A boy and an Ice Cream Bar

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With all good intentions I attended school with an eager enthusiasm to learn.  The first lessens this young child was taught had to do with rules.  I needed to understand that I was no longer the young Italian prince I thought I was.  I became just another student in a class of fifty students.  This was very unfamiliar to me the little Italian prince.  At home my mother loved and cared for me and each of my needs.  My older sister, Marianne, catered to me when mom was watching, but this young prince needed to watch out when we were alone.  My younger brother, Sam, disrupted my much needed attention from my mother, just because he had a little difficulty breathing.  He was the second boy born into our Italian family so he must have known he was not as important as me.  I think that is why he started his life with some breathing problem.  All Sam really wanted was to steal mom away from me.  It did not work Mom still loved me the best.

Well back to my school life.  I really did not have problems with school work.  I had problems with rules.  I was a young Italian prince and I did not need to follow rules.  This became best understood by me when I was a third grader.  In Sister Julie’s class if you misbehaved you had to stay after school and catch the late bus with the older students. This was thought to be a tough punishment for third graders because you would not arrive home on time.  This was a signal to your parents that you were in trouble and would need to explain what occurred at school.  I thought it would be a bad thing because I might miss the Rin Tin Tin TV show.  Thinking back to my third grade time this type of punishment really was not so bad.  In second grade the teacher made me stand in the corner of the room, and that was not so bad either.

Well Sister Julie made just one mistake when I had my first detention in her class.  After all the other students left class to return home, I was the only student left to serve my detention.  Sister Julie had me sit up straight with my hands folded together on the top of my desk.  She then left the room stating that she would be right back.  Of course as soon as she left, my hands became unfolded and I slouched in my desk.  She surprised me with how quickly she returned causing me to quickly sit up straight and fold my hands on top of my desk.  Much to my surprise in her hands she had two Ice Cream Bars!  She came close to me and handing me one of the Ice Cream Bars, she then sat down next to me and begin talking about behaving better in class.

I do not remember much of what she said to me, but I do remember just how tasty that fifty-fifty Ice Cream Bar was.  It was just one week later and I needed to stay after class once again for detention.  Guess what!  The same thing happened again.  I got an Ice Cream Bar and Sister Julie explained why it would be nice if I behaved in class.  Darn those Ice Cream Bars were really good and all I needed to do was misbehave to get one.  Life had just improved for this young Italian prince.

There were no Ice Cream bars in fourth grade, nor were there any Ice Cream bars in any of my other grades but there was lots and lots of detention.  See how bad an Ice Cream bar can be!

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I love my Mom and Dad

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My father learned to motivate young people from this event in our lives.  Trying hard to remember I think that I needed some type of project for either the cub scouts or for school.  I choose to show how a light bulb works.  Out into my fathers’ workshop I went ready to build my project.  I had a book that showed how me how to set up the AC source, the light and a switch that would enable me to turn the light on and off.  My dad’s workshop had everything I needed for this project.  Soon I had mounted a light fixture and the switch to a board that was large enough for me to include notes about the flow of electricity.  I attached my notes and felt that this project was almost complete; all that was left was to wire everything together.  Slowly and very carefully I followed the diagram in the book.  I started with the plug for the AC power source (the receptacle) by attaching two wires directly to the plug.  I then took one of the wires to the switch, and created the necessary break in the circuit that would allow me to turn the light on and off.  This wire was cut and I attached both to the switch.  I continued with this wire until I reached the light fixture.  I was more than half way done with the project and was very proud that everything was going so well.  All that was needed for me to complete the circuit was a final wire from the plug to the light fixture.  I had already connected a wire to the plug so I took that wire directly to the light fixture.  The project was complete but just to be sure I checked everything using my book as the guide.  It was totally correct, I was happy the project was complete.  It was right about now that I decided to test it once more by plugging it into the AC source and test the switch.  I plugged my project into the receptacle.  With a flash of blue light, followed by darkness, and then I saw the notes on my project had begun to burn.  I was scared so I turned and started to run out of the workshop.  I ran right into my father who was running into the workshop.

Dad saw what was happening and soon had his workshop back the way it should have been.  My project was burnt and just sitting on the workbench.  With a concerned look my dad asked what had happened.  I explained about my project.  I showed him my book.  I told him that I checked everything and it was correct.  I just did not know what made my project try to burn down the workshop.  He looked at my project and quickly informed me that I needed to use insulated wire not bare wire.  With a smile he then told me that god made some people talented with their hands and other people are talented with their brain.  He went on to say that he felt God may have put my talent in my mind and maybe I should plan to go to college and use my mind instead of my hands.  I am happy to say that after multiple incidents where I tried to use my hands I realized my father was right.  I went to college and after college attended graduate school and was successful in business.  This taught my father the art of motivating someone into a viable career.

I just want all of you to know how hard I worked to mold your Non and Pops into such wonderful people.  I think that is why it took me twenty-seven years to finally grow up and mature.  I could do it all over once more so long as I could start with two wonderful people just like your Non and Pops.  I sure do miss my mom and dad lots.

Memories and Today’s Events

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As I drove off highway four into the Blue Lake Springs road my memories started.  I could see my mother walking along the road looking at the trees.  Just before arriving at the cabin I looked up and could see my father waving to us from the deck as we pulled into the drive way.  Getting out of the car I could hear my mother yelling down to me to come up and give her a kiss.  My dad would just look at me and ask what happened?  Based on his calculations I should have arrived thirty minutes ago.  Gosh it was a time for my mind to wander into my past.  I could remember assisting my dad. I would clean up the pine needles, split logs, and assist him with little tasks just about anything he asked of me.  Sometimes the weather would save me from completing a task and I remember thanking God.

I remembered trips into Arnold to pick up items my dad needed.  Running errands my mother requested of me.  I remember going to church with my mom and a little more often with my dad.  I realize just how much I miss both my mom and dad.  Then the memories of the times Monica and I visited the cabin.  The times Monica and I brought the girls, we would walk the trails in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park, drive to the Historic Columbia State Park, explore Arnold, Avery, Angels Camp and Murphy.  I remember the time my three ladies visited the caves and after a long time returned to tell me all about their adventure.  My head was spinning with all the memories.  I again felt the loss of my mother, father and wife Monica wishing for just one more time to tell them all that I love and miss them dearly.

Back to the present time I am grateful that Marti is by my side.  She is a wonderful partner and the woman I love.  We parked my car in the driveway unpacked and entered the cabin for the first time in over fifteen years.  So much inside the cabin looked the same and so much looked different.  I could see my sister Jessica’s touch on the newly painted walls, art objects, and redecorated rooms.  The cabin was elegant; it took you out of the wood forest and into an area of luxury and peacefulness.  Jessica quickly started the Timberline wood burning heater and took the chill out of the cabin.  After placing items into their proper place; we all settled into the sofas in the family room and relaxed.  I could feel the stress leave each person and float out of the cabin.  We talked and laughed about various things but the best was seeing everyone fully relaxed.  Time passed and the next thing I knew it was time for a light dinner.  Jessica had brought her home made Italian soup and with most of us just a little hungry after our great lunch the soup hit the spot.  What a wonderful day.