Month: April 2013

Trifecta Challenge Week 75: The story of Howard Bannister

In a hospital bed in a Newfoundland community lies Howard Bannister. Howard became very sick recently, so a neighbor admitted him to the hospital. Soon after Howard arrived, he slipped into a coma. Doctors worked to revive him,without success. The poor man simply lay in his bed, no family or friends visited him.

Howard’s situation broke the heart of  a young nurse who worked in the ward where  Howard lay. She tried reaching out to the community, and through talking to people  who lived near Howard, a door of opportunity was opened. One of the ladies who admitted Howard mentioned that he had a dog, and people in the neighborhood put signs out everywhere in search of Howard’s dog.

A few days later, the dog was found.  Sally, the young nurse, asked her supervisor if she could bring the dog into the hospital.  Of  course the cranky old nurse denied her request. Sally did not give up. She started a petition in the neighborhood, and obtained enough names that the hospital administrator took a stand on Howard’s behalf.

The next day, Sally carried the little dog into the hospital and  into the room  where Howard still lay in a coma. when he seen Howard, he grew very excited. He leaped from Sally’s arms and right onto Howard. When the little dog finished giving Howard a good face cleaning, he lay next to his master. All of a sudden Howard’s arm moved. Everyone in the room witnessed a miracle. Howard’s arm moved from the position where it lay for many days, and  around his little dog. A small grin appeared on the man’s face as he held his little dog.

Later that day, Howard passed away peacefully. His suffering was over. Everyone  was amazed by the act of kindness by Nurse Sally, and by the power of love given by the little dog. The dog became a mascot at the hospital and was adopted by Nurse Sally and her family.


This story is my entry into this week’s Trifecta Challenge.  The word this week  is ‘Door’ ( a means of access or participation : opportunity <opens new doors> <door to success>)


visitors from hell: a true story

A few years back we had a visit from one of my lady’s former friends. My lady knew this girl when she was fifteen, and we realized at that time how much a person can change in just a little while. Her friend, who I will call Wendy, married a nutcase who I will call Richard. This is not their real names, but changing names will protect their children from embarrassment if they ever read this…

Anyway, Wendy and Richard arrive on our doorstep unannounced, carrying suitcases, and holding two little girls under their arms. The weather outside (this was at 7:30 on a Saturday evening) was wet and raining, and our son was in the house in his PJ’s, getting ready for bed. While they moved their things into our house (still without even asking  whether they could stay overnight or if we had other plans), they allowed their two small children (6 and 4 years old), to go play in the sandbox (which was now flooded with rain puddles). Mind you, despite the ages of the children,  both are still in diapers, and that is all the clothing they wore that damp,  rainy weekend.

We had just finished supper a while before they arrived. My lady made enough home-made spaghetti so that she could bring the leftovers to work for the next few weeks. When Wendy seen the pot of spaghetti on the stove, she took the entire pot over to the table, and using the ladle, she proceeded to eat the entire pot of pasta. This girl is only 5 foot, but she is thick, and apparently she hadn’t ate in  a month or so, at least that is what we figured while we watched her devour all that food.

My lady also had a cheesecake in the fridge.  Mom had made  it for her, and she planned on having a piece and putting the rest in the freezer for later. Wendy flattened that as well, not one piece, but the entire cheesecake. Speaking of flattening things, when she let herself drop while sitting of  our dining room chairs, the thing collapsed under her. Now we have our entire pot  of pasta ate, the cheesecake gone, and now one of our chairs demolished.

Richard is the type of guy that talks endlessly, mostly total silliness. He told us a story of how he was once working as a roofer on a four story building.  He claims that he fell from the roof, nearly got tangled up in high voltage power lines, barely missed a barb wire fence, and landed on solid pavement some 40 feet from the roof. He then says that a hearse nearly backed over him by accident, and to make matters worst, while he struggled to get to his feet, he was chased by two angry dobermans. Either this guy is the world’s unluckiest person, or (like we both figured) he is totally insane.

