Missing and presumed oblivious

Both my dad and my big brother Homer retired from the Coast Guard.  During their careers the two probably rescued thousands. Dad spent years saving souls off the graveyard of the Atlantic.  Every time a foolhardy captain made the decision to leave harbor during bad weather like hurricanes and nor’ easters and ran into trouble, the Coast Guard, and my father, was there to jump in the ocean and save their reckless, irresponsible kiesters.

On the opposite coast, Homer had tours in both Kodiak and Sitka, Alaska.  And Alaska don’t play.  The weather could get so bad on Kodiak Island that both ships and planes were grounded.  And more than one year Halloween was canceled due to “Kodiak bear activity”.

Wait, wait!  I just want your Reese’s cup…


One summer, my folks and The Kid went to visit Homer.  My bro and my child both possess a fair amount of goofy, and really enjoy each other’s company.  I think a lot of my own humor comes from sitting around the dinner table as a child, listening to Homer’s hilarious stories, and trying not to choke on my meatloaf, or blow Kool-Aid out of my nose.

Dinner time!  Oh my God…who gave that woman a knife?  Uh, Joan, how ’bout we put the knife down okay?

Before returning home, Homer gifted The Kid with one of the funniest t-shirts I’ve ever seen.

It had the illustration of both a Coast Guard cutter and helicopter.  Very large letters spelled out the source of my mirth.  It said:

“Support Coast Guard Search and Rescue—Get Lost.”

To me, it was as funny as a pie in the face; but maybe you had to be raised as a ‘Coastie Kid’…The state of being lost brings us to this week’s tale.

When I was 8 or 9, we were living in Elizabeth City.  One of my friends lived just down the street.  Her house was laid out unlike any house I’ve ever seen.  On the second floor, only the front half was finished.  The unfinished back, from the roof line down, was used as an attic.

That’s also where she kept her large Barbie collection, and all the stuff that went with it: house cars, furniture, clothes and accessories.  That’s where we played with them, as well.One afternoon we were playing with her Barbies and decided it was time for the dolls to go to sleep.  So we put our heads down too and closed our eyes for a minute to while our ten-inch friends slept.

The next thing we knew, it was much later in the day.  We had actually fallen asleep.  It was one of those little kid things where the sleep overtakes them like they’ve been hit with a tranquilizer dart.  Deep and instantaneous.

I decided to head home, and my friend stayed home to wait for her mom.   Curiously, her house was completely empty.  The ever-present adult supervision was nowhere to be found.  The streets were empty, as well.As I was walking down the street, I ran into Homer.  He was furious.  Evidently, we had been asleep for quite a while, and every adult in the neighborhood was searching for us.  I told him where I’d been, and what had happened.

He didn’t believe me!  And to this day, he still thinks I was doing something much more exciting than sleeping off an epic Barbie session.

It’s Sleeping Beauty Barbie, and it’s CAKE!!!

The weirdest thing about this tale of lost-ness is the fact that when Petey was a kid, pretty much the same thing happened to him.

Only his story had some bikes, a playmate with a sprained ankle, and a South Carolina forest on a military base.And, instead of all the neighborhood moms looking for him and his buddies, it was the US Army.

Thanks for your time.

The Forest, In Early Evening

crowley snow

Look at my big, brave boy.

Ever since our dog, Crowley screwed his courage to the sticking place and crossed a creek the very first time, he’s become a true-blue creek-crossing convert.  He used to be nervous to walk through a ditch after a rain.Snow WalkerZ Walkers Winter Day Walking Walk Jungle Man Dog Walker HD Wallpapers 1080pNow we walk for hours and hours crossing and re-crossing the creek at various points and never cover the same ground twice.  In the years I’ve been going back there I’ve probably walked close to 300 miles, and even now I still stumble upon places that I’ve never been.Last January Crowley and I were having one of those extended constitutionals.  The afternoon was slowly transitioning to evening, and we were just about to cross the creek once more.

As I started down the bank, I walked past a bush, and one of its twigs brushed my face.  I reached up to push some hair back that had fallen into my eye.  It was then I noticed my glasses weren’t on my face.I began to panic but thought that surely if my glasses had fallen off, I would have noticed.  Without my specs, I’m blind as a bat wearing shades in a dimly lit room.  I must have come out without them.  I’m not blind and an amnesiac as well.

Where are my glasses, and how did I get on a bus?


Then I remembered scrolling through the music on my MP3 player in the front yard.  So, I glanced down at the screen.  If I could read it then I told myself I had left my glasses at home.  If I couldn’t, then I was in deep trouble…

I was in deep trouble.fog, foggy, forest, forest path, nature, scary wallpaper and backgroundIt would be dark within twenty minutes or so; I needed to find them quick.  As dim as chances of finding them were, I could only retrace my steps and hope for the best.  I urged my canine companion to, “Find Mommy’s glasses, boy!”

We were in an area where I didn’t go very often when Crowley saw, heard, or imagined something, and took off at the same time my hold on the 25-foot expandable leash was less than secure.  It flew from my grasp, and the plastic handle bumped along behind my galloping pup.  He was quickly out of sight.So, there I was, in the middle of the rapidly darkening forest, bereft of both dog and sight.  It was shaping up to be a banner day.  I did not want to return home and reveal the depressing situation to Petey.  I briefly, but seriously considered making my home out there among the trees, or possibly taking up work as a troll, and living under a nearby bridge.

But just then I heard the jingle of the tag on Crowley’s collar.  I rounded a shrub and saw him ahead, sitting and calmly watching me.  The leash had gotten caught up, and it and his forward progress had been halted.crowley snowfaceThe handle had gotten caught on a sapling, but just.  One gentle tug from the dog and it and he would have been free.

I reached down to grab it before he took off again, and unbelievably, not three feet away, sitting there as if I had set them down myself, were MY GLASSES.

I was shocked and incredulous.  By all rights I should never have found them in what is approximately 60 square acres of heavy woods, but there they were.This just proves, once again, that my woods are magic, and only good things can happen back there.

But just in case my usual, less than awesome luck shows up and the magic departs, I’m keeping that troll under the bridge thing in my back pocket.Thanks for your time.