My brother used to work on cars when we were kids. He still does, actually. But I am thinking back to my kid-hood tonight.
It was the younger brother, Jerry. He was older than me. But the younger of the two brothers in the family. He was the GreaseMonkey. Ed was the Artist. They are two of my best friends in the world. And two of the greatest people I know. ANYWAY.
Jerry used to work on cars, or motors, or engines all the time. And this was good for me. Because he left oil spots on the driveway. And when it would rain, it would make those pretty slick rainbow patterns on the tops of the puddles.
I used to go out in the driveway, after it would rain, and look at the puddles. I would poke my finger in them, and make the rainbow patters swirl around. I’d wonder if there were such things as magic.
And then straight away, I’d go into the garage, way back in the corner where Dad kept the Rock Salt. The kind of big chunky salt, that he used to throw out on the walks when we had ice and snow. I’d grab a little handful and have a salty-goodness-snack. To this day, I love salt THAT much. But I stick to the table variety now.
I used to eat paste a lot when I was a little kid too. Every pasty-chance I got. I liked the way it tasted. Seems like I was frequently munching on something I wasn’t supposed to. Orange Flavored Baby Aspirin. But that is a story for another night.
Nobody told me I was not allowed to eat the rock salt, or the paste, or even the baby aspirin. But somehow I knew it was off-limits. However it is we know these things, we just do.
There are a lot of things I think about from my yesteryear. Every once in a while, something will happen… and all of a sudden… it will spark a memory from my 5-year-old little brain.
Like… “Chicken Grips.” I am not sure what they are for real. But when someone was sitting on the floor, and they needed help up, my Dad taught us to hold out our hands and say… “Chicken Grips.” And the person standing in front of you would lock fingers with you, fingers curled under the other person’s fingers, and give you chicken grips to help you up.
When I was out at the coop yesterday, I said to Flo and Dorothy… “Hey Girls! Chicken Grips!!” and they just stared at me. Blankly. Then Dorothy walked over and pecked my leg.
Which just made me think about my Mom and what a great cook she was when we were growing up. I loved every meal she fixed. Everything always tasted SO good. Albeit. After a steady diet of Rock Salt and Elmer’s White Paste…. who am I to say. Really?
Nonetheless. I thought she could cook up a mean dish of anything.
I could go on and on about all of this. I’m not really sure why it all started, or even where it is going. I think about my childhood fairly often, but not frequently. I wonder where I fall in the range of other people’s remembrances of their pasts.
I know we shouldn’t dwell in the past, but I don’t think we should forget it either. William Wadsworth put it pretty dang cohesively. “Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.”
Learning lessons as we go, to get better as we go. Sometimes I wonder if I am learning it right. Other times, it seems, I can’t figure out what it is I am SUPPOSED to be learning from this or that.
But. I think this. Most days, if we are trying our best to keep moving in the right direction… we are learning what we need to learn. And that is a good thing.
I don’t eat the rock salt any more. Honest.
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. –Pablo Picasso
Learning never exhausts the mind. –Leonardo da Vinci
Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. –Douglas Adams