Monday, December 24, 2012

The Big Box

I remember the Christmas that my dad took me out to one of the old sheds, one rarely used that once had a bat in it (the flying kind) which cured any searching-for-presents virus I might have had.  He pulled out a big box, about five feet long by four feet high and 9 inches wide.  I could not believe my eyes nor contain my joy when from the box, he pulled out a brand new bicycle and proceeded to assemble it!

It was blue, and wonder of wonders, it was a 2-Speed bike, unheard of at the time.  The lower speed was for going uphill and the higher one for picking up speed going downhill.  It looked almost exactly like this one, but without the back carry-stuff-on-it bar:

That thing took me more miles than Alladin's magic carpet.  It was used daily in the summer to go get the cows, pass them up to block off the McCullough's driveway, then pass them up again to ride them fast into the corral.  It took me to the store, to Colleen's house, to softball games.  It got crepe paper streamers weaved in it's spokes to ride in Clifton's summer parades.

I do not remember it ever having a flat tire, though it must have.  I do remember crashing it once.  I was on my way home from the store and on the downhill run past the canal where you pick up significant speed, so much so that it's almost impossible to slow down enough to be safe.  All would have been well except that a danged snake was crawling across the road and my bike ran right over it!  It traumatized me so much that I lost control and took a bad spill on the asphalt.  My pants got ripped and my knee was dripping blood, but the worst part was that the handle bar turned completely sideways and there was an ugly scratch on the right handlebar.  I limped home and thought for sure my dad would kill me, but he didn't.  He just straightened out the handlebars and life went on.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


There's an old country performance with a "That's Good/No, That's Bad" routine.  We kind of had that here at the home this week.

Sunday I woke up with the flu Nik had last week so stayed home from church.  About noon I heard Kyle in the kitchen saying "Sh**!" Kyle usually doesn't talk like that, for sure around me at least, but I was too sick to say anything and truth be known, I've said it myself from time to time, though I keep trying not to.

Shortly thereafter, he came running into the living room where I was resting and said, "FIRE! WHERE'S THE FIRE THINGEY?"  I told him it should be in the broom closet and dragged slowly off the couch.  By the time I reached the kitchen, he was spraying it inside the furnace closet in the vicinity of the breaker box.  It did put out the fire.

I was too drained to get scared or angry; my main thought being, "Boy, this is going to be expensive"...sort of like the plumber we had to call in last week when the kitchen drain wore through and collapsed in on itself.

Kyle told me the power had gone off in his room so he was going to check the breaker.  Before he slid open the door to the breaker/furnace area, he noticed a light and wondered why he hadn't seen that before.  When he opened the door, there were flames shooting out from a plug.  Now this plug had apparently been hanging from the ceiling in there for decades and none of us had ever noticed.  I don't even want to know how it ties into the system.

Jason came right over and checked it out, ran to Lowe's for a plug end and repaired it.  So far so good.

It dawned on me a while later that if I hadn't had the flu, I wouldn't have been home to respond to Kyle's question about the fire extinguisher and who knows what could have happened, especially since the flames were in the same area as the gas furnace.

When it comes to Guardian Angels, we must have several.