, Garland | United Cooperative Services

I got in trouble, and my parents couldn’t get me out of it.
Randy Jeffries, Mansfield | Navarro County EC

I was watching The Partridge Family and I thought, “Hey, the mom is kind of cute.”
John Richey, Paradise | Wise EC

My dad told me after I graduated from college, “We’ve done our job, now you go do yours.”
Linda Schilling

My parents told me they were proud of the way I handled finances.
Emc Matlock

I was the one designated to cook the ham for a family gathering. Before that it was a side or a dessert only.
Karen Lenderman

I got excited about getting a new vacuum.
Denise Collier

I was turning lights off like my dad had told me when I was a kid.
Manuel Trevino De Leon

I saw the path behind me was longer than the path before me.
Doris Haines

Whatever would make you think I am?
Susan Edwards von Suskil

A well-raised kid first called me sir.
Wayne Duncan, Killeen | Bartlett EC

As a young, married, inexperienced cook hundreds of miles from home at Thanksgiving, I prepared and served dinner to my husband’s classmates with the help of the only other wife in that bunch.
Sandra Tarver, Granbury | United Cooperative Services

I started placing the needs of others above my own.
Ron Rebstock, Point Blank | Sam Houston EC

My mother stopped saying, “Pat, when are you ever going to grow up?”
Patricia Howard, Georgetown | Pedernales EC

My daddy let me drive our B John Deere tractor in 1951 at the age of 8 on a cotton farm in Alabama.
Don Magnusson, Leander | Pedernales EC

My first job was at a cleaners for 50 cents an hour working at the counter, bagging cleaned clothes, ironing the owner’s wife’s clothes on a commercial steam machine, where I burned my arm, and helping sew linings into men’s hats that were cleaned and blocked.
Jane L Patterson, Texarkana | Bowie-Cass EC

At age 14, my Dad asked me to help put the Christmas presents under the tree for my siblings, as Mom was in the hospital getting close to giving birth to her fifth child.
Linda Palermo, San Marcos | Pedernales EC

I left home for the Marine Corps after graduation at age 18, could support myself and never returned.
Diane Brady, Ingleside | Nueces EC

Right out of high school, I went to a local bank and borrowed $1,000 to be able to attend business college in a larger city 18 miles away.
Charlotte Sanders, Richards | MidSouth EC

I hugged my new refrigerator.
Susan Rodbell, Cedar Creek | Bluebonnet EC

My first child arrived, and the magnitude of the responsibility hit me smack in the brain.
Wayne Naquin, Houma, Louisiana | Central Texas EC

At age 16, I fried chicken and all the extras—mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, green beans, corn and cake for dessert—packed it up, piled two preschool cousins in the car and drove to the field where six men waited for the midday meal.
Jan Tomas, Wimberley | Pedernales EC

I unpacked a box of supplies at work and said to myself, “This is a good box. I need to save this box in case I need it.”
Veronica Koliba, Port Lavaca | Victoria EC

I turned 26 and got married. My mother no longer had to tell me to make sure I wore clean underwear in case I was in an accident and went to the hospital when I was out at night.
Jerry Brown, Pattonville | Lamar Electric

I realized and appreciated my parents’ sacrifices.
Linda Leddy, May | CECA

My mom told me she no longer worried about me. I was about 23, married and we had a toddler.
Dottie Pennington

While stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, leaving the Post Exchange, I was confronted by a Girl Scout troop selling cookies: “Sir, would you like to buy some cookies?” I had never been called sir before.
Rob Sisente, Austin | Pedernales EC

I got my driver’s license at the age of 16. I am still driving.
Abel Velasquez, Manchaca | Pedernales EC

I was eligible to vote.
Jan Grimes, Bandera | Bandera EC

My dad let me paddle the boat and run the trot lines by myself.
Billy Hajek, Winchester | Bluebonnet EC

My stepfather said, “You are on your own now. Don’t come running back when you have a problem.” I was 19.
Tina Dalecki, Leona | Houston County EC

I was glad to get a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.
Mark Larkin, Red Rock | Bluebonnet EC

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