While she was busy wrecking our home, her husband Richard sat on our front deck smoking a joint. We are both anti-drug people and really didn’t appreciate him bringing drugs on our property. The guy is also a chain smoker, and although he is  the only person who works in their family, he feels that he is allowed to purchase drugs and tobacco before even thinking of buying food and  clothing for his kids. I promptly inform him of our thoughts concerning drug use and ask him to refrain from using on our property. He says that it was alright, and if he needs a high, he will just pop a few pills instead. Wow, right? As for the working thing, he doesn’t  feel that his wife should work. She needs to stay home and raise his kids and have a hot meal on the table when he comes home from work. MY lady  would kill me for even thinking such a thing!

Anyway, they stay the night (uninvited), and by morning our towel  rack is pulled from the washroom wall, the toilet is plugged twice, the kids are using OUR bed as a trampoline, and Richard chooses to have a cigarette in OUR bathroom.

Next morning we devise a plan to pretend we have to leave. Using my cellphone, I call my home number, and then rush to answer. Apparently my uncle needs  us both out of town so we have to leave. This should work, right? Wrong.

They offered to ‘house sit’ while we are away. The ‘right neighborly thing to do’ they say. NOT! They stay on for lunch, where they knock off eight steaks I had thawing for our neighborhood bbq that evening, he drinks all  my beer, and then says that since he doesn’t allow her to drive, they can’t leave due to the fact that he is the only one  with a licence. Another night of house wrecking, we cannot go to our party, and I am nearly drove nuts; did I mention  that their kids were savage? No bedtime. The kids were awake and rambunctious all night.

The next morning it was either them or me. I get my dad to come by and ‘remind me’ of our appointment in the city.  He also adds that the painter is coming to redo the house, and that he might need someone  to volunteer to help. That sends Richard in a hurry to pack and leave.  Thank heavens. That was 2009.

This evening, we hear a knock at the door. Completely unsuspecting, I answer the door. There standing in front me was…I had no clue.  At first I guessed Jehovah’s Witness or someone collecting for some kind of cause, but nope, not that lucky. It was Wendy. She had doubled in size since the last time she visited in ’09. She just stood there, not saying anything, and then that annoying voice, I recognized her immediately. It’s not like they live close by. Their home is some three hours away from where we live, but they just ‘casually’ show up?  I wanted to run, but had nowhere to go. She gives a loud ” Hi” and then comes right in. She just looks at my lady and I and when I ask if everything is alright, she says “No, not right at all” and proceeds to sit in the dining room. My lady and I just finished renovating the dining room, complete with a seven foot glass table top and very stylish chairs, which the both of us covet, and she plops down (plop is a good description here and all I can think of is the last time she plopped down and wrecked a perfectly good dining room  chair) on our new chair. The legs seemed to wobble under the pressure, but did not break. I thought for a minute I might have to dig up the warranty card, but we were lucky this time.

The entire time she is telling us this story, Richard is standing the doorstep  smoking multiple cigarettes.

Anyway she goes on to tell us about Richard and how after dozens of warnings by his doctor concerning his four pack a day habit, X-rays now show several spots on his lungs. Just then Richard and the kids join us, and the  both of them are now in laughter.

“She is gonna burn all my stuff!” he laughs. She agrees. When he dies (not ‘If’ he dies), she plans to burn all his things because she won’t be able to look  at them without missing the guy. She also starts talking about how she already has the funeral planned, and how she plans to marry  him right now (before his divorce from his first wife is final) so that they  won’t take their home from them if he dies. We bring up a little word called ‘bigamy’, but the two of them are laughing so hard, they don’t hear anything.

So I ask a question. “What did the doctor say?” Wendy replies that the doctor said that they noticed four small spots on the X-Ray, so now they have poor old Richard wrote off. “Did you get a second opinion?” I ask, and again, laughter. “He’s finished, he knows it” she laughs. Richard is laughing as well. I have to wonder how many joints he had before coming into the house. This is all being spoken  about in front of their kids, who are obviously the smarter of the four. “Daddy’s a goner” says one of the kids, who is also laughing.

