In May 1958, Bobby Darin’s single “Splish Splash “was released. I was 17 years old and had just finished my junior year in high school. I played basketball and football for our school and had done well, and I was sitting on top of the world. My younger brother and I lived with Mom & Dad in an apartment above a restaurant that my mother managed, and I had a job that summer working at the Chrysler dealership about 15 miles away.
Dad was a boss at a coal mine not too far away and, with some additional jingle in my pockets from my job, things were looking up. I was allowed to use the family car, a 1955 Ford Fairlane, on the weekends for dating, but I had a curfew and had to be home by 1 am. Invariably, I would not get home before 3am and, therefore, had to devise a plan to fool my mother.
I didn’t have to worry too much about Dad because he slept like a log, but Mom was not a heavy sleeper and I had to come up with something. So, I would quietly park the car behind the restaurant, get out after removing my shoes and lightly tread the squeaky stairs that took me to our upstairs apartment.
Slipping down the hallway to my parents’ room, I went over to their clock on the night table, set it back to 12:45am, sneaked back down the stairs, put my shoes on, and made plenty of noise as I entered our home. Mom would wake up, glance at the clock, roll over and go back to sleep. I would patiently wait in my bedroom until I could hear her snoring lightly, then I would enter their bedroom, reset the clock and go to bed. My mother never knew of my deception and for some unknown reason I never felt guilty. I do know that I should have. My mother trusted me explicitly and was an easy target. I discovered at an early age how easy it was to take advantage of those that love you.
Flash forward twenty years and I have two teenagers of my own attempting to do the same thing to their parents. When I discovered their violations of the curfew, I would fuss and fume, secretly knowing that I had done far worse when I was their age. All parents sooner or later understand that trying to control their teenage children is a losing game. The best they can hope for is that their children don’t get hurt, nor hurt anyone else.
An old proverb goes, “If you go only once round the room, you are wiser than he who sits still”. I have never been guilty of sitting still, but I still feel guilty for deceiving my mother. I never told her of my deceit for I knew she would have been devastated. Sometimes adult kids enjoy telling their parents how they deceived them as children. That is never a good thing to do. I have met many that would deceive; but none that want to be.
All the energy mankind uses in one year is produced by the Sun in two minutes. How in the world is that possible? Scientist have always told us that unless the Earth was positioned exactly where it is, life on this wonderful planet would not exist. We know that must be true because all the other planets in our solar system doesn’t support living things, or so we are told. I suspect that all the energy the sun produces is, somehow, filtered by our atmosphere and we only receive a fraction of what it slings in our direction. It has existed for about 4½ billion years, has burned half of the hydrogen in its core and is expected to live on for another 5 billion years at which time it will swell up, swallow the Earth and eventually die off into a small white dwarf. I’m not sure that I believe the “swallow up” part, but the rest of it seems feasible.
The one thing that I’m sure of is that every morning after struggling out of bed and raising the window shades, I always grab a smile when I see its rays shining into our bedroom. There are places in our wonderful country where the sun shines practically every day. I have often thought of moving to one of those places, but I would have to leave family behind so I have chosen to remain on the coast of Virginia.
“Is there anything more soothing than the quiet whir of a lawnmower on a summer afternoon.”
A few days ago, my wife and I discovered that a shower in our home that is seldom used wasn’t working. It was time for me to don my plumber’s clothing and attempt the repair. I had previously replaced a cartridge in the Moen’s faucet in another bathroom so I felt confident that I could repair this one as well. The only difference was that the other one was in the sink and this one was in the shower stall.
So, I jumped on my PC and headed over to YouTube and sure ‘nuff, there’s a video telling me exactly what to do. I watched it a couple of times to ensure I knew every step to follow. With the instructions etched into my brain, I headed out to the garage to turn off the water to our home, and proceeded to take the thing apart. Everything’s going fine until I removed the key that held the cartridge in place within the faucet. All of a sudden, that thing shot out of the faucet, landed on the shower floor, and plenty of water followed, covering me from head to toe. I am glad my wife wasn’t there to witness the event for I looked like a drowned rat! It was then that I realized that I should’ve turned the water faucet on to relieve the pressure before taking it apart. I finally got it back together, and it is working fine now, but my wife noticed how wet I was as I was putting away the tools and asked me what happened? I sheepishly responded that it was just a little water and that I would dry out soon. Most men refrain from admitting they made a mistake.
Kathleen Norris said, “If we do not always see our own mistakes and omissions, we can always see those of our neighbors.” Sad but so true!
Wherever you are in this world, I hope your family loves you as much as mine loves me. I know you will return their love abundantly. That is my intent as well.