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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Language Lessons


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.
Erik just had to learn to deal with it.
And he did.
Without following the crowd.
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.
Something with 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 trio 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 sound 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.

16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful experience to retell. And how great that he not only paid attention to what his parents taught him but that he also lived it. You have done a great job, mama :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you! Never thought of turning it around to me . . .

      Delete
  2. Kudos to him! It can be hard not to follow the crowd. It takes real strength.

    I'm thinking his height was probably not going to hurt him, either, in his efforts to follow his own path :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. He's really never gotten challenged for anything!

      Delete
  3. We all have to find just the right word when caught in a difficult situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And now you can add 'dze' to that list!

      Delete
  4. Awe Diane, I loved this story... it was wonderful and proof that people are watching us so we really need to live up to what we believe. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. He was a good example to them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome!!!!!

    Who was it that said "The highest form of flattery is imitation."? You taught him well by example. Love that. ; )

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's nice that your boy has kept the values you raised him with. That indicates he has a lot of respect for you and his family. You can be proud.
    I never ever used to swear. Then I worked in a supermarket. Now I swear, but only in my head.
    Mostly.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Tell Eric how proud his Aunt Chris is of him!
    Eric rocks...but then he comes from great parents!

    You inspire me, Diane!

    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chris! I'll definitely pass it on . . .

      Delete

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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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