Saturday, February 7, 2015

Fade to Black

    On Feb. 3 I posted on bright sunshine and snow. On Feb. 6 I posted on a gray foggy day so I thought it would work if I went to black today...not the weather though.

     Let me back up a bit before I start. Every family has many humorous stories that are told and retold. For me I could have a whole chapter on wandering away when I was little.

    So here's one of my favorite stories about one of my kids.

     For a couple of summers when my kids were little we did not pack up the trailer and head off for two weeks or so. It was better for all concerned to stay home and take a few day trips.

     When the kids were about 4 or 5 we decided to take a day trip to a largely abandoned coal mine area. There was one mine that still operated for the winters and in the summer they ran tours through the mine. We decided to do the mine tour.

    My son was dressed a white Tee shirt and shorts for a hot day . Now don't get ahead of me on the white tee shirt in a coal mine. I'll get to that. A picnic lunch was packed.

    15 or 20 people were ready for the tour. We were all crammed into the cage and went 400 ft underground.

    The tour guy was an elderly miner and he was awesome. He was enthusiastic about coal mining and his presentation could hold everybody's interest. This man was in his 70's and worked in the mine when it was operating in the winter. He was a grandfatherly type. The kids loved him as he slanted his presentation towards kids.

    The mine was dark and not well lit. When they turned the lights off there was no light whatsoever. 

   At the end of the tour we ended up at a little rail car that hauled coal. He told the kids they could each take a piece of coal. Most kids just walked over and the first piece of coal their hand touched was the one they took. 

    Not my son. He looked at all the pieces of coal on the the edge. Then he got up on the side of the cart so he could see more coal. He still couldn't make a decision. I wondered if he was looking for a certain shaped piece of coal. Finally, he got me to lift him on top of the coal in the cart. He finally said, "Dad , I want this one." He had picked the biggest lump of coal on the cart. It was as big as the toilet bowl.  I couldn't have lifted it if I tried. So then he made the reasonable choice he should have made at the beginning and took a small piece of coal. 

    Oh yes, the little white tee shirt wasn't very white anymore.

    We've laughed about this situation many times.

    Do you have stories about your children or yourself when you were young.

   Now the white tee shirt boy never misses a post on this blog. He's the one who made my header. I wonder if he will comment?


The white tee shirt boy is on the left with a red tee shirt

    

38 comments:

  1. oh, how very cute! i say, if you're gonna be given a choice, make it a good one! :)

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    1. ... and Dads have to be patient.

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  2. If we were talking about food, the expression "his eyes were bigger than his stomach" would apply.

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    1. It was an interesting thing to watch.

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  3. When I was seven I got lost on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland and was certain I'd be stranded there for the rest of my life. I got hysterical and Goofy came to my rescue, helping find my parents. It took a long time to live it down.

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    1. Oh that's a good one. But you aren't the only kid top get lost at Disney.

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  4. A great story. I bet today your son makes good sensible decisions. Great photo.

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    1. That's a kindergarden photo and it was from the same time as my story.

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  5. Never look a gift coal in the mouth.

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  6. I love this story. He's a real cutie, and I said that just because he's gonna read it and groan, right? :-)

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    1. At 45 he's old enough to enjoy something like that. he's long past the groaning days.

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  7. Sounds to me like White T Shirt son was very practical. That piece of coal could have provided a good night's heat.

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    1. Come to think of it, he's a person who has never seen piece of coal burn so at 45 he's not really aware of the use of coal.

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  8. Nice memories to share. Children often have their own ideas. I remember my father came once to walk with my eldest in Amsterdam when she was just 22 months old. He was amazed she was determined to climb every doorstep and little steps they came along. It took ages and he did only reached the end of the street...

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    1. I can see that one. Little kids don't think just walking in a straight line is cool.

