Sunday, August 28, 2005

My father and the Air Force

In the early 1950s the draft was in effect, so my father joined the Air Force so he wouldn't be drafted and risk end up being a foot soldier in the Army. We moved from Missouri to Texas for a while, then to either St. Louis or Kansas City, I don't remember which. I was just a baby, then, so this is something that was told to me. My mother didn't like the big city (and she really hated Texas), so she eventually moved back to her parents' farm and my father visited us when he was on leave.

My father had to be in the Air Force for quite a while. I think it was four years of active duty and then four years of reserve, where he might be called back again. I remember one time on the farm when he came home on leave, watching him in his uniform as he walked, grinning, across the yard.

I was glad when he finally finished his active duty and could stay with us.

I remember watching him, later, probably sometime in the mid to late 1950s, as he used a razor blade to cut the stitches holding his Air Force emblems to his uniforms. He was going to use the uniforms as work clothes. We lived in town at the time.

While in the Air Force, he had become a sergeant of some kind. One of the things he did was teach classes in something. He was given a gift of appreciation by the people he had taught or been otherwise associated with, I'm not sure which. It was in the form of a dark blue toy truck with a long flatbed holding an airplane, with lots of cotton behind it representing clouds. There was also a banner on it saying something about that it was in appreciation for his services to such-and-such number such-and-such division or unit or squadron. Something like that. We kept it for a long time. We moved several times over the years, though, and one time, decades later, we discovered when we took it out that bugs had gotten into it and made a mess of it. After looking at it, we reluctantly decided to throw it away.

I wish now that we had kept it.

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Paper airplanes

When I was little, maybe five or six, I went to Sunday School for a while with my little brother. One time, while we were waiting for the teacher to come back, some other kids started making paper airplanes and tossing them. I was fascinated by it. I had never seen such a thing, and got one of the kids to show me how it was done. After that, I knew how to make paper airplanes.

Somewhere, in some kind of school or schools, I also learned how to make paper boats and paper Pilgrim hats. That was later, though.

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My mother tries to teach me about God

When I was little, perhaps four or five, my mother tried to teach me about God. She talked about him always being there even if I couldn't see Him. I said, "Where? Where?" and stuck my arms out and started waving my hands, like I was trying to feel Him. She tried to tell me that I couldn't feel him either, but I kept doing it.

She started to get a little mad at me. She was saying, "Ohhh..." in an irritated voice, and thought that I might be just playing and not serious. She kept trying for a while, but finally gave up and said that she would have to tell me when I got older. I understood perfectly well what she meant, though. I was just being difficult.

I'm sure, though, that she had been telling me Bible stories for years, so I had had a significant amount of exposure to the subject already.

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Crackers and butter

When I was very little, I used to really like saltine crackers with butter between them. It wasn't actually butter, it was margarine, but we called it butter. I remember one time I ate an enormous number of them, so much that my mother started worrying about me getting sick from it. I also tried eating the margarine plain, since it tasted so good with the crackers, but surprisingly it didn't taste good by itself. I had trouble understanding why, but I had to accept it.

I don't know what brand margarine we used back then. Now, we mostly use Blue Bonnet, but we also used Parkay and Shedd's Spread for a while. For a little while I tried using one of those brands that were supposed to be good for you, but even though it was in a tub it was very hard and tore the bread up when I tried to spread it. It was expensive for margarine, too.

My mother says that in the old days margarine used to be white and came with a powder that you had to mix with it to give it some color.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005


My mother's sister, my aunt, wears perfume. When I was very little, I thought it smelled very harsh and almost overpowering. I could hardly breathe, or hardly stand to breathe, when she was near.

I mentioned the problem to my mother, but she didn't see anything wrong with how it smelled. She thought it might be because I smelled things differently when I was little, and would change as I grew older.

As the years passed, the smell grew less harsh and more bearable. Finally, the harshness was gone entirely and the scent of the perfume was sweet and much fainter.

I guess my mother was right.

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In the early to mid 1950s, we lived on my mother's parents' farm in Missouri. My mother said that sometimes an old farmhand named Charley used to show her snakes he had killed while mowing the yard. I think he thought that she would be more interested in the snakes than she actually was.

A few years after that, the menfolk helped my younger brother and me build a 'fort' with logs. It was in a field, and wasn't very tall, maybe three or four feet high, but was wide and long enough to have some room inside. The next year, we wanted to use it again, but it had tall grass around it and in it, and the adults were afraid of snakes being in it and wouldn't let us use it anymore.

