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Friday, November 5, 2010

Endless Childhood

Theme:  Be a Kid

Click on his link to purchase this painting:  Little Lady



Too much work, and not enough fun.
They say that youth is wasted on the young.
"Poppycock" I say, for the time is here,
To begin living life as if you've no care.

I bequeath to the world my worries and stress,
Deadlines, agendas, and ultimate tests.
Replace all of these with frolic and fun.
On my final marquee put "Ornery One"

Before it all ends discover what matters,
Turn off the news, and political chatter.
Think like a child my daughters and sons.
For life is too short to not have fun! 


"Now & Then"

If you feel now
that you missed too many 'thens',
then refuse to miss any 'nows'.


"Child's Laughter"

A child's laughter
can be yours, regardless of
the years you have forged.


In military time it was 02300 hours, 11:00 PM to you civilians, when we gathered in secrecy at Central Command.  The enemy was alert, but we knew logistically we had to move tonight under the faint glow of the full moon.  It was a true 'all or nothing' moment.  Mac and David were the lone holdouts, but soon gave into the subtle pressure of their peers.  After all, history was in the making, and they wanted their names forever engraved in the archives of mankind.

Davies led the Diversionary Team (D-Team) down the gravel road on the western side of the waterfront.  Their task was to draw attention to the front of the targeted zone, while the Excursionary Team (E-Team), led by the capable guidance of Easton, Zingale, and Doyle, worked their way through the thickets along the eastern waterfront.  It was from that well protected flank that the actual attack would occur.

D-Team was soon in position to make their charge.  The E-Team was poised to attack upon the signal from the D-Team's flashlight.  In the distance we could hear the roar of the diversionary charge.  Their flickering flash was our signal to attack.  As the D-Team drew the attention of our enemy to the front, we entered through the flank.  There was ensuing chaos as debris was flying everywhere among the horrified screams of panic.

After the first wave, the E-Team retreated 50 yards back into the brush to regroup.  All members of the brigade were present and accounted for, which meant it was time to launch the second strike.  This would be a "Hit & Retreat" mission.  We were all to report back to Central Command.  In a fury of counter fire we launched our attack. 

Off to our right we could see the flashlights of the Diversionary force retreating, so we knew we were risking much by delaying our exit.  The signal to disperse was sounded, and it was an all out sprint back to Central Command.  Lagging behind were David and Mac, but as the good commanders we were, they would not be left behind.  Mac literally ran out of one of his boots, which we scooped up without missing a step, and David's glasses were fogged from the steam of his sweat in the evening mist.  We managed to make it back to Central just as the D-Team arrived.  A quick head count, and all were accounted for.  Mission accomplished.  We would leave no man behind that night.

Such an attack could not go without recourse.  Later that night, while the post was asleep, Central Command was attacked.  This was no ordinary attack.  This was a covert operation in which one of Central Command's finest snuck the enemy into our lair.  This was a "Scream and Grab" attack in which the enemy grabbed anything they could before retreating.  The Central Command defenses were too much for the attackers, as only one of the spoils of war was actually confiscated: an old boot covered in mud from the earlier escapades.

The next day there was a truce called, and peace reigned over the valley.  As both sides gathered around a flagpole as a show of camaraderie, there was only one person who was not embracing the terms of the peace; he with one boot.  As the young man limped to the front of the group wearing one boot, and a wet-bottomed sock, he grew frustrated among the giggling onlookers.  He then glanced skyward in the direction of the multiple stares, and saw why everyone was posed in a common salute to the symbol of our peace: a lone boot tied to the top of the flagpole.  His smile was raised, as his boot was lowered.

So ended just one of the many adventures of the Sacred Heart Parish School fifth grade field trip to Camp Christopher: boys versus girls.

Addendum: The flickering flashlight "attack signal" was no signal at all.  It was the D-Team's commander tripping over a sidewalk edging, launching his flashlight and himself through the air.  When they both came to rest on the ground, they did so at the feet of the REAL commander of the camp, her clipboard in hand, and making her nightly rounds.  This act of military prowess was followed by a waving, authoritative finger in his face as he laid on the ground, retorting her infamous quote "THIS is why we don't allow people to raid other cabins at Camp Christopher!  Now get BACK to your cabins."

Needless to say, the moms and dads who had the privilege of acting as temporary camp counselors, had just as much fun as the kids.  In fact, later that night around midnight a few of us dads were able to sneak our daughters out, and take them to the Mummy's Cave.  Nerves were rattled as we approached the dark cave.  It took some coaxing to get the girls to enter, especially since it was rumored to be haunted.  And then, with a flick of the flashlight switch, the cave became illuminated to reveal hundreds of bats flying in and out of the opening.  After a short period of excessive screaming, the girls (and dads) settled down and marveled at the sight we were witnessing.  A sight that would prove to be the "coolest" part of the "coolest" night of camp, all because a few grown ups decided to act like kids.

Be a kid!  It's never too late to just be a kid.

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