So they get news  about possible cancer, and instead of finding out how  they can fix the problem, they have the guy written off. Its like going  from  step one  to step five without doing steps two to four. When I was told I had cancer a few years back, my reply was “so what are you going to do about it?”. Their reply is “okay, I am dead” and accepting it. Scary. I try to tell him not to give up so easy, but he seems convinced that he will soon be a goner. While lighting up yet another cigarette, he relays his story of how tough he is (the story of him falling off a 4 story building again…my lady and  I almost burst into laughter)

Anyway, after the two of them nearly drive my dog insane by constantly picking on  him, and driving the two of us insane with their crazy funeral plans, they finally decide to leave. This is, mind you, at eight p.m. on a Sunday evening. On their way out the door, Wendy casually asks us a question. “When Richard dies, would it be okay if me and the kids move in with you guys while I get on my feet again?”. My answer was quick and to the point. “Not on your life baby!”

I think I offended her, but I also think I found out the reason why they showed up on our doorstep that evening. I imagine they will drop  by another friend and ask the same question.

When they finally pull out of the driveway, out two dogs and our cat check to see  if the coast is clear before coming  out of their hiding places. The wacky family nearly sent our pets packing.

The 18 Wheeled Avenger

The sun shone especially bright this morning. The small crack in the blinds provided an entrance for the warm ray of light that beamed directly into the eyes of Charlie Golding. Charlie didn’t need to wake up this early,  he had only gotten to bed around 3 a.m., and after over 36 hours of continuous driving, he really needed the rest.

The kids were up early this morning, all anxious to see their father. This trip  had been a long one and both his kids, as well as Charlene, his beautiful wife of eight years, were happy to have him home. As Charlie attempted to get his much needed sleep, the kids had other ideas, and they proved it by hopping on his chest and hollering “Horsie Horsie!”

After breakfast Charlie and his family planned to take his rig to town. He needed to have it serviced before heading out on the next trip, and the kids loved to ride in the huge sleeper out back. With Charlene riding shotgun, Charlie headed to town

The road leading out of Chancetown was pretty much abandoned  this morning, Charlie only seen one or two cars on the narrow road, which made him  quite happy. The kids sang played games in the back and Charlene dug through the glove box in search of some ‘decent’  music. She found an old 8-track and shoved it into the tape player.  Buck Owens’ “Truck Drivin’ Man” cut in on the stereo, and the kids complained that they hated country music, asking her to put on something that was cool and not boring; but what they didn’t realize was the symbolism of the song for Charlene and Charlie. ‘Truck Drivin’ Man’ is what Charlene used to call Charlie when they first met. They would sing the song together over the phone  when Charlie was on the road and they needed a connection.

As Buck’s words rang through the cab of the rig, Charlie began  thumping  his hands on the wheel and singing along.

“Pour me another cup of coffee, ’cause it is the best in the land…” The song never finished.

All that Charlie seen was the front  end  of an oil tanker, heading directly for him, on the same  side of the road. The crash was quick, and in seconds his rig burst into flames. Charlie was thrown  through the front  windshield and onto the long hood of his rig. Charlene wasn’t so lucky, as her neck was snapped on impact. The kids who played merrily out back also perished quickly, as if their lives were grabbed from  them  so suddenly that they didn’t even realize it.

The driver of the other rig sat still in the seat of his rig. His neck snapped backward, almost beheaded. The abandoned road now covered with blood, oil and pieces of metal. The forest  surrounding the area went from the trumpets of the wildlife to a dull roar, and then to nothing.  It was as if all the life in the area had been sucked out,  leaving nothing but the dripping of  blood and the smell of burned flesh and seared rubber.

And then there was movement.  Charlie awakened from the sleep that he would later  wish for a thousand times. Shaking his head and looking around, the giant of a man crashed to his knees, crying out loudly.

