View Full Version : A story on a nicer note (hint hint)

01-25-2002, 06:11 AM
This was written by a friend, and I've so wanted to share it. However, we'd lost touch and even with giving proper credit, it didn't right to put it on line without his permission. Well, ran into him the other day and he said 'no problem, share it with the world' so here goes:

Flying with Gabbie
by Robert Clark

She had run wildly and with happy abandon; splashing her way through the long, narrow, ankle-deep sea puddles that had been left behind and temporarily trapped on the beach sand; thirty feet inland of the ebb tide. She had dug bottomless holes in the sand; building heaps of mountainous mud in the process. She had fearlessly chased millions of fleeing seagulls into the skies before discovering great treasures of countless, ancient oyster shells. But now it was time to go. We had been at the beach for hours and I could see that two year old Gabbie was tired and sleepy.

“Let’s go home baby! You’re soaked, you’re sandy and you’re sleepy.” “No wanna go home Papa. Wanna stay beach!”

With that said; she raced from the ocean; heading toward the sand dunes that were twenty feet away and maybe five feet high. When she reached the top of the dunes; she turned around; again facing the sea. “No wanna go Papa … not yet” she pleaded with a toddler’s passion.

It was a clear and cloudless day and the brisk breeze made the sea oats dance. It was a really lovely day for flying. I spread my arms – out wide and shoulder high; palms and fingers facing down toward the sand. “Look Gabbie” I said. “Look! Papa has wings … You have wings too, Gabbie. Show me your wings.” A smile of understanding and delight spread across her face as she, mimicking me, elevated her wings to the pre-flight position. The sea oats seemed to tower above her.

“Now fly Gabbie. FLY!” She hesitated for only a second or two and then, suddenly, with a long musical giggle, here came Gabbie scampering down that sandy little hill – wings fixed high in the soaring position. Another squeal of laughter erupted for her throat as she passed me. “I fly Papa. I Flyyyyy…” But then she stumbled abruptly and fell at the base of the dune. Crash landing! She picked herself up and cried quietly because there was sand in her eyes. I wiped her eyes as best I could; then hoisted her up in my arms and began the ten minute walk back home; pulling her big red wagon behind us with my free hand. Her friend the sandman, whose proper name is Morpheus, was calling her now. She nuzzled her little brown face into a comfortable wrinkle in my old white neck and murmured one last time: “I fly Papa” and then she was someplace else; wrapped softly in the arms of Morpheus. We made it to the garage, where I removed her clothes and then into the house, where I put her on the rug and changed her diaper. She was still playing on a beach somewhere in dreamland.

I raised her gently, grabbing a light blanket from the nearby sofa as we sort of made another crash landing into my lounge chair in the family room. I needed to rest there for a minute or two before carrying her upstairs to her crib. Gabbie soon found that same old comfortable wrinkle in my neck again and tucked her cheek into it. She snuggled and squirmed enough to get the rest of her comfortable too.

“Maybe this is what being ‘Papa’ is all about some days” I thought … “Helping Gabbie learn to fly.” And then, ever so softly Morpheus whispered my name too.

To Gabbie
From Papa
At St. Augustine Beach
On January 7th, 2000

01-25-2002, 07:04 AM
Takes me back to Head of the Meadows beach on the Cape, twenty years ago, when our guy was that age.


01-25-2002, 10:20 AM
Wonderful story!

It brings back a cherished memory for me, also.

A couple of friends of ours from Minnesota who adopted three young children (all girls) came to visit us for a week a few summers ago. One afternoon we went for a ride in a 26' motorboat to look at the seals on the outer islands. We also came across a whale and some porpoises! The children were so excited so we stayed out a long time. Too long, perhaps, or maybe we were just not prepared to stay out so long.

All my children are well into their teens and twenties, so I had forgotten that very young ones can become exhausted quickly, especially without food, and on the way back home they showed signs of tiredness and hunger. The youngest (Grace, age 3) was crying pitifully in her weariness. When we got back to the house she was very hungry and listless. While the adults rushed to clean up, prepare dinner, etc. I walked around holding Grace in my arms while she sobbed. Her mother gave me a bowl of warmed up stew and as I sat in a rocker feeding her I was amazed how quickly she calmed, revived and cheered up. Within seconds she was her old self again, sliding off my lap to take the bowl to the sink, talking excitedly about the things we'd seen while she helped her parents set the table.

It had been years since I had held a little child like that, and the feeling was a wonderful one to revisit.

Thanks for triggering the memory again with your friend's story.

[This message has been edited by rbgarr (edited 01-25-2002).]

