Saturday mornings. Sacred time for my parents to sleep in. Sunday's we had to get up early for church. Since my parents helped to start the church, and my step dad was one of the what would be known in most churches as a 'deacon' we had to be one of the first ones there to set up. First to arrive, last to leave. During the week, my Step Dad was a bus driver for a school district just outside our town, but within our school district. So, he had to get up very early and go into the bus barn, get a bus and drive the 40 minutes on the mountain roads to be at his first stop on time. He was usually out of the house by 4:30 am.
So, Saturdays ... his sacred sleep time.
Early Saturday mornings, in the 1970's for children, however, was cartoon time! HR Puff n Stuff, The Cosby Show, Sigmund the Sea Monster, Scooby Doo, Spider Man, you name it, from the time the sun came up till noon ... it was kid time in front of the TV! We knew when cartoon time was over, chore time would start ... before time for friends ... but the mornings ... were ours. Fun and fantasy.
Every saturday morning, my sister and I would sit in front of the TV. We'd get our bowls of cereal and get ready to watch our favorite shows. Before too long, outside we'd hear this
"tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap"
"tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap"
Within 5 minutes, my Step dad would come stomping down the hallway. Grumbling.
"that stupid woodpecker! Can't it let a grown man sleep? My only day to sleep in! Saturdays are SACRED, does the bird not KNOW that?"
"Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap" "Oh, you bird! I'm going to do away with you one day!!" He'd grumble and he'd plop down in his rocking chair. Green and blue, a tapestry type feel to the chair. His sparking eyes, and laughter in his voice belied the words he was using. The smile on his face, telling my sister and I, "good morning"
I would jump up, and go into the kitchen to get him a bowl of cereal. Wake him up with breakfast and there would be no way he'd fall back asleep! My sister would let him pick the cartoon next up. Anything to keep this 'grumbling giant' in our cartoon fest.
When he'd finish his cereal, he'd put the bowl on the table and I'd wait for the spoon to drop in the bowl. Within minutes, it never failed, that I'd find my way onto his lap. The safest place in my world to be. Nothing could harm me there, nothing could get to me. Life, was perfect in my Father's lap. The kids at school during the week who wanted to bully me ...were gone. Even my sister's teasing, no longer mattered, because I was in the arms of the man who told me that I mattered and that I would always be his darling. We would sit and watch those cartoons, every saturday morning ... week in and week out. Dad would continue to pretend to grumble about the awful woodpecker. I'd take my finger and poke him in the belly "peck peck peck" I'd say and grin and giggle. We'd both laugh as he was well aware that I knew that he loved being woke up by that "awful bird"
His friends at church, and work and in the neighborhood offered him MANY solutions to rid us of the pest. From shooting the bird, to poison to trapping ...and in the 8 years we lived there, he refused all traps. The "awful bird" had it's purpose. It had to intterupt his sacred sleep time. It had to give him his saturday mornings with his girls. That, to him, was far more sacred than any sleeping in could ever be.
You all know I love to post stories about what a wonderful man my Step dad was. It's not uncommon, especially in February or approaching Father's day ... so it's not unusal. But, the reason for this posting isn't just a casual mention of my Dad. It's not about the picture going up, and the learning to grieve ...although, I'm sure God is tying it all in ... I've no doubt that he is.
Do you remember, a few weeks ago, about easter time ..when I posted on Paradigm Shifting? As I talked about the changes I'd gone through with getting my house and the depression and adjustment problems I'd had when getting my house. The feelings of having stolen the house and God having to show me ... I'd not stolen this house, but earned it. I did in fact earn this house. I did in fact, earn the book. I did in fact, earn the life that God is giving me. It is a good thing to be in a good place!
So, I've been doing much better ... and daily, things are changing, and growing and I'm setting in more.
This week, I think, there was, excuse the pun, the final nail in the foundation of my house. I was sitting on my couch and looking out the window. It was the day after I'd pulled out the picture of Daddy. I was looking really over at the desk and the window and thinking how much Daddy would have liked this big old tree in my yard.
As I looked. I saw something
A woodpecker! On my tree! I didn't even know oklahoma had woodpeckers! AT all! In the 25 years that I've lived here ... I've never seen one! Or heard one!
It's not the same kind, but it's brightly colored like ours back home. Not crested on the head, a little smaller ... but it still goes "tap, tap, tap, tap," there will be no one, gettin rid of my woodpecker!
As I looked out the window, I sat on the couch, and I saw the woodpecker outside the window by the picture where my Dad is finally in a place of honor ..and I knew.
I am finally home. This IS MY HOME. My Dad, My daughter, Jessica Dawn have joined us as part of the family in memorium. And now, to seal the deal ... a woodpecker is coming to seal the deal.
Peck away sweet Woodpecker. Tap tap tap tap ... you noises are safe with me. Sing your song for my Daddy and me. We love to hear you! Your song means family time for us.