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  9. What a great trip and when one gets to choose, he made a decision to find the perfect one for him, room in the car or not, for you to lift it or not. ha,ha wise decision white shirt boy. Love it.Sometimes on Saturday morning, our Mother would take us kids to the Market and we were to pick an apple out of a barrel for a treat. My brother D always picked the biggest apple he could find, cause he said they were all the same price and he wanted the best bargain for Mom's money.......yes, he has money today. ha,ha

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    1. Now your Mom was a smart parent. I've never heard of anything like that before.

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  10. I wonder if that personality trait to analyze and find just the right piece of coal also extended to his marriage and his career?

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    1. He evaluates very quietly. It's all inside.

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  11. What a cute story! Your son figured he might as well choose well when given the chance.

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    1. It's too bad this one didn't work out.

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  12. I'm sure looking over all the options carefully has stood the white t-shirt boy in good stead all his life!

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    1. I think so. He's very quick as things go through his head rapidly.

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  13. My eyes landed on your son in the photo right away. I see a resemblance to you, Red. I'm also wondering how large the pumpkin that he originally wanted was. ;)

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    1. This is a kindergarden photo . Kindergarden teachers are super micro managers so they were probably assigned this pumpkin.

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  14. Dressing any child in white is a recipe for disaster! He is a cute little guy I think red suits him much better! Some kids don't do choices well or want to know all the options.
    I was a monster of a child and would lay down and kick and scream and then hold my breath...I am certain it made for some interesting moments for my parents:)

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    1. We learned our lesson on white tee shirts from that tour.

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  15. I did go ahead of you Red in the story in my mind. As you talked about your son wanting this one or that one of the coal. .And at start you said the white shirt. I go. Oh boy. I had visions of you putting in between how many pieces of coal and then over to the big piece. Then I was ready to see the picture of him with his T.Shirt jet black and his face like a miner. Hello son who did the story telling. Thumbs up! It would of been a laugh right. I enjoy your dads blogs also. Your a team son.

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    1. You have a super imagination. I didn't go back to the photos on this one. He wasn't that dirty but the micro manager was a little upset.

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  16. Great story, Red, and you exhibited a lot of patience.

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  17. Perhaps the now 45 year old "white shirt boy" knew that by bypassing the easy & obvious choice, by grasping for the largest lump of coal, over time & under immense pressure, it would yield the biggest, brightest diamond? That's how I see it...

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  18. Hi Red, Your stories are great. This one reminded me ... When I was a kid, and on a trip with my folks, we took a tour into Carlsbad Cavern, a great big cave, in New Mexico. While we were way down in the cave, the Ranger, leading the tour, said OK, be careful, I'm going to turn the lights off for a moment. While the lights were off, he said ... If you were in here for a year your eyes would never adjust enough to see anything because there is NO LIGHT! Of couse, later in life, I realized that could happen in many places but I have never forgotten him saying that. So I hope your son tells us how he remembers the coal story. :-) John

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  19. Sounds like he liked to put a lot of thought into decisions :)

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  20. I loved that story. You took your kids on some great day trips judging by this one.

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  21. That is a great story. I love it.
    I'm unable to share stories about my sons, even my daughter is clamming up these days. They now want privacy. It's a bit strange since they all have smart phones.
    I think the pendulum has swung! I'm a bit miffed. One son is off Facebook, and the only place we communicated for the most part. Haven't seen him, 80km away, in months. The other son, in Vancouver, tells me he is becoming a luddite. Seriously.

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  22. Sweet story! Just a couple of days ago my brother and I were talking about our Dad. I was telling my brother about a photo I would scan for his oldest son who was doing a family tree. Anyway my brother and I were recalling the day trips (usually a Sunday) our Dad would always take us too. One of those places was where the photo had been taken.

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  23. Hmmm.... Is Anonymous your white t-shirt boy? Your white t-shirt boy sounds like my tutu wearing granddaughter. She is the same way with rocks and shells.

    Oh gracious! I have too many stories about my kids. Sigh...

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