(image: summer sun)

Old Days

As we were getting ready for bed...

...later that evening, Dani turned on the TV and happened on an episode of “Star Trek Voyager.” It was late, we really needed to get some sleep, but an hour spent with 7 of 9, in her form-fitting body suit, is never entirely wasted.

A month or so ago I convinced Dani to switch our cable from Basic to Expanded Basic, mostly so we could see more Cubs games. Why we would WANT to see more Cubs games is another question. It is kind of like handing Sammy Sosa a bigger bat to hit you in the head with.

The new cable line-up is a mixed blessing.

Dani gets to see more “Star Trek” episodes. Well, if she had time to watch them. I suppose that’s what VCRs are for, except you KNOW if you don’t have time to watch a show in the first place, you’re likely not going to have time to watch it on tape later - when there are MORE shows on you don’t have time to watch. And then, if you don’t label the tape, like I always forget to do, you won’t be able to find it when you want to watch it anyway. So, as it is, the shows are on late. They don’t get over until midnight sometimes. Not good when you have to be up for work at 3:30 in the morning. So they are THERE, it’s just that she never gets to see them. Is that a blessing or not? I’m not sure. .

And the kids can see MTV. Not good ever.

Wisely Dani gave up half way through the episode and went to sleep.

Too bad, it was a fun one. I suppose I could be like Pepe, and launch into a detailed description of the plot. “Hey, Dad, guess what happened on the Wild Thornberries...” and then he’ll go on and on with these convoluted plot lines about characters I have no idea who they are, as if they were our closest friends. This kid watches entirely too much TV. Marcela is just as bad. She can turn her head and mouth along with every word of every line and jingle of every commercial that’s on.

These kids need to go outside!

(iamge: little summer sun)

But it’s not like it was when we were kids.

We used to get up early on a warm summer morning, put on Dad’s old army boots and coats, our home made eye-patches, and our red bandanas - and disappear all day into the woods playing pirates searching for buried treasure (we had maps with charred edges and everything!). Maybe we’d surface for a bowl of macaroni rings and butter for lunch, but then adventure would call, and we wouldn’t be back until dark.

You can’t let kids do that anymore. Not when you hear stories on the news about strangers in black trucks attempting to abduct little girls. Well, that, and I also remember all the things we did on steamy summer days that our parents never knew about - hopping trains, climbing trestle bridges... I’m afraid to let our kids out the door!

It’s a wonder most kids survive childhood at all. If that isn’t proof of the existence of guardian angels, I don’t know what is.

(iamge: little summer sun)

All turned out well with 7 of 9, Voyager was saved for another week, and I turned off the TV, dropped my glasses somewhere on the nightstand, and went to sleep.

A few hours later we were awakened by a house-rattling crash of thunder.

And then our room was filled with a brilliant flash of light, followed almost immediately by another CRACKKKKKK of thunder. It was quite a show, lightning flashing, thunder crashing - Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory just outside our bedroom window.

And then the rain came pouring down.

Oh great. In a matter of minutes water would be dripping into the kitchen. Do I drag myself out of bed in the middle of the night to scatter pots and pans around the room - or do I just let it go, and deal with the lake of water on the floor in the morning? That probably wouldn’t be such a hot idea. So I fumbled around for my glasses and stumbled downstairs. Sure enough, there was already a little river making its way across the room to the basement door.

One of these days we are going to have to get that roof fixed. One of these days we are going to have to win a million dollars...

Still. life is such a blessing.

Earlier in the evening I was tucking the kids into bed, and just looking into their sweet, beautiful faces, all snuggled in under their blankets, I couldn’t help but thinking what an incredible blessing they are. To think, of all of the awesome marvels of God’s creation - the moon and stars, galaxies and nebulae - the most marvelous was right here beside me, tucked into bed.

What a wonderful gift from God!

And then I thought - well, so am I.

We all are. Each and every one of us.

Next (click here)

Stories (click here)

Home (click here)

Originally written July, 2000

(Updated 2011)

2000 Paul Dallgas-Frey