My father used to say that he was chased by a snake called a blue racer. He didn't like snakes, perhaps because of that experience.

When I was little, I used to say that I had had three snake dreams. I think that in at least one or two of them, the dream was mostly about something else and the snake only appeared in a small part of it, perhaps towards the end. I don't remember much about the dreams now, though.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Dream - The cloud came down

Early in February of 2005 I had a strange dream. My mother was showing me some books and papers from a few decades ago, from when I was in the 7th or 8th grade. There was a book with a plain, dark blue cover, and it had a few extra pages at the beginning with a paragraph or two on them. Whoever added the pages seemed to be intending to speak directly to me. My mother found another copy of the book that didn't have the extra pages.

I also found a paper where some kind of board game had been drawn, apparently by me. Then I walked along over a small bridge in the dark, and turned around and walked back, going down through the dry river bed and then back up. As I neared the road again, there was a slight rise of dry ground, and in the light that shown from somewhere I saw that sections had been marked on the path, like heavy dotted lines drawn across it. I realized that I was living the board game. There were also instructions written on the path, things I was supposed to do if I stepped in particular areas. I saw a dinosaur, somewhat larger than a man, perhaps somewhat like Tyrannosaurus rex or maybe even Godzilla, come from the bushes on the left and then retreat backwards, as if showing what was supposed to happen if I stepped in a certain area. A man came from the right and then retreated, also. I pretty much ignored the writing on the path, deciding that I didn't have time to go through this. I moved quickly across the marked segments and onto the road, where I met someone else, but I don't remember who.

After a while I ended up at a book store. I spent a lot of time looking over some books there. They had a section where I found another copy of the old book. This one had some damage inside; the first few pages were crinkled and folded over along the edge, and appeared to have suffered water damage, because they were soft and not smooth anymore. Someone had carefully hand-printed in mixed upper and lower case a long message or statement on the first two or three pages.

In the middle upper-third of the first page a blank area had been left, with the words going around it on either side. In the middle of the blank area, an address label had been placed. The address label was silver with black lettering, and had my name and address on it.

There were other books there too, in that section, including tall, magazine-size paperbacks perhaps 3/4 of an inch thick, that appeared to be tutorials, as for math, etc. These books were also old, and appeared to be well thumbed through, with lots of grime along the edges.

I came back a little later and the shelves in that area were mostly bare, with the books (and some old magazines) dumped in boxes. It seems that they were getting rid of them; they were going to throw them away. I looked through some of it; it generally looked pretty ratty, but I wanted it anyway. If I actually bought them though, they still wanted full price even though they were in bad shape and were going to be thrown away. A man who worked there kept coming up to me and urging me to buy them, with a very earnest expression on his face. I hated to pay full price for old, damaged books that they were planning to throw away. I also didn't want to steal them, because that would be wrong, even if they were going to be thrown away shortly.

The dream changed to something else, and it seems that there was an intermediate part that I don't remember. I was in a strange house in the desert, though. It seemed to be in an isolated area, perhaps central or northern Nevada. The house was big, with big rooms and long windows facing the outside. The house was single story and seemed to be made of concrete, with a flat roof. I was there with my mother, talking to her.

As we walked, moving to a different part of the house, I looked out the windows and saw the outside. It was late in the day, and some strange clouds were in the sky. The clouds were dark, especially in a segmented arc that went across them. The clouds also had an orange tinge. I tried to get my mother to look at the clouds, telling her how bad they looked, but she seemed distracted and kept on talking. I was finally able to get her attention, though. The clouds started emitting a series of brilliant flashes, sometimes completely blinding and sometimes just partially so. It wasn't lightning, it was the cloud itself flashing. Particularly the dark segmented area that went in an arc.

Then the cloud turned a variety of colors and the whole cloud was formed of segments joined together, and was very close and low. As I kept looking from the cloud to my mother and back again, it seemed that almost each time I saw the cloud it was different. Now the segments had colored flags hanging from them, advertising different things. I tried to point this out to my mother, but it was hard to get her attention. When I looked back at the cloud, all the flags had fallen off except one red one with white letters, saying "Drink Coca-Cola", and it was hanging from one corner. Then it fell, too, and the color of the cloud was light gray with an orange tint again. The cloud material seemed to almost be boiling in place.