The door of the truck that had caused the accident hung open,  the driver’s arm  extended to a clenched fist that held something…a  liquor bottle.  The guy who had taken everything that ever meant anything to Charlie  was  drunk. He was driving a tractor trailer, towing a load of gasoline,  and he  was drunk. Damn!

Charlie  looked  back at his truck,  now an inferno of  flames, and seen that there  was a body lying across the hood. He rushed to the rescue,  hoping that it was the body of his beloved Charlene. Maybe she wasn’t killed in the crash, somehow managing to crawl free of the wreckage.

Loud screams and cries of mercy poured from the mouth of Charlie as he looked at the battered and burned  body of the accident victim that lay on the long red hood  of the truck. The body belonged to one Charlie Golding, the same person who peered down to look at it.

Surely he must have lost his  mind. Any man would have went mad if he had just witnessed the death of his wife and kids, but Charlie was always an  smart minded person, a thinking person. No, this wasn’t insanity, it was something else. A chance maybe, to even the wrong that had been done to him.

Rushing to a small piece of mirror that lay on the highway, he peered into the glass, only to see a faint reflection staring back at him. The reflection  ‘looked’ like Charlie Golding, but it was a ghostly image. Just then everything began to spin. Charlie fell to the ground with a loud thud and remained there.

When he awoke,  things seemed different. The once green leaves of summer were now bright orange  and yellow. The air had a certain chill and the wind was brisk. He wondered how  long he lay here, and why nobody had happened along the accident.

Looking behind him,  he seen what appeared to be his truck,  but again, the image was hazy, almost ghost  like. The truck,still a tangled mess, began  to change shape before his eyes.

What Charlie witnessed was a miracle. The sound of metal being stretched and bent, the sound of glass shattered, and the thundering sound of the diesel  engine were imminent, and the once quiet area became an orchestra of loudness. Charlie climbed up the steps that led to the cabin, and  looking around, he saw that his family had long gone. It was as time had stopped, and then  restarted.

At that moment  Charlie decided his life’s mission, perhaps even the reason why he was given the second chance. He would avenge the death of his family by hunting down each person who decided to drive impaired…….


The OK Bar was crowded this evening, the place featured the hottest dancers  this side of the Mississippi. When one of the girls began to pay attention to Bobby Rice, he didn’t shy away. She mentioned that she would like to go  for a drive, and despite the fact that Bobby had way too many beer, he opted to take a chance. Figuring that he would only have to drive a short distance before hauling over and inviting her into the sleeper, he directed her to his pride and joy. The tall white Peterbilt was a fine  truck, twin chrome smoke stacks on either side of the custom painted cab, and a queen bed sleeper  out back. It was his motel on wheels, and he prided himself on the number of fine looking ladies who shared his bed.

In an  attempt to impress Sylvia, the long legged blonde who sat in the passenger seat, Bobby swerved from side to side, laughing as he did so. Being the bad ass that Bobby tried to be, he blasted AC/DC music through the Alpine deck  he had installed in the dash of his truck. Sylvia was excited to ride the truck,  and as they passed a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey back and forth, she sung  loudly. Obviously the joint that she smoked before leaving the bar was beginning to take  it’s toll. Suddenly the head-banging music of ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ faded out, quickly replaced by a chorus from an  old country song that Bobby had heard screaming from a jukebox once. He didn’t know the song, but in minutes he was quickly reminded of it’s  lyrics…..the music grew louder by the minute until suddenly the sound of Buck’s voice rang through the giant  speakers in the sleeper of the truck…..”Cause I’m a Truck Drivin’ Man…”

Looking out over the hood of Bobby’s truck, Sylvia began to scream. A huge black truck headed directly in their path. The driver had a large smile on his face as he crashed directly into Bobby’s rig, killing both its passengers immediately. The ghostly truck seemed to pass right on through the rig, as Charlie continued on his way,  in search of another person who decides to make a choice.  A choice that jeopardizes the lives of innocent people  who drive on  our highways.  Charlie Golding is the 18 Wheeled Avenger, and he sees it as his duty to avenge the innocent and punish the guilty; tonight Bobby and Sylvia were punished. Their little frolic could have cost innocent  victims their life. Tonight Bobby and Sylvia paid dearly for their decision….They won’t be the last….

