Grandpa's Time Machine

Nancy Loera

Copyright 2014 by Nancy Loera

2014 General Nonfiction Winner


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

The story you are about to read is true or as someone in the literary world would say "non-fiction." I can honestly say that I have my very own, ultra cool, one of a kind time machine. It's capable of whisking me away to a moment in my past and back again whenever I choose to go. Yes, you just read what you thought you read, the words true and non-fiction describing a story about a time machine. So you can stop reading it over and over. No, I am not insane, so don't even think it. What I am is a 48 year old widowed mother of 3 handsome sons and a beautiful daughter. I am also the grandmother to 3 gorgeous boys and a precious baby girl and I just happen to have a time machine. I guess you couldn't actually call it a machine, per se. Technically it's not a machine at all, no switches or signals, no gadgets or gears, no buttons or buzzers, no motor or motion. Don't ask me how it works because I don't know. It just does. All I have to do is focus my eyes on it for a minute or two and ZIMM, ZAMM, ZIZZLE, I'm whisked away to a moment in my past.

Right about now I bet you're thinking "Yeah, right, you have a time machine and you say you're not crazy? Bet you've got ocean front property in the Mojave Desert too."

If I were you and you were me I wouldn't believe me either. But I'm not you, I'm me and I have witnessed the awesome power of this incredibly wonderful object. I have stood on the beach and felt the hot summer sand between my toes. Tasted the salty spray as waves crash relentlessly against the rocks during a hot July storm. Stood on a mountainside as frigid winter winds bend tree's over until their tops nearly touch the frozen snow covered rocks littering the ground below. Felt that same wind blow my hair into my eyes and the sting as cold ice bombards my face. I have traveled numerous places when only moments before I had been lying on my bed contemplating what to make for dinner.

One time I lay on my bed focusing on my time machine, the room around me blurred as if I were looking thru a cloudy window. I shut my eyes and when I reopened them I was staring at the biggest, ugliest.....Hold on....I'm getting ahead of myself....let me start at the beginning.....

I was born and raised in Caruthers, California. It's a small rural farming town in the Central Valley. My mom essentially raised me and my two brothers on her own. She became pregnant with my older brother Brent when she was 14 years old, I was born when she was 16 and my brother Tony by the time she was 21. She received no moral or monetary support from her husband (my dad), even though he was part of our little family. Thus turning her into a bitter, unhappy housewife with no life of her own. My dad was a long haul truck driver who was hardly ever home. We lived in a small two bedroom house on the "ghetto" side of town. Looking back on that time of my life I can see that we were considered poor. As a child you don't think of things like being poor or lower class. You just think about being a kid.

We didn't have to live poorly, my dad wasn't and didn't live that way, he just saw to it that we did. My mom and maternal grandparents made sure we had food in our bellies, clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet. We might not have ever felt completely full and our clothes and shoes might have been second hand, but at least we had them. My dad on the other hand owned his own truck, ate in restaurants, always wore brand new clothes and expensive western boots. He also kept a lot of women happy out on the road as he pretended not to have a family to support at home. I remember one afternoon, as he was preparing to leave, my mom was crying and begging him for money to feed us while he was gone because the cabinets were empty. He laughed at her as he climbed up into his diesel truck and pulled out on the road to be gone for a week or two. A few hours later he called and told her he had tossed a ten dollar bill out of the truck window at the end of our street. By this time it had grown dark and my mom had to borrow one of the neighbors flashlights to go search for it. She didn't find it and we will never know if he actually threw it out and someone else found it or if he lied about throwing it out. I have a hunch it was the latter.

My dad didn't like me very much. Ah hell, that sentence could win the understatement of the century award. From the time I was 4 years old my dad despised me. I recognized this even with the mentality of a 4 year old, mostly by the way he would look at me, it was like he couldn't stand the sight of me. Plus the beatings were a dead give away. His hatred stemmed from a doctors diagnosis 8 years before I was even born. After an injury, when dad was 14 years old, a doctor told him that he would most likely be sterile. If by some chance he was able to impregnate a woman he would only be capable to father one gender. He would either have all boys or all girls, he would not and could not have one of each. For four years he wasn't sure between my older brother Brent and me which one of us he had fathered and which one was the bastard child. In 1968 my little brother Bo was born. So, to dads small way of thinking it was now two boys versus one girl, problem solved. This equation solved his 4 year dilemma, I must have been fathered by someone else. He didn't question whether the doctor had been wrong in his diagnosis or whether my mom was faithful to him or not. He believed that I was something there just to remind him of my moms indiscretion so...I must be punished. When ever he was home I became his punching bag. It didn't matter how good I hid or how quiet I was he would still find me and beat me. My mom did nothing to stop him, I think she figured as long as he was beating me he wouldn't be beating her. Sometimes the beatings were so bad that my mom would have to keep me home from school for a few days so the swelling could go down and the bruising could lighten up.

