Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Assault on Kings Mountian

In a daring afternoon raid a band of ragtag troops, lead by an experienced and devoted leader, William, invaded the rough terrain of Kings Mountain battle field. Jared, the tireless scout, forged ahead of the small unit and reported back with much needed information. Emily, communications officer, kept each member informed of the progress of the advance. Allison, moral officer, did her best to boost morale and keep the troops moving by constantly smiling and repeating, “Daddy, I love you.”

Before the invasion the troops fueled up with orange Bug Juice, peanut butter crackers, and apples, then rode onto the battleground in the trusty WarWagon and disembarked to begin the assault. A scene of utter chaos ensued as the troop checked maps and watched informative movies in the pre-assault planning session held in the visitor’s center.

The troops carefully inspected all displays of weapons and equipment while asking many questions about their usage. Every button that could be reached was pushed and each new discovery led to many more questions. When all information that could be gleaned from the displays was investigated the band rushed out onto the well worn trail and charged through the dense fallen leaves in their quest to reach the summit.

Close observation of the terrain revealed creeks, hollow trees, and holes that could be used for shelter and camouflage. During the raid shrieks and yells could be heard pealing through the landscape as the warriors charged up the mountain side.

When the assault ended and the troops were safely ensconced in the WarWagon and headed for home. Their leader, with sore hips and knee – the only casualty of the day, mused that if the British were still there they would have run in fright from the attacking horde. Either that or would have all died from laughter.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cosmic Revenge

Every religion or belief system that I have ever had any experience with has with it an element of retribution contained therein. Call it what you will – justice, judgment, karma, accountability or any thing else – it is unavoidable. I recently witnessed events that are irrefutably that intervention of justice in the life of someone I am fairly close to.

In February of 2004, my ex-wife decided that she would not allow me to see our children any more. Since I was not in a position to hire an attorney I was forced to accede to her wishes and stay away. It broke my heart to do. Recently I scraped up enough cash to hire help and my ex changed her mind and had allowed me to see the kids. I cannot express how overjoyed I was to be reunited with them.

The first Friday night that I kept them was like a dream. We hugged and talked and played and opened presents that had been accumulating in the closet. Late in the evening we all collapsed into bed. At 6:00 am my phone rang. It was the ring tone programmed for my ex-wife’s number.

When I answered all she said was, “If I die, tell the kids I love them,” and hung up. A call like that will wake you up faster than drinking espresso while soaking in ice water. I tried to call her back and could not reach her, each time I was sent to voice mail. Finally, thirty minutes later, I got her again. She said, “I’m on the phone with 911”, and hung up.

At t his point I was picturing her locked in the trunk of a Lincoln, headed out to Lake Norman to be fitted with concrete shoes. Thoughts of having to raise the kids myself, funeral arrangements, and possibly moving back to Tennessee to be closer to my parents stirred in my mind. I found myself trying to think of who may be that mad at her, other than me.

Finally, I staggered to the kitchen to start the first of several pots of coffee for that day. Around the time Mr. Coffee began his final gurgle her cell tone rang again. “I am upside down in the back seat of my truck.” To make a long story short she was driving too fast in the rain and flipped her Ford Ranger 4 times on Highway 110 in Cowpens, SC on her way to work. While she was not seriously injured, she was banged up enough spend the day in the emergency room. Somehow she only bruised her leg and her lung. I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling her it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person, but I had already vented my spleen when we talked about the kids the first time and told her that she would one day get what was coming to her and it would happen in such a way that no one could blame me. I didn’t feel the need to get that worked up again.

Since that morning she has offered no resistance to my requests to see the kids. She has almost been nice - something I am unused to. Perhaps spending a couple of hours upside down in the rain while waiting for the Rescue Squad to cut her free with their giant can opener she had time to reflect on a few things. Perhaps it will be the last time the balance of her life has to be evened out. Time will tell.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

20 things that make me smile

Things that make me smile

1. My children – They are the reason I exist.

2. Old friends – Those that are always there even when things go wrong.

3. My truck – Like the energizer bunny – still going.

4. Antique tools – They are scattered all over my apartment.

5. Old shoes – The ones that are so broken in that they start to break apart.

6. Morning coffee – How else do you start a day?

7. Winter chill – much better than the summer sweat.

8. Meeting new people – new people to laugh at all my old jokes.

9. Pictures – Moments frozen forever of life years ago.

10. Old barns – Exploring Mecca’s for a scavenger like me.

11. Pretty girls smiles – Seen too seldom but appreciated every time.

12. Old TV shows – Slivers of my youth.

13. Books – Other worlds to explore and hide in.

14. Apple pie – Especially when it comes with coffee.

15. Music – Real music that you can understand the words too.

16. Quiet conversation – Getting to know a person inside and out.

17. Word puzzles – Things that make my brain work.

18. Hot baths – Soak away your cares and aches.

19. Sunsets – Especially when viewed from a beautiful location.

20. Memories – Sweeter every day (some anyway)