N. Scheuer
01-25-2002, 10:43 AM
Thanks, Concordia-41.

I have a great B&W photo showing my youngest daughter at age seven or eight (now 25), kneeling in the sand at the crest of a sand dune ridge along Lake Michigan's SE shore, beaming broadly at the camera, while in the background, sixty feet below, her older sister swims near our old Dovekie which was moored close-in to the narrow beach.

We were in no hurry to get underway that morning.

Moby Nick

Ed Harrow
01-25-2002, 11:29 AM
Nice Margo, thanks for sharing that. As much as I'm not a beach person that does bring back some memories.

rbgarr, when our daughter was about that age, and in a similar but not as bad state (either recovering or not quite there yet) she told us she was "fustrated". A wonderful, descriptive word...

Mike H.
01-25-2002, 11:50 AM
Margo, a wonderful change to the, uh, recent topics in here! Thanks. When my daughter was about 1 1/2 years old, we went to the beach in Santa Barbara and I carried her a little ways out into the ocean, just so she could see what the ocean was like. It was COLD! and she decided very quickly she didn't much care for it. She's 24 now, and 2000 miles away. Those times are magical, aren't they? They're small for such a short time...or is it "short for such a small time"? (she's now almost 6' tall)

Wild Dingo
07-20-2004, 12:19 AM
Beautiful Margo... cherished memories of children and their eagerness to live life to fly soar and journey into worlds unknown because papa says its okay to fly...

Wonderful... and yes I have cherished memories of all 8 hoons doin similar nutty things just cause dadda said they could :cool: those huggles deep in the throat all nice and warm after adventures had are the best of all huggles ;)

Thanks me dear now I just remembered I got a 9 year old to tease lead up the garden path and generally cause mischeif and mayhem with! :D Tally ho!! Don Quiote I shall be and he shall be my Pancho and some fine adventures will be ours :cool:

07-20-2004, 12:21 AM
Somewhere, There's a picture of me, taken on a "beach" (Read a mile long pile of rocks) in southern England, in 1971. I had the obligatory Beatles hair cut, and I was wearing some god awful knee length coat..... It was raining (go figure :rolleyes: ), and cold, and just plain gloomy. But that was the day I found out that flint wasn't just something that was in Grandpa's pipe lighter. A seagull landed at my feet and demanded a toll for crossing his beach. I ignored him. A cop came and told my parents that it was illegal to walk on that part of the beach. (Should have paid off the sea gull)
A large round rock fell off a larger rounder rock, and broke in half as we left the beach. When we got to the car, there was a middle aged man watering his garden in the rain. "Terrible drought we're having this year".
I looked out onto the beach, and there I was, looking down at half of a round rock.

Bruce G
07-20-2004, 12:29 AM
Thank you.

07-20-2004, 07:07 AM
What a great read, thanks for "bumping" this one.

That simple story was a sweet, heartfelt tribute to fathers everywhere. smile.gif

km gresham
07-20-2004, 07:16 AM
smile.gif I cherish the memories and pictures of our little guys at the beach. Drew was 2 and fearless - he lay in the surf and laughed as the waves dashed over him. Jay was 4 and wouldn't go near the water. He dug for treasure in the sand the entire week. John was 6 and loved every minute of it. The water, the wind the sand.
Wonderful times! smile.gif

07-20-2004, 07:48 AM
..."ever so softly Morpheus whispered my name"...

One of the nicer things about starting a new relationship in your golden years is the grandkids that come with it!

SWIMLAFF's year old grandson came for the day just yesterday. By the time I got home from work, everybody was bodaciously napacious. Nothing quite like a nap with a baby snuggled up to you!

I like threads like this. They joggle my ailing memory. I'm vividly recalling 20 years ago when my water-baby daughter was 2, stripping off her silly little swimsuit, running shrieking through a flock of gulls into the Atlantic on the coast of Maine, and how her shriek changed when she hit the water full tilt and got knocked over by a wave. Talk about an indignant two year old!