I remember the last violent beating I received from him when I was 8 years old. My life changed after that day. Me and my older brother were outside playing in the backyard with some of the neighborhood kids. Dad had been unexpectedly dropped off by a co-worker because his truck was in the shop. I had no idea he was home so I wasn't safely tucked away in one of my hiding places, but instead was out in the open and vulnerable. My little brother somehow hurt himself inside the house and wouldn't stop crying and this annoyed my dad. Instead of seeing why his youngest son was crying he came outside, grabbed me by my waist length hair and started dragging me into the house. I was screaming, crying and begging him not to. I knew what was going to happen once he had me out of view from the neighbors prying eyes. So did my older brother. Brent decided that he wasn't going to let it happen to me again and he tried to stand up for me. My dad drew back his left arm and socked him in the face. Brent got a broken nose for his effort. As blood poured from Brents nose dad continued dragging me by the hair into our house. This beating lasted about an hour and was so severe that my mom came out of her hiding place and threatened to call the cops if he didn't stop. He must have believed her because he did stop after throwing me head first into the bathroom wall. The severity of this beating must have really scared mom because from then on she would send me to my maternal grandparents house anytime dad was expected home. Probably saving my life. There is no doubt in my mind that if this pattern would have continued he would have eventually beat me to death.

My childhood really began after that day. I started spending most of my time at my grandparents house. I began to look forward to the days when my dad would be home instead of dreading them, I would beg my mom until she would let me stay with them even when my dad was on the road. Some days grandpa would drive me the 10 miles to my school. My grandparents gave me a life full of hugs, kisses and I love you's. A life without fear and abuse. They took a shy little girl that never smiled, hardly ever talked and was scared of her own shadow and turned her into a happy child that smiled and laughed all the time and never shut up. It took awhile for me to stop looking for hiding places everywhere I went and to relax instead of always looking over my shoulder. I became a normal child. They gave me happy memories of my childhood and took me places I never would have gone if it wasn't for them.

My parents divorced when I was 14 years old. Dad was caught having an affair with a woman half his age. He packed his bags and moved to another state to live with her and her baby daughter by another man. Most kids think of their parents divorce as the end of the world. Not me. I saw it as the best thing that ever happened to my family. It got ugly for awhile, my mom kept trying to commit suicide and when my dad was in town he would try to push her to it. My two brothers left me to handle it by myself. Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night and your mother would be sitting beside your bed crying. That was bad enough, my mom's psychological damage went a little deeper than that. Not only would she be crying, she would also have a gun in her hand and upon seeing that I was awake she would start telling me how she didn't want to live anymore and begging me to give her the bullets to the gun. I had hidden them after the first time I had to take the gun from her. I literally pulled out some of my hair, one strand at a time. It took some time for it to grow back in and look right. For awhile it looked like I had a Mohawk in the middle of my head because as the new hair grew in it stood straight up until it reached about an inch and a half long.

When I was 16 my dad married the woman he had left my mom for two years earlier. My half-sister Natasha was born five months later. When Tasha was born my dad began to realize that just maybe the doctors diagnosis from so long ago was wrong. He fathered two sons and now it seems he has also fathered two daughters. One brand new, waiting for him to get to know her. One that had endured years of physical and mental abuse by him and he hardly knew at all. In fact he had hardly seen me since I was 8 years old. It has taken years of tears, apologies, set backs and a great deal of constructive interference from my step-mother for us to have any kind of positive relationship with each other. It's still a work in progress.

