Monday, July 18, 2016

Trick of the Teeth

I went to the dentist today for only the second time since I got my braces off in high school and it reminded me of this story.

This is going to sound like my story, but stick with me and I'll explain why it's really Dad's story.

When I was about thirteen I got braces.  Before they could put them on they needed to pull eight baby teeth.  These teeth were never going to come out on there own.  They had full roots and were not deteriorating like normal baby teeth do.  They had to put me under and perform oral surgery to remove them.
Dad, Mom and Brace-face

They used a general anesthesia and put me to sleep.  When I was coming out from under the anesthesia Dad was waiting in the room there with me.

"How'ya feeling, son?"

I suppose I mumbled something like David After the Dentist.

"You know," he said, "they x-rayed your skull.  They needed to find out how much your skull has knit together to see how much growing you are still going to do."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yes.  They said you were [unknown to me now] % grown.  By that calculation you will grow to be six foot eight."

"Six eight?  Wow."

"Well, that's just a potential.  You might get to be that tall if you don't do things that would stunt your growth."

"Stunt my growth; like what?"

"You know, like drinking and smoking.  If you want to grow to your full potential no drinking or smoking for you."

I was only thirteen, but I took it to heart.  I did not have any alcohol until I turned twenty one, and I didn't really ever smoke.

Did you spot the Dad part of that story?  I figure they never told Dad any such thing.  He knew me and knew just the challenge I would take up (nearly any) and stick to doggedly.  It was a golden opportunity and Dad never let those pass him by.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Showers in the Rain

I have a very short one today.  It is inspired by a conversation I had with my daughters about showering in rainwater.  

I remember a time in my youth when it was raining cats and dogs.  The downspout off the front porch broke, or the gutter just overflowed from the volume of water.  We were all quite frightened by the rain and lightning.  It was a very intimidating summer storm in the middle of the afternoon.

I think the power of the storm and our fear of it was partially why Dad did what he did.  He said rainwater was the best for washing your hair.  He ran into the house and came back with is swim trunks on and a bottle of shampoo.  He stuck his head under the waterfall that was coming past the front porch and happily washed his hair.

It was a little nothing, but very Dad and it stuck with me for some reason.

Does anyone else remember this?  Can they elaborate on it?

It also reminds me of the story about the impromptu shower he and his USMC unit took when they were finally relieved on that island off Taiwan.  
1976 Georgia crew heading home

It also reminds me of the time we were driving back from Dad attending Signal Officer Basic Course in Fort Gordon.  It was late spring  1976 and the snow run-off was still pouring off the mountains.  In Tennessee we stopped along the side of the road and Dad filled up a large thermos of ice cold water.  It was some of the best I ever tasted.