I swiped this from thefiringline, with permission of sm, the author. Enjoy
She didn’t want to build a watch; all she asked for was for the time.
John was an old school mechanic, not a parts changer – a mechanic. Inspect, maintain, and use the proper parts, proper tools for the job. Simple, boring perhaps, still he remembers being an apprentice and the lessons learned.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
I can teach you to fix it – I cannot teach you to “quit fixing” it
Don’t need to be getting folks hurt or dead – we are supposed to inspect, maintain, and keep folks in reliable transportation
Some folks just flat cannot drive- we can keep these vehicles in good operating condition –it is up to the driver to actually learn how to drive.
John had busted knuckles, listened more than argued, and the Apprentice became the Mechanic.
Married that cute gal with the points and condenser always needing fiddling with, and had two kids.
Nurse must have switched boys at the hospital, John and the wife would say later on, was no way that boy Mark was their result.
When Susan was born, pink ribbon around her ankle made darn sure they brought home the right daughter.
John used a shotgun, versatile, from deer to birds. His wife was raised with one too. Times were hard, money tight back in them days- one just needed a tool to fit many tasks.
Mark could tear up an anvil with a rubber mallet. Boy could not leave anything be, had to “fix it better”. Boy had heart; give him credit for that still did not make up for common sense and listening.
Susan, bless her heart, she liked the various tools in the tool box, always cleaned them and put back where belonged. Most girls get all a flutter with broken nails, and grease under them – Susan would grin and wait for daddy to give his smile of approval.
Susan had this knack for shooting; both parents took credit for her inherited talent. Neither really wanted to claim Mark’s ability to miss the stump that was “just right there”. This parenting bit meant taking the good with the bad…sigh
Susan saved money scrimped, did without and finally paid off the lay-a-way. $159 was a LOT of money, for a brand spanking new 1100 in 20 gauge, prettiest wood and had the improved cylinder fixed choked barrel.
Mark had sold off his wrecked car; maybe now someone could “unfix” his engine and get something to run right out of the deal. He bought another shotgun to replace the one he had busted the barrel on trying to shoot mud out of the muzzle…
Susan had found a an old MEC reloader, cleaned it up and daddy had not minded one bit when she “stole” that piece of wood of his, and mounted “her” twenty gauge set up next to his – well his and momma’s twelve gauge set up.
How Susan talked the old man in town out of his old clay thrower, rusted from sitting in a barn he,… no never mind, Susan did have that persistent way about her, like her mom. He understood full well how she did it – just like the way she talked him to cleaning it and using that paint he had been saving for another project. Wife was no help; she just laughed and brought out the iced tea, and smeared the paint on his cheek to make matters worse.
Mark all this time had been reading magazines, talking to other boys, and when he wasn’t “fixing better” cars- he was hacking, whacking, and making his shotgun something special. Well his shotgun was “consistent” -shotgun never run right, and still the boy could miss a stump better than anyone in town.
“Momma, you think it is too late to sue the hospital?”
“Honey, hospital doesn’t want him back and for sure the folks that got our boy are not going to swap’
“Suppose you are right’.
Susan felled birds, small game, took deer. Susan had quality time cleaning and stocking the freezer with mom and dad assisting. Susan could cook too, sometimes mom and dad would assist, other times she would surprise them with a meal and the kitchen all cleaned up. Well except the areas where Mark had been. How a boy could open a fridge to sneak a piece of fried venison and miss the entire sink eating over it was still a mystery. Only reason the boy had crumbs hit the floor – Gravity.
Susan kept shooting that 1100, reloaded shells, and between mom, dad, and her friends pulling that rope on the thrower, her investments were still working. The rope on the thrower had only been replaced once, and that happened the one day Mark pulled the rope.
Mark kept buying the latest and greatest shotguns. Always broke, spent some monies on these gun enhancements too. Couldn’t hit nothing, and the guns “looked trick” did not always run. Well they did when brought home most times, didn’t’ last long, because he had the stuff awaiting the new guns to bolt on and “fix them better”.
Mark had taken that job at the factory in the next town, and had moved out with some other boys. Susan had gotten a scholarship and was going to stay at home and attend the local Community College.
While Mark was struggling to make truck payments, Susan had bought the old widow woman’s car. Susan paid cash, and did the work herself getting it all fixed up. Well daddy did help; I mean Susan was having too much fun skinning knuckles, busting nails, getting grease under them.
Well there was that “finally” taking down the wallpaper and painting over” project in the house momma was doing. Thank goodness for a high school student whose daddy ran the hardware store that had a gift for that kind of stuff…whew…that was a close one.
He remembered the old guy teaching him as an apprentice saying I made a deal with the plumber - I won't plumb and he won't tear up his wife's car again taking wrenches to it.
Mark had come out to visit, show off his truck, his newest shotgun, and to eat a decent meal.
Susan had taken a break from studying, she and her parents out back dusting clays, when Mark showed up. Too bad clays break when they hit the ground, could have re-used the ones Mark had thrown for him - gun either jammed up or wouldn’t fire – or when it did, “the gun missed”.
Susan saw it first; she motioned for mom and dad to get back. Mark, being a guy and all, stepped up being as his shotgun was designed for this type of situation and all.
Susan slipped a slug in and then two more in the magazine as she stepped off aside….
Mark was fiddling, and kept fiddling, shells would not load, being dropped, and when he did shoot he missed, gun jammed and…
“Get Back!” Susan yelled.
The rabid dog turned toward Susan, smoothly from low gun, Susan mounted gun to face and fired, hitting, still she shot a second time. She loaded two quickly as she observed and waited.
“Okay folks, situation handled, let’s eat!”
Mark piped up finally after a long silence during the meal, to mention that old Tom at the Factory was ill, going to sell some guns and other stuff in case anyone was interested.
Week later mom taps lightly on Susan’s door “Honey, you need a break, you have been in here too long, get up and get some fresh air- oh and daddy wants to see you”.
Susan got up stretched, rubbed her neck, wandered around, grabbed a soda from the fridge and found daddy in the shop with mom.
“So what are you two up to? Someone get a new shotgun or what?” Susan took note of what was on the shop table.
“Yep ‘or what’ is right”.
“Oh no you don’t darling, that one is momma’s, she done stole it from me”
“I did not” Momma replied, “What is ours is ours and what is yours is mine. You’d figured after all these years and having two gals in the house you would have learned by now”.
“Well since momma done stole my gun and you being the other lady of the house”
Susan snatched up the 870 Wingmaster , made sure all clear, shouldered it and quipped “thanks daddy”.
Standing there looking stupid, with a gun cloth in hand, John asked “What about supper? Does this mean I have to cook?
Susan spoke up” no daddy, we could call Mark over to cook…or we could let Mom run down get us a pizza.”
Momma made it back with the pizza as Susan and daddy finished up cleaning the guns Since Susan had to finish studying, daddy got to play with Susan’s gun – when he was not pulling targets for momma.
Daddy knocked on her door, entered and informed her - “her” gun was all clean. “So kiddo – how are you going to shoot two guns now that you stole one of mine?”
“Don’t worry daddy, you can borrow which ever one of mine I am not using, or you could shoot yours, and not get mine dirty.”
Must have been the pink ribbon on her ankle at the hospital…
Susan just wanted to know the time – cared not one whit about fancy watch bands or pretty dials. Time is time, no matter how you read it.
Use Enough Gun