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  • We weren't a vacation family. In fact, I remember only a handful of vacations over my 20 years living at home. So when my Dad managed to borrow his co-workers camper for a week, I thought I was in heaven. We drove through the mountains of Tennessee, and managed to find our way to Virginia Beach, where I put my feet in the cold, salty ocean.

    My brother had the coveted spot in the camper - the bunk. It's the short space over the cab of the truck and a magical hiding place in the same way all top bunks are. My brother was (and still is) 11 years older. And a 16 year old teen spending time with his loud 5 year old sister was a luxury (and an oddity) even I understood. On the long drives, he spent hours talking to me and telling me all kinds of secrets and stories. And most importantly, he taught me "Found A Peanut." It was the most wonderful song I had ever heard. By the second verse, I had the idea of the repeating chorus, but I sat in wide-eyed anticipation as to what was going to happen in the next verse. "Got sick just now…?" Ohhhh, then what happened?? Dies anyway??? WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

    My brother had started off the lesson by asking me what the next logical step would be, but by the time it got to "went to heaven" I was out of my league. I was 5 - I had no idea what happened in Heaven, aside from the pastoral pastel paintings of Jesus and lambs and small children in valleys I'd seen in Sunday School. And none of that had anything to do with a peanut. No one talked about what you actually do in Heaven. But for me, it would have been just fine if it involved sitting up in the top bunk with your older brother learning "Found A Peanut."

    Here are the verses, as I remember them, some of which we made up. It was a really long car ride.

    (To the tune of My Darling Clementine)
    Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now. I just now found a peanut, found a peanut just now.
    Cracked it open
    It was rotten
    Said a bad word
    Ate it anyway
    Got sick
    Called a doctor
    Said I wouldn't die
    Died anyway
    Went to heaven
    Got wings
    Kicked an angel
    Lost my wings
    Went the other way
    Didn't want me
    Was a dream
    Woke up
    Found a peanut
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