Monday, May 21, 2007

Break me I dare you

When we were little we had these neighbors, Mr. and Mrs Fox. They never had any children, so they didn't really have any patience for the three of us kids. We thought they were meanies. Mr. and Mrs. Foxes "baby" was their house, yard, and immaculate garage. We were not allowed to set a toenail on their property. (They said so.) They also grew these perfect little pine trees as a hedge to separate the side of their yard from our driveway. A.K.A. my brother Ryan's basketball court.

Sometimes Mrs. Fox would go out to trim the hedges with some really tiny sheers, they looked like something you would use on a Bonsai tree. Only she was using them on a tree that was five feet tall. Hours. She would spend hours trimming each stupid tree in the sweltering summer sun.

Unfortunately for them, my brother was just a little punk and still learning to get good at basketball. If Ryan missed catching the ball it would land in their precious hedges and break the branches that were so obsessively tended to. This really ticked them off. They would practically be biting their finger nails through the kitchen window until Ryan was finished practicing.

I will pause here to make an observation. Did you ever notice that the things you prize the most, pay the most attention to or place a great deal of value on tend to be the sort of thing that screams like a target saying "Break Me I Dare You!" Well, with each clip of Mrs. Foxes scissors, it was like those hedges screamed their prideful vanity of perfection. Let me tell you, if ever a tree could scream... these babies were wailing with "Break me I dare you!" everyday, until one day, someone finally did.

My Grandparents, affectionately known as Atee and Papa decided to come for a visit. My Papa had decided to park his station wagon all the way up the driveway until it reached the garage and next to the Foxes hedges. Now, my Papa had a little secret. He never learned how to reverse a car or do a three point turn. But no one knew this at the time except for my mother.

As they were getting ready to leave, my Papa planned on doing a U-turn in the driveway. But even the extra room we had for the basketball court was not enough room for him to move his old huge station wagon around. Unfortunately my Papa was also to prideful to admit that he couldn't do it. So, being in that stubborn state of mind he ignorantly attempted to pull a U-turn and do it anyway.

The attempt failed very badly and he drove his car straight into those stupid hedges and plowed almost all of them down. My family came running out in disbelief and total shock at what happened. You would have thought someone had died. No one knew what to do as the Foxes we not home at the time. We were all pretty upset, except for my grandfather, who thought the whole thing was pretty darn funny.

When the Foxes came home that night, my parents came out to meet them. I can't remember a time when I had ever seen them look so guilty and humiliated together. I felt really bad for them. I wish I could say that I knew how Mr. and Mrs. Fox reacted to everything, but I was too scared to know so I just hide inside the house.

The Bible says that where your treasure is, you're heart will be also. Some advice, make sure your treasure doesn't scream "Break Me I Dare You."


Debbie in NC said...

Oh Colleen this had me laughing and wishing I had been there to see the look on the Foxes faces!

Such importance we put on such ridiculous things....

I've been just wandering around your blog and have been tearful and smiling at the same time.

Your picture shows you as a young woman and I was just curious if you are young 20's and EXTREMELY wise and insightful or old like me!

Colleen said...

Hi Debbie! I love that story myself. As for the pictures of me... I am not in my 20's anymore. All photos are taken within this past year. I am in my thirties!