The cloud was very low now, and very, very close. The segments that formed the arc were roughly square-shaped, and now had other segments going back on radial lines, like I was seeing a portion of a disc. From where the middle of the disc would be, a column of cloud started pouring down. It was light gray with an orange tint, like the rest of it, and slowly spread out where it hit the ground. The cloud was moving toward me, taking the column with it. There was an uncovered concrete patio outside, with a long picnic table on it with one end facing me. I saw the cloud column start to move along the top of the picnic table, with the bottom of the column spreading out on the table top.

I was filled with a real urgency, that we had to get away somehow, that we had to hide, that it was coming for us. I could also hear a Navy plane going by very low, and maybe caught a glimpse of it, and heard it crash somewhere nearby. I tried to tell my mother that we had to get away from the cloud, that we had to hide from it, that we had to stop it from getting us, and she finally realized what I was saying.

We started going deeper into the house, with me leading the way, going to the left, down a broad hallway. As we went, the path was slightly downward, because the rooms became partially recessed into the ground. My mother stopped at a place in the hallway where a type of cupboard was. It had a large, painted, plywood door on its side, opening upwards, set a few feet up in the wall. My mother climbed onto the long shelf behind it, and lay partly curled up on her side. The door didn't want to quite close all the way, because her knees and elbows were sticking out. I tried to convince her that that might not be the best place, but she wanted to stay there.

I moved on and looked into a large room that had a long row of windows facing the outside. That wasn't hidden enough, so I looked in the next room, which was at the end of the building at one side. It was dark, and was sunken several feet into the ground and was completely lined with tall heavy bookcases filled with books. I knew that it had a long row of windows high in the wall, but they were completely covered by the bookcases. I thought that it might be a good place to hide in, but I also worried that if the cloud came, I wouldn't be able to escape, since there was only one way out.

I was also worried about the front entrance to the house. Was it locked? It seemed that it might not be. Was it even shut securely? I had a picture in my mind of the two glass doors, with one of them slightly ajar.

I looked back toward the front, up the broad, sloping hallway, and saw a slight orange haze in the air. And there was the pilot from the plane, standing at the other end of the house. He threw a toy football at me. I caught it, and it had a rubber-like surface, not very tightly inflated. It had seams, or what were intended to be seams, running from back to front and another around the middle. Each segment formed by the seams was of a different color. One was white, one was dark blue, another was a dark gray-green, I think one was black, and there were other colors, too. I looked to throw it back to him, but he was gone. There was just the darkness and the haze.

I threw it anyway, toward a corner where I thought that he might be, but somehow I had it back again. I started to move forward, to look for him.

All of a sudden he was there, stepping into a doorway right beside me. I was really startled, and somewhat scared. He stood there, leaning forward slightly, with a malicious grin on his face. He had a lot of soot on him, and he had something dark smeared around his eyes, which were too large and far too pale. His face was slightly roundish, and he looked like he might be partly Hispanic. He was wearing a green uniform with straps around the legs, wrapping the material to him so that it was almost form-fitting. He had straps crossing his chest, too, but I think they were really too small to be ammo belts.

I tried desperately to get him to call the base, to tell them of our situation. He didn't seem to care that much about it, and was sarcastic and basically acting like a wiseguy. I finally got him to use a very large, blocky, black phone that was hanging on the wall. It had an old-fashioned dial on it, the kind with a ring of holes that you put a finger in and turn, except that it was huge and had extra holes so you could stick several fingers in at once.

He finally took the receiver off, put it to his head and stuck his fingers in the dial and started turning it. However, he started talking immediately, like it was a direct connection. His fingers turned the dial while he was talking, and a loud clicking, ratcheting sound filled the air, along with a loud phone-ringing sound that varied in intensity and timing. He talked loudly, I think maybe in almost a sing-song voice, acting like it really didn't matter.

I saw in my mind's eye a person on the other end with a headset, sitting and listening. He was wearing a light-colored military uniform, with at least one person on each side of him. The other people were perhaps standing. The person taking the call was frowning and trying to make sense of what was being said. He kept saying "What?" or something similar. The Navy pilot, or whatever he was, wasn't really making any sense, and I could tell that he wasn't really concerned about making any sense either, that it was deliberate.

And the dream ends there.

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Well, here we are

Well, here we are. Or, rather, here I am. This is the start of the blog, the first post. I intend to post various things here, on a variety of subjects, some personal and some not. Some of the subjects are things that have happened to me, some dreams I have had, books and movies, and thoughts on various things like the paranormal, possible unknown animals, UFOs, spiritual matters, physics, and maybe a little news and politics and other items.
Newer Posts . .