And now a few Bytes…I mean bites

Originally I intended this blog to be a combination of photos and recipes (sights and bites), but it seemed to evolve into something completely different. That’s okay, but I still want to devote  a few pages to my love of cooking. I am the primary cool in my household. My missus hates cooking, and I love it, so we compromised.  Without further adieu, here are a few of my favorites:

mooseburger scoobi doo

The first is my own concoction of Moose Burger and Scooby Doo Pasta. I call it “Scooby Moo” Moose burger is much more healthy than beef, low in fat and VERY tasty.

moose burger

Moose pizza is another of the favorites in my house. My son loves the thing so much that he requested I make two pizzas for his birthday party. My lady (who hates moose) loved the ground beef pizza (that was secretly moose pizza)


Moose steak and veggies on a bed of noodles makes for a great dinner. Easy to cook and quick, I actually had requests for this dish from time to time.


Pork chops in a special sauce, a few mushrooms and onion, and baked fries smothered with ketchup. Easy and delicious.

chicken hearts

Here is something my dad used to make. Chicken Heart stir fry. Most of you might be saying Yuck, but it really is quite good.


I was lazy with this one, Caribou stir Fry. A few leftover strips of Caribou and rice from the evening before made a great supper for everyone. My lady swears that this was the tastiest beef ever. Who an I to ruin the moment?


Hash Brown Casserole, with sour cream and cream of mushroom  soup, cheese and onion, with bacon  wrapped chicken was a delicious meal that everyone enjoyed.


I know it’s not healthy, but I eat healthy 6 out of 7 days a week. If I am going to cheat on my diet, it will be with beans, wieners, bacon and home made pancakes made from scratch. This topped with real Canadian Maple Syrup, and you have a breakfast fit for a king. King Me!

There you have it, a brief look at some of the meals I cook. There are more, but often before I get a chance to snap  a picture, the food is already gone.


Monotone Mike

Monotone Mike was my history teacher back in grade school. The guy would come to class and bore us to death each day. I am not kidding about the boredom, no matter what his mood, what the topic, whether he was in a good mood or if he was pissed, he always spoke in the same tone.

Mike didn’t write notes on the blackboard, choosing to recite the notes while we wrote them. Although this may have sounded like a great plan, most of us never made it through the lesson. You could literally hear people’s heads hitting their desks as they fell fast asleep. I was no different. I doubt that I managed to make it through even one of his classes.

I did the music for a retirement party for a few old teachers the other week. I was surprised to find that Mike was one of the teachers who finally retired. I imagined the writing on the plaque.

‘To Mike, the man responsible for many days of good sleep’

The man  sure aged. At 67 years old, he looked 90 or more. He never stayed for the dance, claiming that he had to go home and sleep. I guess that all those years of helping us sleep (in class), he grew tired.


Honesty,growth and forgiveness

My blog has been relatively quiet in the last few days. This is partially due to the passing of an old friend. Mostly, it is to do with all the memories that  came splashing back in the last few days.

As I stated earlier, I met Deanna in the nineties. The 90’s were a decade I think I blocked from my mind, and things were going quite well for me, and then things got confusing. I began to remember things. I got to remember me and how I behaved and how I lived.

Life for me back then was work and party and alone and sad and hurt. By day I worked as a logger, and at night I cruised the bars, searching for something that my heart wasn’t ready to handle. How many good people did I push away during that time? Faces, names, places, it didn’t really matter. I wanted someone to be with, but as soon as people tried to get close to me,  I ran.

In the ten or so years that I grieved the failure of my marriage, I had many ‘relationships’, if you want to call them that. I even had one woman stay in the house with me, but only for companionship. There was no love, no holding, nothing physical. I just needed someone  to come home  to. When she asked if we could have something more, I rejected her. She was content to stay for awhile, but eventually she left. I don’t blame her. I was an empty body, no soul, no love.

