Archive for fun stuff

Who’d A Thunk It?

IMG_20171016_150100797_HDRDay number 25,202 started like most of the last 1000 or so; about three cups of coffee and some sweet cakes—always have to have something sweet with my coffee—been doing that every morning for about 35 or so years. That said, I then read our morning devotional, and Sherry and I talked about God and our many blessings for a bit. We’ve been doing that for almost 24 years now. After that, I did a four-minute plank, then Mom called and we talked about God, which is mostly what we talk about in our weekly chats. And then, I put on my shoes and was about to walk out the door and take a quick five-mile walk, when son, Bill called. We talked for a good while—we always do—but I had to smile after we hung up. I told Sherry I knew it was my birthday, because Bill let me talk quite a bit. We laughed, because she knows when Bill calls, he usually does most of the talking. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I love to listen to him and get the low down on what him and his boys are up to. When Trevor and Nathan were playing football in high school, Bill would call on Saturday or Sunday and literally give me a play by play of Friday night’s game. Being so far away was hard—never getting to see the boys play ball—but Bill’s account of the games took away some of the pain. So, anyway, after we talked, I went for that five-mile walk, then came back and fixed me and Sherry a PB&J on some of my grilled homemade jalapeno bread. (Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.) Now—it’s straight up noon—I’m going to run to the store, then come back and mow & trim the yard. Probably take it easy the rest of the day, then go out for a celebratory dinner this evening. Early evening, of course. I mean, after all, I’m 25,202.5 days old, ya know. Who’d a thunk I’d last this long?

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My Not-So-Patient Ways

Yep, I’ve pulled some stunts, and many were due to my rebellious and not-so-patient ways. Hey, I already knew everything. Such was the case when my grandpa taught me to climb poles.

I was nineteen and working for the local cable TV company. The job was cool, except for that big heavy ladder. It only took a few days for me to know I needed to learn how to climb poles, so I wouldn’t have to pack that ladder back and forth to the truck

One afternoon, I told Bunk (my grandpa) I needed to learn how to climb poles. We got his hooks and belt and headed out to the light pole by the storage shed. Bunk explained the basics, and after a few tries, I had it all figured out. I’d go up a few feet, then jump back down. It was easy! Bunk tried to get me to go a little higher, but I saw no need. “I got, it, Bunk,” I assured him.

“Now, wait a minute,” he said. “I need to show you how to get dow…“ I waved him off, took the belt and hooks off then sauntered toward my car with them. I was a lineman, now.

The next morning, I drove to my first install, put on the hooks, and up that pole I went. Once I was up there, I snapped the safety belt around the pole, leaned back and surveyed my kingdom. Man, this was awesome! I was awesome!

WichitaLineman.tif

I did the install, then as I was putting my tools in the pouches on my belt a sudden realization hit me; I didn’t have the slightest idea how to get down. My mind raced back to all the things Bunk had said, and I recalled those last words, “I need to show you how to get dow…”. Oh, guff! He’d been trying to get me to slow down, so he could tell me how to get down.

I was only up about twenty feet—it looked like ninety, and I think I stayed there—frozen in place—for fifteen or twenty minutes. Then, resigned to the fact I was going to have to try and get down, I went for broke. I yanked my right hook out of the pole, my left knee bent allowing that hook to split out of its grip, and I was on my way to the ground. Then the belt caused me to slam into the pole, which at the time I thought was a good thing, and I wrapped my arms around the pole and hung on for dear life, which slowed my decent, but not much. I slid in jerky motions—fast, then slow, then fast again, to the ground. Did I mention there was a drainage ditch on the street side of the pole?

I hit the ground, tumbled sideways into said ditch, landing upside down with the belt twisted and holding me tight against the pole. My shirt was torn to shreds.

I stayed there for several minutes, hoping no one had seen me fall, then started wishing someone had seen me, and would come help me get out of the ditch. Finally, I managed to undo the safety strap, then slid to the bottom of the ditch. I finally got to my feet, knees shaking, and my face, chest and stomach literally on fire. I was scraped and scratched from my cheek to my waist and there must’ve been a hundred large, creosote splinters in me!

I got most of the splinters out, and somehow struggled through the rest of the day—I used the ladder—but by the time I got home, I was miserable. Bunk helped me get the rest of the splinters out, chuckling the entire time. I’m pretty sure he was laughing at me, not with me.

That weekend, we went out back again, and Bunk gave me a thorough lesson on how to climb poles. He also showed me how to get down after I’d gone up. I listened intently to every word he said.

 

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A Propensity For Incidents

ear tuck

Oh, rats!

From the age of six (maybe even earlier) to this day, I’ve had what I’ve deemed a “Propensity For Incidents”. I typically did not plan said incidents but rather, in many cases, I didn’t look before I leaped. I’ve chronicled many of them in short story form, and they can be read on this blog. I’ll list a few at the end of this piece. The most recent incident might possibly be a case of karma—if you believe in such a thing—but I’m going to go with APFI.

We recently bought a used house, and we’re repainting prior to moving in. We hired a painter to do all but the garage, and I’m still working on my phase of the project. We had several other things we wanted to do, and we turned to Tracey and Sean (daughter and SIL) for contractor recommendations. Sean grew up here, and Tracey has lived here since they got married twenty some years ago. Their advice has been spot-on!

