In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Late One Evening.

I hadn't reached 20 years of age, was working offshore, and could help my brother get to work at the shipyard on my days off. My schedule was in the day mode, and in a few days, I would switch back to nights on the offshore platform His car was in the shop, and would soon be out. He was working the three to eleven shift, which was better in the cold months. In the summer, the heat became oppressive at 3:00 pm and was only bearable at 11:00 pm. His work as a welder was to fill in his college schedule, which he never finished, but his later successful career in electronics pretty well showed it was wasted money. It's strange how thing never turned out as planned.

It was cold. Not the cold of up North, but the cold we get. The temperature was in the low forties, and the damp chill was almost overbearing. My '63 pickup was modified, since I had to retrofit a radiator to fit the frame. The added cooling, and lack of thermostat, pretty well insured any heat was minimal. 

I parked in the parking lot, sat, and waited for the shift whistle to blow. Out in the shipyard the push was to complete the drilling rigs scheduled for drilling in the near future. Huge sections were visible. The quiet was broken by the loud crackling of arc-gougers and the banging of ship fitting. 

Soon, the whistle blew, and the workers started to come through the gate. Over time, my brother appeared, found my truck, and I asked if he felt like driving. I was tired, and would rather be a passenger, so I could nap. 

I sat,  watched my brother shift through the three-on-the-column gears, felt satisfied, and leaned back in the seat. I knew I could catch a short nap on the thirty minute trip home, but was soon faced with a predicament. 

It was cold. The hole in the floorboard on the passenger side was allowing a huge amount of air to blow through the floorboard. What little heat from the heater wasn't nearly sufficient to break the chill, and I was soon shivering. 

I realized the driver side was a much better place to be, how uncomfortable the passenger side was, and was regretting my decision to let my brother drive. I soon had a "fix".

There was a small piece of cardboard from a brake shoe package on the floorboard, which I placed over the hole, and place my foot on to keep it from being displaced. It helped, but it was still cold. The heater was nearly useless, and my ignorance didn't allow me the sure fix of placing a new thermostat. I endured, although it was far from comfortable.

We got him home, I switched to the driver seat, and was soon home. A hot bath broke the chill, and I was rewarded with a good night's sleep. 

Time reveals many memories, and sitting on the porch brought back a cold evening over forty years ago. I guess that's our destiny. We shuttle the current moments away, when the rich memories of the past appear. 


  1. It's amazing what memories are caught, and what brings them back . . .

    1. I think it was the cool, damp evening air that caused the memory. The night I wrote about was one of those still nights, where the humidity creates dew right after sunset. By the time I picked up my brother, every car in the parking lot was covered with heavy dew.

  2. I'm with you. There is a new limit switch in my mind, I'm just now coming to terms with. Small things trigger it, then the vivid memories roll. And I remember the details, the smells, the feelings.... And it is like I've left the present for the past, cheapest time travel ever.

    Like when we were leaving Longview for Lubbock on Christmas break with the two little ones. Coldest day of the winter that December...1988, 1989? Heater quit west of Tyler, so we unpacked our clothes and dressed the kids in everything we brought. Two little faces staring out of a bushel of clothes in the backseat. My breath went all the way to the windshield and curled on itself... My wife was rolled up like a real taco in a blanket, while I had to make do with what I had on. Living life large back then in the days before I made more than $500 / month.... The best of times... Halcyon days.