Love. Now that is a strange word. I loved my wife, and she put me through living hell. So cruel. My heart was smashed into a million pieces. I vowed that this would never happen  again. My cure was simple. Never love, never hurt. Seemed easy, but it was a very difficult process. I guess I needed time.

People are so condescending. “don’t worry,someone will come along.” They didn’t, at least for a decade or so they didn’t; or maybe they did. Maybe all those relationships had possibilities if only I had gotten  the help I needed.

This continued into the early 2000’s. Then something happened. I seen  someone who changed everything. One look and I was hooked. I didn’t care if I was hurt again, for some reason  I had no fear of being hurt. We spoke and each word was like dynamite, blasting my fears away. I began to trust, hope, and heal.

In our conversation I discovered that she was far younger than I. 21 years my junior. This was a roller coaster for me. Morals and self judgement caused me to push again, but she wasn’t willing to be pushed. She pushed back. She made me talk about things that I was afraid to talk about. She told me that it was okay to cry, that I needed to cry. She made me realize that she could be my friend, that I was worth her friendship and her kindness. We became the best of friends.

There was people  who wanted this friendship to end. Those were like the one who hurt me. This time they tried to hurt her. Gossip and lies almost destroyed what we were building. In the past, I would have ran, but this time I seen what was at stake. Their cruelty only made us stronger. We overcame and we grew even closer. We loved. I loved. I over came the pain and the hurt that was handed to me and I began to grow as a person again.

The other night, my lady and I talked about the nineties. Prior to this, I never mentioned the ordeal I suffered, it was blocked away, safe from her, safe from me, but on this night, all the pain came  back, and she was there to listen. I am okay now. In  one week  I regained the ten years that I had hidden, and it has made me a stronger person. I only wish I could talk to all those whom I pushed away. I would apologize to them. I would tell them  that it wasn’t their fault,  it wasn’t anyone’s fault except mine. I should have sought professional help. I know that now.

This week, I mourned the death of Deanna, but celebrated the arrival of myself. I am back, 100%. I have many plans now, things I put off, stored on shelves, packed away in boxes.

I have duties here as well. I plan to finish stories such as ‘The Chain’, and my most recent ‘Penance’ series. Then I will move on. My stories will be more pleasant and fulfilling. I promise. That’s all for now.

SightsNbytes (Ted)




Another angel in heaven: A Tribute to Deanna

I lost a dear friend today. Deanna O’Gorman was a very special person who made an impact on everybody fortunate enough to have known her. I am a better person because of her.

Deanna was born with a condition that halted the growth of her body. She was short in stature, but her heart was as big and as pure as the world. She may have been a tiny person, but she was as feisty as they come.

I first met Deanna back in the 90’s; a turbulent time in my life where nothing seemed to work out for me. She and I became very close friends, hanging out together many times. We lost touch sometime between then and now, but I did manage to see her a few times. She had one son, Colby who grew up to be a fine young man. He will be quite successful in his life because he had the support of an amazing mother.

At just 43 years of age, I don’t think  the world was ready to let go of Deanna, I know I wasn’t ready. Her condition took it’s toll on her heart and a double bout of pneumonia was more than she could handle. She spent most of yesterday on life support and she left this world today. My prayers are with her family and her very large circle of friends.

Today many people are sad, but I feel fortunate that I was lucky enough to know this very special person. The world will miss you Deanna O’Gorman. RIP



I hate clowns. They are so fake. They have smiles painted on their faces, and even when they frown, they still appear to smile. How dishonest!

Why do they paint their faces? Do they have something to hide? Are they in the Witness Protection Program?

That nose, what’s up with that? Do they hide the ends of their noses so that we don’t find out that they are brown-nosers? I bet that’s it!

I have so many clown  related questions. Do their farts smell funny? Why do you guys always tie animal balloons? Were you too poor as kids to own  real pets? “Here Bozo, your own little pet dog. Don’t chase him through the bushes, he might pop!”

