Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Not-So-Superball

There is a moment when when you disengage the clutch on the tractor or car or truck and your body is prepared for reverse but, due to operator error, the transmission is still in forward.  It's silly, you throw your body forward to adjust for the reverse force and the opposite happens.  I've done it dozens of times and I've seen others do it and, well, it's funny.  You laugh and shake your head at the realization that you "got" yourself

Life is like that.  Sometimes what you positively know is going to happen... doesn't.

I came across this ball while cleaning up the basement the other day:

It's a superball one of the boys got at a birthday party in one of those unnecessary gift bags kids are sent home with these days.  I picked it up and threw it down on the cement floor because, hey, I like to see a superball bounce madly around a room as much as the next nine-year-old.  I put a little angle on the throw hoping the ball would end up in the floor joists above and bounce back and forth a couple times there and then careen madly across the cluttered basement.

It didn't.

It wasn't a superball.

It wasn't a superball at all, it was a dense Styrofoam cat toy that bounced only about two feet off the floor.  In my surprise, I sort of lunged toward it trying to catch the little deceiver and, in so doing, I backhanded it across the room and under my makeshift desk.  It ended up behind one of the two filing cabinets my door of a desk rests on, wedged behind some papers.  Some papers I didn't know were down there.  Important papers.

The paper on top of the pile as I could see it, it was wedged pretty far back, was an old hand-typed song sheet of mine - "Puff, The Magic Dragon" as a matter of fact.  What I'd found was obviously the stack of old songs that recently I had retyped for my songbook.  I'd done several and, being nostalgic, wished to save the originals that I had typed the summer of my junior year of High School but had not yet imagined where I might file them.  I grabbed the whole stack and put it on the the table to decide where to put them and I noticed something.

It wasn't a pile of song sheets after all.

It was a pile of memories I'd forgotten to remember.

This was on top and, fortunately, it came back so sweetly...

The boys had been quiet for a while and were in their room with craft-boxes and paper and they were working on a sort of "show," which they've done before, they intended to do in their room.  Finally, they called Marci and I back and, well, let's just take a look, these were laid down the hallway:

The room was a madhouse of stuffed animals and streamers and signs and, whatnot, I think describes it well.  The boys were talking all at once and they both had made placards for their own little shows.  Nick had arranged a number of stuffed animals and this sign was amidst them:

Nick's Partey Plaza.  I don't really know what the rest is about, a long story was related, something about baseball and the "stuffed animal league" but, the details are long forgotten.  You see, this was maybe a couple of years ago.

As I recall, Zack was on the top bunk holding and waving this sign like a guy on the side of a busy road in front of the furniture store:

On the back were a few jokes to get things started I'd guess.

 (Ima a little too short to reach the doorbell.  That's a great punchline.)

I am sorry to say I don't remember all the details of their little carnival.  I remember it was sweet and cute and funny and a little touching in the way that little boys do careful things so, well, uncarefully.  I know it warranted saving, because I'd saved these images, and I knew I had to share it here because the not-so-superball showed them to me again.

There was more to that stack of misplaced memories.  Here are two images I'd saved - and forgotten - a couple of years back that I thought might make fun Christmas cards.  I'd guess they made these around 2012:

I'd forgotten all about these, I am ashamed of that, in a way, but, a curious little ball reminded me they were there, behind a black filing cabinet, under the door desk, waiting.

We are now reading the final book in the Harry Potter series aloud to the boys.  We read maybe fifteen or twenty minutes a night.  Before we started this series, we read The Chronicles of Narnia to them.  So these images are, let's see, doing the math... older.  Yes, from precisely a while ago.  These are images of Aslan, one of the first genuine heroes the boys fell in love with, the character we used, and still use, to help explain Jesus to the boys and whose image was a popular subject in many drawings:

And, I'd forgotten all about that.  Forgive me, Aslan.

I think they were talking about the solar system in the First Grade:

These are done on very thin drawing paper.  Oddly enough, I remember saving them because I was afraid they would not last.  The boys go into Fourth Grade in the Fall.  Maybe they last as long as they need to.  Maybe memories wait until we are ready for them.  Maybe I needed perspective, maybe I needed the right time... maybe, I just needed time.

There was this map that Zack made of Map with a legend.  No, a legend of the map for Map.  No, no Map of the Legend.  This:

I laughed again at this as I found it under the solar systems fading on crinkly paper.  Pretty clear why I saved this one.

Zack also made these sports plays.  It is not clear which sport is represented here:

Still cute, though.  I love how the little "me" looks like a bug or other scurrying beast.

Under that in the hitherto hidden stack of stuff, was this:

Nick, dude, that is not a pumpkin.  I am just sure of that... unless it is a caterpillar named "Pumpkin" which, in retrospect, is a very strong possibility.

There was also a drawing of the family Nick made, it is not clear when, but, does it really matter?  I guess maybe it could someday.  It is from the beginning of their third year, on a poster they did about themselves at the start of the year:

I love that stripey shirt I have on, and, he nailed the goatee, and, I like that the cats are represented.

So, I finally reached the bottom of the pile of stuff that the not-so-superball so graciously led me to and, right at the very bottom was this:

Shy guy... well that explains everything wouldn't ya say?

Truly, today I was going write a long, nostalgic piece about the hamburgers of my youth and the ones I love today.  Yes, hamburgers.  But, I put the whole thing in reverse and, well, ended up chasing a rainbow cat toy under a door-desk and finding what I was supposed to do today, or a while back, or... you get it, right?  Life's funny that way.

From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

Nana: "I bet that really expands your imagination."

Nick: "Our imagination has no limits."

Fact... no limits.

Thanks for stepping through the unsteady sands of the web and staying with me for a while.  I always appreciate that.  Safe home.


  1. One thing leads to another, leads to another, leads to another.
    And there you are under your desk pulling out memories.
    You can tell us about hamburgers another time. Will Wimpy from Popeye be mentioned?

  2. "A pile of memories I'd forgotten to remember." Splendid. Thanks for sharing, as always, Bill.