Some of the most powerful memories I have growing up are also some of the most meaningless. My mom worked the night shift at the local Veterans Hospital as a nurse. My dad worked the swing shift for the Postal Service. About once per month both my mom and dad had a weekend off. On those weekends two things always took place; my parents went to the local “Moose” club on Saturday night to go dancing or Sunday night to play bingo.
Usually I was forced to go with my folks for there was no one around to “babysit” me. I have many memories of sitting at a big table bored beyond comprehension as my parents spun around the dance floor for hours. Having a membership at the Moose club was one of the few things my parents did that was extravagant. Honestly speaking, I think the Moose kept my parents from splitting up.
When there was not a trip to the Moose, I vividly recall spending Saturday evenings watching “Gunsmoke”. This was my mom's favorite television program. Some Saturday nights my dad made waffles, especially when my brother and his wife were coming over.
Most Sunday nights were spent watching the “Ed Sullivan Show”, “What's my line” and “To tell the truth” on television. I actually remember watching when the Beatles came to America and performed live on the Ed Sullivan show. I also remember watching the people spin plates on sticks.
My mom had to take a nap from 8-11 on nights she worked. Every Tuesday night she worked, my dad allowed me to stay up and watch “The Fugitive” with him at 9:00 pm. This show aired between 1964 and 1967 and was far and away my dad's favorite television show. Every time we watched this show, my dad ate a big bowl of vanilla ice cream with mixed nuts on top.
How and why do I remember these things but very little from school and church? Honestly speaking, I believe the reason I remember the evenings at the Moose and certain television shows was because during these times my parents quit fighting and were happy to be together.
My parents bickered and argued much of the time (mainly due to my dad's alcohol problem) and I learned early on to run and hide in my bedroom or go outside and play when these ugly times came up. For some reason my parents laid down their verbal weapons on weekends which became a “cooling off” time for them.
I believe God protected my parent's marriage because if they had split up, I would have floundered so badly I do not know what would have become of me. God knew the plans He had in store for me and worked it out that my parents had just enough good time together to make it through the bad times. Because of this, I did not end up in a broken home or living with my grandma.
God truly does work in mysterious ways sometimes. His ways are not our ways and that is a good thing. If we will simply trust God that He knows what He is doing, we can spare ourselves much anxiety and/or depression. Sometimes God works through the parting of the Red Sea and other times through “Gunsmoke” or a night at the Moose.
As always, Blessings 2 You!