Their names drive me up the wall. Who names their kid ‘Bozo’? I won’t eat McDonald’s because of that Ronald guy. What kind of clown name is ‘Ronald’?

When I was a kid I was terrified of clowns. Mom actually had a relative of ours (who is a real clown) drop by my birthday party  once. I caught him out on the front porch smoking a joint. And how are you a ‘real’ clown? Are you born with a red rubber nose and a painted on smile? And where the hell do you guys get your shoes? You don’t have to wear big red floppy shoes, you can drop into your local Walmart and pick up a size sixteen shoe that looks manageable.

I became even more terrified of clowns after I watched Stephen King’s ‘IT’ on television. I now hate clowns AND Tim Curry. That guy scared the hell outta me. Nothing against Tim, I don’t even know the guy, but add that horribly scary makeup to him and my knees begin knocking!

So help me, if one more mall clown squirts me with a damn fake flower, I am going to kill. Speaking of killing, I wonder  if Cannibals find that clowns taste funny? I wouldn’t know, I don’t like em enough to eat them.

I bet clowns account for 99% of unicycle sales. The other 1% goes to circus bears, but that is another rant.

I got in trouble in school when I was a kid because my teacher accused me of being the class clown. I wasn’t long telling her how crazy that sounded. I HATE CLOWNS!

Will you switch on the light please?

Back when I was a kid we were taught to appreciate things. The small (fifteen houses at the time small) community where I grew up in was among the last communities in the area to receive electricity and telephones, let alone running water. We read books and comics by kerosene lantern, and cuddled by the wood stove to warm up.

I still remember the day that our house was hooked up to the power.

My dad and a few of his friends wired our house. It would be funny to have one of today’s electrical inspectors to drop by and inspect the wiring. Seeing how none of my dad’s friends nor he himself had a clue about wiring, let’s just say we were lucky not to have caught fire. When the wires were all run from the fuse box to all the switches, my dad was ecstatic. Like little soldiers, we all lined up for the magic. Dad flipped the switch, and like magic, the room didn’t light up.

A few tinkers with the wires later and we anxiously awaited to be boosted into the twentieth century. When he cracked the switch, the once dark (hey, he started wiring at 8 in the morning, and now it was eight in the evening) room burst into light. Everyone  clapped their hands (Mom, Dad, me, my baby brother, and all the neighbors who had gathered to witness the event) and cheered. Wow!

Whenever anyone visited, my dad would run to the switch and say “Just wait and see what happens when I flip the switch, it’s like magic!” He was like a kid in a candy store!

Eventually everyone else in the community had their houses wired, and we all got a chance to enjoy the luxuries of electricity. Mom bought an electric mixer, and we all had cake for desert, and dad purchased the most wonderful piece of electric technology….the hot water tank.

Prior to electricity, the only way we could enjoy a hot bath was for my dad to light the wood stove, which heated an  old  tank my dad had found at a garbage dump. In order to enjoy a hot bath, you had to cook the life out of yourself and everyone else in the house. (and this was at least better than boiling large pots of water on the stove and pouring them into a tub)

Like I said before, we appreciated things, and we took nothing for granted.

My parents haven’t changed though.My dad just had his house rewired. The guy who did the wiring was amazed that the house wasn’t already a pile of ashes. Wires tied together and covered with scotch tape, or no tape at all were a common sight. With the new wiring in place, my dad was quick to buy his latest tool for the shed, a welder.

Talking about welders, he bought one a few years back, and with the clumsy wiring job in the house, you can imagine how many fuses he blew. If you can’t, try 63 fuses to weld his utility trailer. Hey you do what you have to I guess.

It is funny how we take things for granted each day.  Flipping on a switch always turns on a light, or else we cuss and swear. Flushing the toilet? That is supposed to work all the time. I still  remember leaving the house on cold December evenings, armed with catalog paper in hand, and heading to the outhouse 30 feet through knee high snow to do my business; and we were the lucky ones! Some people had to walk even further!

I guess that’s why I have learned to appreciate even the smaller things in life. Mom and Dad raised us well!