If I had given thought to the idea, I would have timed my Celebration post to come out on Mother’s Day. Then again, my Mother deserves her own post for all the grief I gave her as a child. The following are a few examples of what she had to cope with while raising me.
I found out at a fairly young age that I needed glasses. To me they were the end of the world and I felt they made me look like a dork. I was still very religious about wearing them at home. I was just as diligent about not wearing them at school. I managed to get away with it for a year before my teacher called my parents to tell them I needed glasses.
You would think that the concept of using oranges to make miniature jack-o-lanterns would appeal to everyone but my mother just did not see the fascination of this idea. I won’t go into details on how this lead to my bed being on fire. Enough to say it was only a minor fire and I got my bed back after a few days.
After reading an article on making my own crystal radio detector, I borrowed my father’s trusty hacksaw, his blowtorch, some copper pipe, lead and sulfur and proceeded to attempt making lead sulfide crystal detectors. I followed the rather sparse instructions and ended up with several. I also filled the house with the smell of burning sulfur, several times. You can’t stop with just one detector.
I think I was about 16 when I read about low frequency ground waves. Implementing an antenna required two ground points. I decided that I could use our water line for one point but still needed another ground point . On reflection, I have no idea what Dad planned for it but we had an eight foot metal pipe. By the time my parents realized what I was doing I had driven the pipe about 7 feet deep. I never got any signals but my parents never got my pipe out either.
I had already discovered surplus electronics as a cheap way to get parts. One of the companies I dealt with was trying to get rid of a huge number of relays. One of the uses they suggested was to use the coil as an inductive pickup on a phone line. I just happened to have a number of relays already. What do you know, it worked. Fortunately I quickly got bored of listening in on the house phone but from then on no conversations were secure.
I’m sure that my mother was suspicious when I asked to use her old steam iron but since she did see me using it to iron on occasion, I think she quickly put it out of mind. It turned out that if you propped the iron upside down, it made a perfect hot plate for melting a rocket fuel mixture I was playing with at the time. Sugar was one of the main ingredients. I’m hoping she never noticed how fast the sugar was disappearing.
These are samples but I think you get the idea. Add to this the whole different sets of issues my two siblings gave her, all the times she took us to the library and various bookstores when we asked, all the times she took my friends and me to the electronics stores wondering what we were buying, all the times I blew the house circuit breakers playing with the stuff we bought, all the patience she had to show wondering what came next, and I believe she has earned the right to a very happy Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom, you deserve it.
© 2012 – 2019, Byron Seastrunk. All rights reserved.