I thought I’d try my hand at telling you something about my past for a change. I don’t consider it really a memoir-type feature though. But, then again, maybe that’s what it is. You tell me.
As the caption below the photo says, this is not my snapshot. When I saw it on a post Dan write last month, it conjured up a memory of my childhood I thought I’d discarded years ago. The photo is of a fire station in front of a street of sleek, glistening ice. The photo is a black-and-white, which immediately took me back to when I was a child in elementary school when only a few had polar cameras and most had what were called Brownies. A Brownie only produced black and white photos.
My father was a firefighter for the city and county of Denver. He worked twenty-four-hour shifts with twenty-four hours in between shifts for a duration of three working shifts. Then he would get two days off and the cycle would start again. During his days off he usually had a manual labor job to work. It would be something like cement work, painting a house, or plumber’s work. It kept him in shape for his job as a fireman and brought in a little extra money. Probably needless to say, I didn’t see my father often.
There was this one time when I think I was either nine or ten when he had a weekend off. It was winter and the snow was standing about two or three feet on the lawns of our neighborhood. The air was crisp, almost brittle because it was so cold. The sky was a brilliant blue with light gray clouds blocking the sun once in a while.
All four of us piled into the car: my father, mother, brother, and, of course, me. We rode Interstate 70 west into the mountain, past Evergreen and Bailey to Echo Lake. By the time we reached the parking lot on the west side of the lake, it was after ten o’clock and the ice was littered with skaters. Getting out of the car, I grabbed the double-blade skates I had been using for several years and trudged through the snow to one of the picnic tables that had been cleared off. Just as I was tying one skate on, my father yelled at me to stop. I looked back at him with bewilderment. He walked toward me with a large box in his hands. He placed it on the wood table and told me to open it. To my amazement, there was a pair of white leather ice skates laid in the box. And they fit. It was the one and only gift I ever receive without a reason like a birthday or Christmas.
During that day, my father taught me how to skate all over again. During our lunch break spent in the car eating meat sandwiches, he gave me instructions to use on the ice.
That day was one of the rare times I had fun with my father.
I’m still battling with my gut but I got some help from the doctor. I’m on 2 different antibiotics now. Remarkably, I am feeling a little better. Until I did begin to feel better, I hadn’t realized I was having a problem with brain fog. The cognitive dysfunction was slight but I knew I was having an awful time concentrating. I may still have this condition but I do believe it’s quite a bit less.
Before getting on the antibiotics, I grudgingly would sit at my computer and work on my WiP. As you would expect, I wasn’t getting much done. I went as far as contacting my writing buddy to help me make myself more accountable for my productivity. As might be expected, it didn’t work very well. Since the antibiotics, I find myself thinking about two of my WiPs when I’m not at the keyboard, which hasn’t happened in quite a while. During my writing sessions, I encounter a desire to work a little longer than what would be a normal span.
Spring is just around the corner now.
“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”