Mike Field
07-20-2004, 08:24 AM

Wild Dingo
07-20-2004, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by Donn:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />"Don Quiote I shall be and he shall be my Pancho.." That would be Sancho. </font>[/QUOTE]Really? strewth! here Ive been callin the little tacker Pancho all day! :eek: ah well we Aussies do things different to yous blokes so Pancho it is! ;)

Well we roared around the house till we got booted out by the fearsom dragon lady Barroness von Possumpoop aye she were an wee terrifyin thing! but we escaped to the phissin rain and chased the lorrikeets into the trees next door while holdin forth with our trusty swords to the fore! battled the loathesome black night Sir Aaron the Terrible as we slashed and burned throughout the Kingdom of Kaos... twere wonderous indeed the adventures of we two on our trusty steads laughin like banshees we tore into the cackling sheilas that haunt the land aye mates twer a joy to behold

Pancho that sane sidekick of mine espied the green darkened sanctuary of the castle beside the darstardly Baroness von Possumpoops gloom ridden mansion... and led the charge! just before it pelted down with a mighty "Yeeeeeeeflaminha!" he wooped as he blasted in through the gates "Yeeeeeeeeflaminhooee" I roared as I followed loyally behind...

CRASH! ouch I cried... as I barrelled forcefully into the gate that Pancho that maniac had closed behind his escaping form!!

But never fear with giggling ringing in my ears from behind the iron gates I sought to rescue him from the hands of the maniacal giggling elvens that haunt such places as this green castle... I charged my steed and prepared myself to be knocked out cold as I rammed full pelt into it... at full gallop I came curley mane flyin grin and laughter streaming from my throat... and straight into the castle I roared!!!

Pancho that wicked gnome had opened the ruddy gates and now there were no way to stop my furiously pounding steed as I galloped onward

And just as I were about to slide to a halt I encountered a giant steel soldier in the middle of the floor his razor sharp sword sheethed he was so cocky he hadnt even drawn! So onward I charged and over I went landed straight on my... ahem softer portions :rolleyes: ... and looking across at said companion of mine noticed tears streaming from his eyes and I yelled "Pancho! What are ye cryin about yer wee gnome? Twere me who ran afoul of this cad not ye!" but he gave no answer as Pancho by now was in such pain and suffering he were curled up on the floor holding his wee stomach and crying even more! :eek:

Perchance I thought perchance I had stomped with my steeds steel shod hoof upon his tiny foot? I rose and in consern tripped upon the livery of the horse of that cad that had tripped me and over I went again slammed upon my back I lay winded and woefully sore and sorry for mineself... I decided to take issue with that cad once more!! Pancho that dreadful pretender was still howlin and rollin around fit to burst so he was still alive and breathin and I had a black knight to slaughter! Into the frey I charged!!

Not noticing the crowd that had gathered to witness the games not noticing Pancho now rolling around and around upon the floor screaming and tears flowing from his eyes... poor wee gnome he be... but! Onto the charge with lance held high and noble steed under I sped across the castle floor...

And out the other side!! :eek: The wicked witch Baroness von Possumpoop had weaved some black majick upon the castle and I charged out the other side.... I glared menacingly at her silhooet just beyond her mansion walls... turned and charged once more! "YEEEEEEEEFLAMINHOOOEEEEEE!" I tore through the castle stabbing with my sword all and sundry and hoistin the wee gnome upon my back we rode on to terrorise the countryside

Until... Pancho that wee gnome could take no more and must away to the latrine... gnomes being like that the needs must pass their waters more often than doth the mighty legendary Don Quixote!

I turned and fought off the marauding hoards and took back the castle from the cad and vagabond who dared trip and humiliate mine ownself... and were I but just reading from the annuls of Ye Olde Woodenboate when Pancho did return... he had been to visit the good witch and had been rewarded for some strange obscure reason with a new fresh pair of duds for to wear carrying as he was a pair of cold drinks and some fine muffins we stopped and sat awhile

After his journeys adventures and mayhem of this days events he lay his head in my lap while we sat and pondered all things remarkable... until the silence from my lap I looked and there he were my fine young warrior sidekick smile gently moving upon his lips as he fought some battle royal upon his mighty steed... and I carryed him inside to where the Barroness von Possumpoop upon seeing his state became all judicious and matronly {methinks perchance there be a chance mine own luck has changed? :cool: ahah!! we shall see we shall see! } and taking him from me sweetly she tucked him up in his bed for there to sleep until tucker time

Tonight as I kissed my boy goodnight and sweet dreams his partin words were "I wub bein yer Pancho dadda its great fun..." he looked down at me sittin in me chair most seriously... "but yer gotta watch that table saw!" and off he roared laughin fit to burst!... He never did admit that he had laughed so hard he had had a wee accident and I never mentioned it I just sat there with a smile on my dial

Yes wee ones are delectable things! :cool:

The legandary Pancho sittin on his steed look at that smirk will yer hes got something happenin inside that noggin!


