Monday, September 27, 2010

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time ... The Explanation

One of my 'biggest' gripes or complaints about the human race is the fact that many people ... entirely too many I think, do not take responsibility for their actions. It's always 'the other guy... the economy ... the government .... the traffic' ... you name it ... "it was THEIR fault!" I take full responsibility for climbing up on that play set and going head first down that tube slide! But let me explain a contributing factor, please or mitigating circumstances that lead me to go down that slide. I went to live with my mother and step-dad at age nine years. My step-dad was only 31 years old when he married my mother. I've told this story many times before, but I repeat it only to clarify that my mother raised FOUR children (they had a daughter when I was 11.) When they got married my mother was 3 years older than Pops chronically .... uhhhh, mentally ... well, I'm not sure about that one. Pops was/is a 'big kid' ... my friends thought it was so cool, he rode motorcycles, he built model planes, he designed unique costumes for Halloween ... he got out in the street and played ball with the whole neighborhood. He built stilts for my brother and taught us how to walk on them. He teased, he loved to embarrassed his family, he skipped 'backwards' when walking at the mall. Everything was a joke, I repeat everything!!! Even to this day, people remark that he has such a great attitude ... he is 85 and likes to say "if you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up space" Friends and family admire that at the age of 80 he took a month long motorcycle trip to Alaska, with only one other guy friend. The fact was, though, that he left my mother for one month (she was living in an Alzheimer's center) and was very well aware that he was gone.

We went to the lake almost every Friday evening during the summer and returned home late Sunday afternoons. he taught me how to water ski on one ski, to jump the ramp and ride a disc ... I did not know how to swim, though. He drove fast, he took chances.When I asked how much something was it was almost always answered with "a dollar two ninety-eight" or how far something was produced "straight-up and a mile east" The most hurtful off hand retort (and I know in my heart he didn't intend for it to hurt me) was given after I ran in the room and said "I have an idea" (wanting to take a drive ... anything to keep my mother from drinking on the weekend) Pops looked up from the paper and said "Keep it ... you may never have another one!" He was a 'pal' to my brother and me ... he was not a role model.

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