My Creative Mind

My Creative Mind

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Here we go again....

....I was chatting with a couple of friends last night when one of them mentioned that her dad had a coin dad did as well...I think it was very common for people of our fathers age to have extensive coin collections...and they didn't keep them in safety deposit boxes, safes, vaults, rather, they kept them in shoe boxes, coffee cans, cigar boxes...just about anything they could stuff in a drawer or under a bed. Many collections were stolen or lost or suffered some other such horrible ending. Makes me shutter to think about those expensive collections just tucked away somewhere but it was just the way things were done.

For most of 2000 my parents were park hosts at the county park just outside of our little town. They had "moved into the job" for a variety of reasons, some of which were:
  1. They were looking for a piece of property to purchase so that they could finally move near the ocean. It had been a life long dream of my mothers.
  2. It was our youngest sons last year of high school and they wanted to spend more time with him before he was off to uncharted territory, the next phase in his life.
  3. Our oldest son's wedding was scheduled for early October and they came to help us paint the inside of our house, work in our yard and do some minor re-decorating while I worked on making Naomi's wedding gown (9 months of sewing beads on lace..the dress was beautiful if I do say so myself!!).
They had moved their motor coach into the park host spot, putting out a picnic table, momma and I planted flower baskets, daddy and Ed put out a pin to keep the dogs in (which the dogs were NOT happy about!!!) and built a wind shelter. We did all we could to make it a nice home away from home for them. My parents were used to living in their motor coach for long periods of time...they had traveled to the East coast for months on end...this was old hat for them - just another one of their life adventures. Momma had set up her sewing machine and she worked away at this and that project. Daddy and the dog would go for walks, ride his bike and there was always someone for him to talk to...I don't think my dad ever met a stranger!

The park they were hosts at is a nice county park with a boat ramp, camping spots, picnic area, ball diamonds and playgrounds, but when night comes you never know who is going to be around. There is a bridge that crosses the river and during the warmer months there are always a few people who live under the bridge. The park has a $5 overnight fee for campers so it is a favorite place for travelers to pull into in the middle of the night to get off the road...they never knew who or what would be parked there when they got up in the morning. There is a railroad track that runs along side the park, within 20 feet of where they parked. My dad worked for and retired from the railroad so he was always aware of who might "jump" the train and then get off where ever they wished. In spite of it all, it was a great place for my parents to set down roots, even if only temporarily.

They became comfortable with their space, spent lots of time searching the coastal towns for property to purchase, helped us work on our house. Life was good! I loved having my parents close by for the first time in my married life.

Around 2 a.m. one summer night, they were awaken by a pop and a loud noise! The dog immediately started barking his head off!! Dad jumped out of bed (in his tighty-whitey's), grabbed his hand gun and started hollering to whoever it was that was shooting at them. They had a cell phone but it was at the front of the coach and daddy wouldn't let momma get it because he didn't want her shadow to give any one a moving target to begin shooting at. He went to the door and hollered out but no one answered. Momma was still laying flat in bed trying to get the dog to stop barking. Daddy pulled on a pair of jeans and went out to see what was going on, oh my momma was madder than mad at him, she was livid!! He took the flash light and out the door he went: jeans, no shirt, no shoes ~ just his gun and a flash light. Momma was instructed to lock the door behind him and not unlock it unless he said to. He walked around outside but didn't see any thing, momma could hear him cussing something but since his voice was low she figured he was just muttering to himself..and besides the dog was barking so she wouldn't have really heard him anyway.

He didn't see anything nor did he see anyone. No one came running from under the bridge to see what was going, no one wandering around out in the park...nothing. When he got back in the coach momma called 911, the patrol officer showed up right away, he took a report, then he and my dad walked around outside near the coach and up on the train tracks. They didn't find anything unusual but the officer said he would follow up when it was daylight. Momma and daddy spent the rest of the night sitting up at the table, knowing they would never get back to sleep ~ coffee cups, cell phone and a gun close by.

Later that morning, before his shift was over, the officer showed up again...this time with the chief of police along as well. They did a thorough search but nothing turned up. They did tell my parents that they would be beefing up the patrols during the night time hours.

Momma fixed breakfast, then straightened up the coach, trying to get back to "normal" but she was so uneasy and daddy was like a cat on a hot tin roof ~ going over every inch of the side of the coach looking for the bullet hole or a spent casing. Daddy took momma on a long drive to get away from tension, they came to our house for dinner that night. When they went back to the park and unlocked the coach something smelled horrible! Daddy said it smelled like a winery gone bad. They checked all around but again found nothing out of place. But this new thing, the smell, just added to their anxiety. Momma called and we invited them to spend the night at our house but daddy didn't want to leave the coach all night without someone in it. He was encouraging her to stay with us but she was having no part of leaving him alone.

Night came and once again it was time for bed, even though they both knew sleep would be hard to come by. Momma turned down the bed but it had been such a hot day and the coach had been shut up all day so it was extra hot in there. She decided to take the spread all the way off the bed and fold it up, it was much too warm to need it. As she was folding it up, she noticed that it had a wet spot, which seemed so strange to her and with all else that had been going on it startled her, everything was just so unsettling to her. She checked the platform that the mattress sits on, it was wet as well...and stinky! With great unease she and daddy pulled things away from that corner...the corner where they had heard the pop and loud noise coming from...things were wet and stinky...and becoming more and more unsettling to them both.

Momma followed the stinky, sticky trail back to the closet... she opened the closet door and burst out laughing having found an exploded gallon container of apple was dripping everywhere. Evidently the cider had gotten hot and started heating up in the closet and at some point during the night the lid popped off, shooting up and hitting the ceiling of the closet with a bang! As they followed the path of the exploded (and now fermenting) cider they found that during the day it had emptied out onto the closet floor...then dripped into a storage space....then seeped between the storage and the bed...under the mattress...and finally accumulated in a drawer under the bed...right into a shoe box, where part of my dad's coin collection was!!!

LOL Ed, Ryan and I spent the next few days "laundering money" as we worked to get those coins de-cidered...while my momma spent several days cleaning up the sticky mess left behind in the coach...and I believe my daddy spent those days still looking for a bullet hole!

Just remembering this story last night made me laugh until Ed asked me what was so funny...when I told him we both started cracking up, laughing until we both were crying!!! wasn't funny until there was an explanation, but at that point it became hilarious!!! And yet another thing to rib my dad about, he was always good for a laugh!!!

I miss my daddy.



At Friday, January 12, 2007 8:27:00 AM, Blogger Patti said...

What a marvelous story! Thanks so much for sharing it.

At Friday, January 12, 2007 4:04:00 PM, Blogger Owens Family Adventures said...

That's a great story!!! Daddy's are wonderful aren't they!!

At Friday, January 12, 2007 4:05:00 PM, Blogger Tazzie said...

What a fun story! I can't even imagine how scary that must have been at the time, but how funny afterwards!

At Friday, January 12, 2007 5:26:00 PM, Blogger Sweet P said...

What a hilarious story. Thanks for sharing memories of your dad.

At Friday, January 12, 2007 8:55:00 PM, Blogger Melzie said...

2nd day in a row you've brought huge laughs to me :) xoxo melzie

At Sunday, January 14, 2007 1:04:00 AM, Blogger Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Oh, this IS a very funny story! I love staying in my motorhome in parks - I meet so many nice people!



At Thursday, January 18, 2007 4:26:00 AM, Blogger Shelina said...

It IS a hilarious story. Thanks for sharing it.


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