[ 07-20-2004, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]

George Roberts
07-20-2004, 12:46 PM
Kids, grandkids even strange kids are delightful.

km gresham
07-20-2004, 05:24 PM
Such a darlin' boy, Shane! The innocence and joy of him nearly makes me cry! They don't stay there long, do they? My own giant offspring are a testament to that. Just yesterday they were as your little lad - finding delight and adventure in every new day! smile.gif

Wild Dingo
07-20-2004, 10:52 PM
George? Karen? give us a yarn about your younguns and grannippers?

:D Yep him an his "twin" Brie are notorious little tearaways... into everything laughin and scootin around wherever possible and gettin to be "big kids" but still love their huggles and layin on yer lap havin their hair stroked :cool:

But! Aaron me other boy... strewth I wouldnt try that nowadays!! gawd hes grown! ah but the fun we had when he was a nipper and yep even now we act the galah more often than not just no more dragons and such :( but a different set of things we can do together

I enjoy the girls till they hit 15 like Beth so Ive still got Cinty for another year and Bre's for a couple more... when they get to 15 they change and man its weird!! fun on their terms not mine but fun none the less... ah well :rolleyes:

17 is the one year we loathe for any of the kids... I mean Yaz when she turned 17 changed from one precious lady into a raving crazed insane whatever! couldnt talk to her and nothin was good enough... then she turned 18 whew! back to the lovely young woman we had thought she was before she hit 17... Melissa did the same got into all sorts of mischief and mayhem and survived to become the lovely young woman she is.. and Tiffany decided she WAS NOT goin to turn 17 so refused to have a birthday for it just went around sayin Im "16 1/2" she refused to turn into what her sisters did! Good girl she was by gar! ;) Aaron is presently halfway through the shockin 17s and actually hes way better behaved now than he was when he was younger seems to be getting sensible!! is that possible??? well after all the mayhem he caused with his ADHD and other probs as a youngun now hes near on a man hes not a bad bloke! can actually talk to him seriously about things and teach him stuff... which although different is great!

The do grows up but dont they? sigh... :rolleyes: tis a shame I often think of the fun I could have if they all stayed Joshys age!! Imagine that!! whooooooooeeeee! yesindeedy forever young! :D

Me Im just waitin for the grannippers! what a hoot that will be!! :cool:

[ 07-20-2004, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]

07-21-2004, 02:06 AM
Yesterday we rigged and sailed our schooner, 'Redwing' from our yacht club in Mobile, the nine miles across the bay to her berth in Fairhope. Very special trip for me. Why? Well, I have twin girls who will be twenty years old on Sunday, and a younger daughter who is 16, and along with my wife and my best friend we were all on the boat together.

As we were making the trip across (a beautiful sail, by the way) I kind of looked at my wife and we shared a moment and both knew that this will probably be the last and only time that we do this as a family, maybe ever. One of my daughters is studying accounting, and will be moving into her own apartment on August 1st. Her twin sister will be moving back to Idaho on July 28th. She is taking a year off from college. I'm not happy about that, but we always taught them to make their own decisions, so I have to live with that. My youngest daughter is a classical musician with the local symphony orchestra, president of her class in school, and is active in several youth and church organisations. In other words, she's busy, and she never really liked sailing any way.

I miss my twins already. I come from a family that does not show their emotions very well. My wife lost her father at a very young age. We both compensated for that when we had our girls. I have loved them so much, for so long, that I just don't know how I am going to make it without them here to bug me to death all of the time. My wife's heart is broken. But, dad gum it, we raised these kids to go out and do something, to be their own women, to experience life and the world.

We took the girls all over the country as children. If we went somewhere they went, too. They've seen pretty much all of the major cities in the east, plus the Rocky Mountain states, The upper midwest. They were taught to sail and operate power boats at a young age. They played sports, play the piano, sing (Sarah had a voice scholarship in college), are solid students (Carolyn's scholarship was for citizenship), have both had jobs since they were fourteen, are genuinely polite and cheerful (most of the time), and I love them and am so proud of them that I can not say it enough.

So I will miss them. I do not know when we will sail the 'Redwing' again as a family. I pray that we do. But no matter what, that sail yesterday, out of all of the thousands of miles that I've done on a sailboat, those nine miles will stand out in my memory for the rest of my life. Forever.

Mickey Lake

Wild Dingo
07-21-2004, 02:17 AM
:cool: They grow and leave the nest to adventure and do their own thing and we must let them I too miss my twins Yaz and Lissa who are in Kal and Tiff who is now in Perth... not so far but far enough to miss... you done your best now they gotta do the rest so it will be fine and they will make you proud all your life rest assured :cool:

07-21-2004, 02:24 AM
Thanks, Shane. Kind words, greatly appreciated.

Mickey Lake