Sunday, July 31, 2005

Memory lane, part 1 in a very long series

I haven't posted a lot in the last few days. There just hasn't been a whole lot for me to talk about. Tegan has continued to stay busy at work . . . she had to go into work on Saturday for about 4 hours and was also there for a few hours today. Unfortunately, this had nothing to do with her ACTUAL project, but for a last-minute weekend thing that her department had to deal with. It is something that happens in the company now and again, so we are both used to it. That doesn't mean that either of us like it, but sometimes you have to do it.

I have had fun with the kids--mostly. There is usually one moment each day where I over-react and do the wrong thing. You would think that I could start getting over that . . . but I've still got to work on it.

I hope the Lunch Bunch had fun watching the WORST movie of all time . . . Manos: The Hands of Fate. I am sure I'll get a chance to see it soon.

So right now I am getting ready to start grilling out some dinner. Tegan has taken the girls to play miniature golf on the rainchecks we got last month.

But, before I do that (and since I don't have anything else to write about) I thought I would reenter the memories of my childhood that I started a few weeks ago. And now, I think I am going to systematically go through my old scrapbooks. As I mentioned before, I started keeping a scrapbook when I was almost thirteen years old and kept it up through my first year or so of college.

I got the idea from my brother Muleskinner, who also kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and stuff from his high school days. He was the banjo player in a local bluegrass band that played at some local events and won some awards, so he was sometimes in the paper. Plus he was a band member, which also meant some paper coverage.

My first scrapbook volume begins (according to the date I wrote on the inside front cover) in April of 1984. I was 12 and a half years old. This was the first thing that I decided to keep:

It is a certificate that I received from the local agricultural college located in my home town--Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC {pronounced A-back} for short). I attended a computer programming class they offered. It was extremely rudimentary BASIC programming, but it was my first exposures to the wonders of computers. I believe they were Apple IIc's. Yeah, those were the days. We programmed very simple things, like snake-like lines that twisted and turned according to the line codes we devised. I was also introduced to simple games like "Paratrooper," in which you aim a ground cannon that is firing on soldiers that parachute down from planes that fly overhead. Curiously enough, that same game now resides on my iPod--but in color. It's the same game, however.

Why save that memory? I don't recall why I chose to, but as I continue down this road, you will ask that question many times. I might occasionally have an answer.

The next thing that I'll share today is photographic evidence of a story that I have told before (at least at the lunch table). It is a photo of the Alamo and me post-surgery at my aunt and uncle's house in San Antonio. This was taken the summer I had my first surgery to deal with the orthopedic problems that stemmed from my premature birth that I mentioned last time.

The picture of the Alamo is self-explanatory. The other picture is me . . . so young. See I DID have blonde hair once upon a time. I was recovering from surgery on my hamstrings and had casts on my legs. In this picture, it appears that one leg was fully encased and the other only went up to my knee. Strange, but I remember having two full length ones--but I might be confusing that with another surgery that I had at another time. I was confined to a wheelchair mostly, but I did have some crutches. As I have mentioned before, this was the time that my poor brothers MSquared and Muleskinner had to carry me around when we toured the San Antonio River Walk area and this is the wheelchair that I had a lot of fun in at the San Antonio Zoo. I rolled down hills with great abandon during this trip.

I also remember that my entire family--all six of us--drove to Texas from Georgia in our Buick station wagon while I was in casts. This was uncomfortable, to say the least, but I don't know if it was worse for them than for me. At least I got to sit in the front passenger's seat most of the time, a luxury that was almost unheard of in my family on every other car vacation that we took each summer. You can imagine that Mom got to sit there most of the time and the four kids fought long and hard to get to sit there and stretch their legs for a few hours between each bathroom or eating break while we drove from place to place.

I look like a pretty happy kid in that photo, and I was. It was my first trip to Texas and I thought it was pretty exotic. Not strange or anything, but historic and big, and interesting. Much more so that the Georgia that I had grown up in, at least. It was a big city . . . and I didn't get many chances to see those as a kid. Plus, it was a chance to visit with my aunt, uncle, and three female cousins--all of whom were sort of exotic to my young eyes. My uncle was from Iran and so, that family stood out amongst all of my other relatives. And it was the only family from my mother's side that I ever got to know very well.

So, that was an interesting trip. There is more to come on another day when I don't have anything in particular to say . . . which is often, after all.

[9:38 pm update]

I just had to mention this. Tegan got Ruth to bed and I put Ariel to bed. Then Tegan announced that she was going to head back to the mini golf course (where there are some batting cages). She wanted to work on her swing before tomorrow night's softball game. When she came home she said that she was hurting her wrist when she swung. So, I gave her some swing tips . . . cause I'm a huge athlete and all. And then we got out the whiffle ball and some whiffle bats and worked on swinging and hitting in the living room.

I thought that was a funny image, and one that our two little girls would not imagine us doing while they are upstairs. I don't know what they do think we are doing, but I doubt they would ever consider that. And I don't think I would have ever considered that of my parents when I was a young lad. (Of course, we didn't have two stories when I was a kid . . .)

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