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Monday, October 24, 2011

The Language Barrier

Our Engineer - the one on the left
Our second son, Erik, enlisted in the army corps of engineers.
For a boy from a devout Christian home, it . . . took some adjustment.
He enjoyed the brother/sisterhood that sprang up around him the moment he walked in the door.
He loved the work and the action.
And disassembling/cleaning/reassembling guns.
I know, he's weird.
But the one thing he really had to adjust to was the language and personal habits of the men and women he was now associating with.
Most particularly the language.
Although I have had my moments in the past (see here), we are not, as a whole, a cursing family.
Neither are we anxious to push our beliefs/customs on anyone else.
He would just have to learn to deal with it.
And he did.
Without following.
Which he also did.
Let me explain . . .
Erik and several other soldiers were changing the tracks on one of their squad's tanks.
A heavy, though not necessarily complicated task.
It required brute force and patience.
Both of which my son had endless experience.
He was manipulating one of the wrenches, trying to loosen bolts which had obviously become a part of the track and/or frame.
Failing to budge them by normal means (repeated pressure and positive thinking), he resorted to harsher methods.
Body weight and periodic jumping up and down on the wrench.
The results were negligible.
He continued on, undaunted (good word).
Grasping the wrench, he threw his whole weight onto it.
The wrench slipped.
And caught his finger between it and the track.
Between a hard and a harder place, so to speak.
Something had to give.
One of the culprits . . . with some buddies
Let's just say that neither tempered steel member of this meeting was about to.
Give, that is.
That left his finger.
The world went purple.
Then plaid.
It does that.
Erik dropped the wrench, grabbed his sadly assaulted finger and did the dance of pain.
For several moments, he hopped and jumped, cavorting gracefully around the yard.
"DZE! DZE! DZE! DZE!"
I'm not really sure how to spell it, but that's how he describes the sounds he was making.
Moving on . . .
Minutes later, with the pain at more or less manageable levels, he returned to his task.
He lifted his wrench.
Only noticing, then, that the entire yard full of soldiers has stopped what they were doing and were staring at him.
Speechlessly.
He looked at them. "What's the matter?"
One of the soldiers stepped forward. "Geeze, Tolley, even then you didn't swear!"
Erik had no idea anyone had noticed his expressions of choice.
Obviously, they had.
Even a good thing gets noticed.
Sometimes.

7 comments:

  1. Who knows...maybe it will be catching. We can only hope.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank your son for holding true to his standards! We need more men like him out there. We had our Youth Standards Night last evening and this was one of the topics covered for the kids. I always appreciate people who don't swear.

    I hope his finger recovered well! Poor guy. It sounds awfully painful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good story! Thanks for sharing with NOBH.
    Stefanie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am proud of your son. We also do not use bad language but when the kids go to school everyone does and to be part of the group they learn to do so and then it comes into the home and is very difficult to stop.
    I really do not like it because I was brought up to believe that evil will not enter your home unless you invite it in.
    I spent the better part of my life escorting it out but now people seem to be ok with it coming in because it does anyway, through words, behavior, what they teach kids is ok at school.
    Family and parents become the enemy to outside pressure.
    So you just look and write blogs, hoping people read them lol

    ReplyDelete
  5. Talk about self-control and well-bred manners to the core - what a guy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great young man!

    My word of choice when I was a kid was OOOchie-Mama! not a clue where I got it from :)

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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