When we came home to the south after an 8 1/2 year job just a few miles from Lake Erie, we rented a home on our local marina. It was great. The marina pool was just beyond our back yard and the lake just a stones throw from there. My kids were all toddlers at that time and we lived on a wonderful playground.
Later my son became a lifeguard at that marina and eventually worked at the docks fueling the boats. He thrived there. Now, they have dug up the pool and in it's place is a very large dry dock structure. A week or two back, my son said, "I want the sign with the pool rules on it, I'm gonna go one night and get it."
While I don't condone stealing, I too thought that it would be very cool to have that sign. I decided to scope out the scene. I went and snapped a photo thinking I might enlist some young employees in an effort to snag that sign. I drove home thinking with the good wrestling with the bad.
Finally I decided that I couldn't get those kids sent to the pokey over that sign so I went home, got two phillips screwdrivers and drove back. I could go a be the middle aged crazy lady and beg until they gave it to me to be rid of me. I could offer to pay for it ( but I don't really want to because they might start thinking antique prices).
I pull back in to the parking lot as iron workers are in those crane baskets and I walk towards the jobsite looking for someone low enough to the ground to speak to. I finally see this foreman (I'm guessing) he is a tall fellow, with strawberry blonde curly hair, missing a few front teeth and tool belt weighing things down if you know what I mean. And, in true nervous fashion, I started becoming a blithering idiot. I give him my whole long family history, talking too fast and too much until he politely says, "Little lady, that is not mine to give away. Go see Buddy, he owns the place."
I catch my breath while quietly scolding myself for rambling on and on. I didn't find Buddy but I did find an employee. I tell him what I want and he thinks for a moment. In my mind I am thinking, oh crap, if I have to come back to lift the sign, I'll be the first suspect as I've gone begging to everyone on the place. "Sure, he says, we've dug the pool up, I can't see why we'd need it."
I wanted to do a happy dance on the spot. But, instead I rushed up to unscrew it from the wall in case he changed his mind or someone else thought better of giving it away. He ended up meeting me up there and helping me get it down. This is gonna be the coolest gift under the tree. Both of my girls were so excited.
The Dad and I got to talking about it and have decided that we need a better story to tell him as to how we got the sign. Something that he would totally be shocked at Mom for doing. The memory and the story are half the fun. It is that connection that we make that is one of the true gifts of Christmas.
I must admit that it was a lot more fun and nerve racking than going to the mall. I am thankful for this memory. I am thankful that my son is home this year. I pray for all of the obstacles that addiction place in our way. I pray for all our sons and daughters, husbands and wives and I pray for the soul of Henry.