The most recent request for advice was for a wood flooring contractor, and so I sent a text to Tracey. My typical texts to her regarding contractors were complete questions like, “Do you know a good plumber?” This time, however, my text was brief (I thought I was being hip you see) and it read, “Wood floors?” Her answer was, “??”. My response to that was a comment about blondes, and a complete sentence as to my need for a wood flooring contractor. She replied with a name and phone number, which, despite my use of smiley faces in the blonde comment, I perceived to be a terse response.

So! I went back to my garage painting, and APFI (or maybe it was karma) followed me. I grabbed a can of paint, shook it up, and popped the lid off. Then… I saw a squirrel. Not really, but, you see, another of my propensities is one which causes me to go from one task (or more) while in the middle of another. I call it multi-tasking, but Sherry calls it squirrel chasing.

After completing my squirrel chasing, I returned to my primary task—painting—but failed to remember an important detail; when I’d seen the squirrel, I’d set the lid “loosely” on top of the paint can. So, when I grabbed the can of paint and gave it a good shaking, paint went everywhere! But mostly… all over me. After a thorough cleanup job, I put the lid securely on the can of paint, put it away, and then went out to the patio, where I sat and watched squirrels play in the yard.

I should have let the painter do the garage too.

Here are some samples of my APFI:

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/22-holes-in-one-tire-3/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/22-holes-in-one-tire-4/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/go-get-the-drew-twins/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/go-get-the-drew-twins/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/tothleth-in-tekthath/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/way-over-the-line/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/it-was-suh-weet/

https://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/eeeyeent-eenk/

 

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The Good Times

just us kids 2We weren’t poor when I was a kid. We didn’t have a lot, but we always had enough. There were bad times and good times, but we were happy for the most part. I give Mom credit for that. Read the rest of this entry »

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Before the Internet

Ah, yes, there was life before the Internet, and most of us who were children or had children and/or grandchildren “back in the day” can relate to the following poem. I wrote it when my grandsons were about 2 and 4 years old, after watching them and my son play out the scene described. It’s written almost exactly as it happened, and it makes me smile.

boys with water hose

Photo borrowed from Google Images

 

 

A Soaking Event

 

Two little boys, dad with the hose

they watch him and scream with fright

They warn he better not squirt them

yet, secretly, hope he might

 

Dad knows the game and watches

from the corner of a knowing eye

As they dance and run and laugh

‘neath the summer sun on high

 

Just a flick of the wrist at first

 a drop of water hits a smiling face

They yell with delight, run in a circle

and then ‘round the house they race

 

Mom’s watching out the window

smiling, she watches her boys

Love in her eyes a dancing

as their laughter and glee she enjoys

 

’Round the house they come running

the hose man waiting this time

Douses them good, a soaking event

they scream and then turn on a dime

 

And so the game goes on for a while

‘til they can’t run another lap

Though exhausted they argue bravely

‘gainst the theory of afternoon nap

 

With much grumbling they lay on the mat

smiles wide, they replay the scenes

Visions of more games tomorrow

in their eyes, and then…. in their dreams

 

Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn

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Get it Together!

Ducks In A Row

ducks

Get your ducks in a row, the boss yelled

You best get your stuff in one sack

Get your act together, he screamed

Or tomorrow we won’t need you back

 

Well, I had no idea what he meant

So I started to pace and fret

I don’t own any ducks, I thought

My predicament caused me to sweat

 

Noon came around and away I flew

Drove fast to the nearest mall

Purchased a book of duck tricks

And a quite expensive duck call

 

Raced out of town to the lake

Used the duck call that cost twenty bucks

Was worth it, for out of the reeds

Came a waddling, six little ducks

 

I’m quacking up, I thought to myself

For there wasn’t another soul there

I got out the book of duck tricks

And a duck act I began to prepare

 

I tried everything in the trick book

But them ducks seemed none too bright

Then the answer came suddenly to me

Above my head shone a bulb of light

 

5_Little_Ducks_Logo__12339.1439298427.328.245Drove back to the office post haste

The monkey was near off my back

Told the boss, they’re not in a row, but

Would you settle for five ducks in a sack

 

Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn

Pictures borrowed from Google Images

 

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First Kiss

a first kissOne of my favorite childhood games was spin the bottle. I was petrified every time we played it, but I still loved it! I’m not sure my first kiss was from Lisa, but it’s the memory of that spinning bottle, and the fear coursing through my young brain and body this little ditty is about. The names, the faces, the places… pick your own, and go back when. That’s what I did. Enjoy!

Forever Changed

Bottle spinning, is but a blur

There on the basement floor

All eyes upon it as it slows

Not knowing what’s in store

 

Was Lisa who set it to spinning

Young goddess with golden hair

Every boy prays, let it stop on me

So a kiss with her I might share

 

Slower still the pop bottle spins

A last taunting turn then points

My eyes grow wide, I can’t move

Fear has frozen my young joints

 

Panic takes over my mind then

I’m horrified down to my core

Why am I here, what will I do

I’ve never kissed a girl before

 

From the circle I jump and shout

No way, I just can’t do it

Lisa gives a wink that says

Calm down, boy, I’ll get you through it

 

Young lips meet mine a trembling

My life then forever is changed

Fate’s hand upon the bottle spun

My world at once rearranged

 

Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn

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