One and All
Having announced his preference he could only wait out the agonizing weeks in the run-up to Christmas. Suddenly one morning there appeared a square box under the tree. He picked it up, shook it, and went looking for his dad. "Dad, Dad, give me a clue...what's in it?"
"Well," Dad said, "It's got some rubber on it." The box was about the size of a basketball. I could only think that a dreadful shopping error had been made. "It's a basketball," I said sotto voce, with gloom all over my puss. Dad registered no response. I put it back under the tree and pouted my way out of the living room.
On Christmas morn, gaily decorated paper was being rent asunder and tossed about the tree. I lingered over the square box that surely contained a run-of-the-mill inflated sphere. Finally there was nothing left for me to open, so I began to rip it apart. No gift was opened with tender care at our house. When the box had been pried open I looked inside. It seemed sort of empty, with a good bit of filler paper inside. Suddenly I saw gold! Or brass as the case really was. "A steam engine! A steam engine! Oh, Ma, a steam engine!" Mother looked on approving of my glee. "Dad, you lied! There's no rubber in here!" "Here, said Dad...let me see it." He took it in hand and gently removed the filler cap. "Here," he said, "See this little rubber washer? It will keep steam in the boiler when the pressure builds up!" The grin on Dad's face told how much he had enjoyed his charade. And the pout on my face? It vanished for months...well, at least for days...as long as a nine-year-old can keep from pouting.
Over the next several years I fired up the steam engine frequently, learning, incidentally, about the ferocity of live steam, and the burns it can inflict along the way. The old steamer is among the favorites of my Christmas memories. Do you have one of your own?
The Obligatory Family Photos, as in My Grandkids are Cuter and Smarter Than Your Grandkids...Probably the Best Grandkids Ever!
This is What Happens When the Genomes Suffer a Collision of Sorts
Of Matters Artistic
(Ginny, Judy, Suzie, Patty)