Saturday, February 21, 2015
a story of Lent
Southwest Texas is more beautiful than I imagined.A stark, wide open beauty.A recent trip there brought back memories.While sailing through childhood in that smoky, small and tense ship that was my home, I found winter time to be the worst.Other than snow days, we kids were trapped inside with unhappy adults.The sun set at 4:30 and the cold was unbearable.The maples that lined our street turned into iron pillars and when, at 9 P.M., my mother would yell that it was time to take the dog out, I almost wept.
There was, however, a way to escape that I appreciate now more than I did then.The brown plastic Philco radio.When not tuned into Yankee baseball, we were allowed to listen to some shows that with the help of vivid and well nourished imaginations, took us to the canyons and the arroyos of Texas. How far from Long Island I traveled!
When Lent drearily came around the year I was 10, at the exhortation of the nuns, I knew immediately what I was to "sacrifice."I had to give up my favorite show,The Lone Ranger.I was well aware that giving up Brussels(yuck) Sprouts would not cut it.It had to hurt and it did.Especially because of this:that year, an episode would tell what caused the Texas Ranger to wear a mask, be "lone" and have an Indian side-kick.NO!!!!
I was tempted mightily that year to cheat just that once, but I held firm.I could hear the noise of the show unfolding downstairs but never a clear word of it.
I told this story a few years ago, on-line, and then the inexplicable happened.I opened Facebook to find a message from a young friend, Kris.Attached to the message was a radio show.I didn't even know that was possible.When I opened it and heard the William Tell Overture, I cried.She had found that episode, attached it and sent it to me. I was back riding the range, ducking the tumbleweed and looking for bad hombres in the canyons of Texas.
I had to laugh at her note hoping she wasn't messing with Lent karma.No, Kris, the karma is all good.I smile and feel warm at the thought of that which I gave up over 60 years ago coming back to me ten fold, pressed down and overflowing.