Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Turning 46

This is how I spent my 46th Birthday, playing cards with my wife, my 13 year old daughter and my mother-in-law until the wee hours of the morning. In fact we played until the power went out, as you can see from the one photo. Then to add to it I take dead last in shanghai, dead last by a long ways.

I'm 46 years old, my dad was 48 when he past away. My mother was 48 when my first child was born. When I was in the third grade we were ask what age did we think you became "old", I said 42. Yikes!
All that being said though, I have no problem growing older. I love all the different stages of life that come along. Each has it's challenges and each has it's rewards. I liked getting married, I love being a dad and I can't wait to be a grandpa.
I had a great birthday. I got to spend it up in the mountains with my family and I got a great email from Tyler who, by-the-way, only as 3 weeks left on his mission. Holy Cow! That went fast.
So while I was reflecting on my 46 years on  this Earth, I reminisced about some of my high points and some of my low points. The low points are much funnier. The little girls begged me to tell a few "low point" stories and I balked at first because Hayley had taken a friend who wasn't privy to some of my miss deeds and I worried that she might tell her parents and never be allowed to come to the cabin again. So we explained to her that though I might have done these things, I in no way condone that sort of behavior and these things should never be attempted.
So my birthday tale of a low point in my life went something like this.
My father was a man of little patience. Why God would send him four boys only confirms that God truly has a sense of humor and explains why my dad did not make it past 48.
It was a bright Saturday morning and I had just taken up the wonderful sport of tennis. I had the tennis racket, the tennis ball, but no tennis court. There was not a tennis court for 5 miles, what was an 11 year old boy to do. Bounce it off the front porch of course. My dad walks out of the house to go to work and a miss hit tennis ball flies past his head. Remember the little patience part. He grabs the ball and points at my older brother's bedroom window. "Mooch! You are going to hit that right through that window!""Go do this somewhere else!" My dad was huge so my standard reply was "Yes Father, anything you say" 
He hands me back my tennis ball and climbs into his truck. He leans out the window for one more "DO NOT hit that ball on the porch. Do you understand me?" 
Rapid nods of the head follow with one more"Yes Father"
He backs out of the driveway and heads down the street. He is not even out of sight and I turn to hit the ball on the porch. Now as God as my witness I swear and my mother will attest to the fact. The first strike of that tennis ball went right through my brothers window. The feeling in my legs went and I collapsed. My mother comes running out and my two older brothers stare through the shattered glass at my prone body. My first words that I can make sense of are "You are so dead" no it was not my brothers, it was my mom.
I am dumb founded. I had hit that ball all morning and never once came close to that window. How, how could that have happened. I go to the window and try to put pieces back. My brothers add words to my thoughts. "Dad is going to kill you!""I heard dad say don't it the ball on the porch" My legs went out again.
Now here came the hard part. My mom says you need to go in and call you father and tell him what you did. I beg her no, please no, "you call him" It is not to be, she hands me the phone and dials his work number. It took forever for him to get to the phone and then he answers with      "What's up buddy? Dad's busy can I help you with something?" I can't remember exactly what I said, but I'm sure it had a bunch of UH, UH I Love you and I am so stupid. Why can't I mind, kind of things in it. Of course he yells and I have to hold the receiver away from my ear. I get a 'wait 'til I get home' speech. Now that is the longest day I have ever spent. I did not need to watch the clock because my brothers came by on the hour like human cuckoo clocks to announce how many hours I had 'til my execution.
4:30 finally rolled around and I met my dad at the scene-of-the-crime. He begins with the "What was the last thing I said?" speech and then proceeds to throw me into his truck. I swear I thought he was taking me to the dessert so that nobody would hear my screams, but we headed to the hardware store instead to purchase a piece of glass.
Upon returning home we proceeded to install the new window. It's the middle of summer and my brother's window faces west and it is late afternoon, it's hot. My dad is on the inside and I am on the outside. In these older homes the windows are those kind that have the putty holding them in, so my dad has removed the old putty and I am holding the new glass in place while he gets ready to put in new putty. He's sweating like crazy, he's still very mad and I am trying to be invisible.
Then the problem starts. He wants to open the window to let in some air. The window I broke is the fixed side of the window, it doesn't move so he is going to open the other side. The first thing he notices is that the latch that unhooks the windows is missing, yikes! After opening it with a pair of pliers he reaches down to turn the crank that opens the window and, no, it's not missing, but all it does is spin. It does not open the window, YIKES! He stares at me through the glass, are noses are only inches apart, I thought he couldn't see me because I was trying to be invisible, but he could see me good. 
He pushes the glass open with his hand and this part is burned into my brain. It happened in slow motion. A breeze catches the window and jerks it from my dad's hand, it shatters against the wall into a million pieces.
Are noses are still inches apart, I am losing the feeling in my legs, but the last thing I remember is my dad's face went exactly like the cartoons. It went real red and then steam came out his ears, I swear, real steam!
I don't remember much after that.
Now is there any wonder that my dad is not with us anymore?
Talk to you later 


Keith A. Runyon said...

How good of a story is that? Breaking the same window.....TWICE. I laughed out loud reading our day I think all boys broke a few windows, I know I did. Now the kids don't break anything...too many indoor games.

Keith A. Runyon said...

Oh and belated Happy Birthday. Creeping toward 50....I know, I'll be there in 2 years. YIKES! I seriously feel like I'm still 21. HOw messed up is that?

CLUB! (Marnie,Eliza,and Mady) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mooch said...

and we learned to take a good butt woopin'


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