Through the years I continued spending a lot of time at my grandparents house, that was home to me. After I acquired my drivers license I would drive them to doctor's appointments, did the yard work they were unable to do or just be there spending quality time with them. As my children were born they accompanied me. My grandparents adored them and they adored my grandparents. My parents and step-parents were never a big part of my kids lives as they grew up and still aren't. I look at it as a blessing because I would never want my kids to endure the pain that was inflicted on me.

Some of my fondest memories of my grandpa was sitting in his front yard under the shade tree's listening to him tell stories. There were two things my grandpa loved to do more than anything and that was to fish and to tell stories about fishing. Around the small town I grew up in he was known as "Fish Story" because he could tell some whoppers. My favorite stories were the ones he would tell about when he was a little boy fishing with the cane pole his grandpa had made him. After one of these stories he would walk me and who ever else that happened to be there to the other side of his property and stop in front of an old wooden structure. He would make a big show of finding the right key on the ring that always hung from a brass hook attached to one of the belt loops on his pants. He would take his time putting the key into the padlock, slowly turning it and then removing it from the clasp. The whole time he would be telling us about the great surprise he was about to show us. He would slowly push open the squeaky door and stand there blocking our view of inside as he asked us if we were ready for our surprise. He would ask this at least three times, making us say yes louder each time, building our excitement. Once he was satisfied with our boisterous YES he would laughingly step out of the way allowing us access into his private domain, his work shop and home to all the things he collected over the years. He would stand there and point to the rafters above our heads. There it would be, grandpa's pride and joy, the very same cane pole from his childhood growing up in Oklahoma. It hung from the rafters, held up by two pieces of fishing line. The glow of it's polish stood out like a beacon among the dust and spiderwebs. No matter how many times we did this I would still get just as excited as if it were my first time seeing it. I was in awe of that old piece of cane that had been lovingly and painstakingly fashioned into a fishing pole by my grandfathers grandfather.

Grandpa didn't trust banks, never had. He kept his savings, which amounted to $14,000.00 in one hundred dollar bills, in an old Mason jar buried under a board in his work shed. After a lot of persuading, grandma and I convinced him that it would be safer to keep it in a safety deposit box at the bank. He would still have control of it even though it would be inside the bank building. When he dug the jar out of it's hiding spot it was plain to see that condensation had built up inside it thus causing the money to become damp and moldy. My grandparents put the dampest and moldiest bills into a pillow case, tied it shut and then put it in their clothes dryer set to its lowest setting. Grandma threw in a couple of dryer sheets to mask the mildew smell. The rest of the bills were hung on fishing line strung back and forth across their dining room.

When I arrived that morning I was greeted with the most comical sight. My grandparents stood in their dining room arguing about dryer temperatures as they hung up one hundred dollar bills with bobby pins. Grandma in her worn thin gingham nightgown with her hair in curlers and grandpa in his cotton pajamas and no teeth in his mouth. (He left his false teeth soaking in a jar full of denture cleaner when he went to bed at night.) They both turned towards me when I burst out laughing, their faces furrowed in anger. I stood there and pointed at them, I couldn't talk because I was laughing too hard, tears rolled unchecked down my cheek and my sides were starting to hurt. They looked at each other and then around the room. Grandma started laughing along with me. It wasn't long before grandpa joined our little laugh fest. After we composed our selves to only small bursts of giggling I helped them finish drying out the money. Needless to say I razzed them for years after this incident saying they were bad influences because they introduced me to the art of money laundering.

October 6, 1997 I lost the strongest most influential man in my life. My grandpa died peacefully in his sleep 23 days before his 89th birthday. I was devastated by this loss. It wasn't long before the rest of the family decided I wasn't part of them anymore. As a matter of fact the day we lost grandpa my family turned against me. This happened when they learned that grandpa had left me all the money in his safe deposit box and his house. I was called a thief, a liar, accused of using my grandparents, of influencing them in my favor. They gave me and my grandma such a bad time that I wouldn't accept the money or the property but instead gave them to my grandma to split between my mom, aunts and uncles. All I wanted was the one thing I knew I couldn't grandpa back. I see now that my family didn't actually believe the things they were saying, they were ashamed and maybe a little jealous of the time I spent with grandpa. I've got all these great memories of him and some of them hardly knew him at all. That thought might ease the pain of how I was treated but it doesn't change the fact that not only had my dad alieated me from my immediate family but all those accusations pushed me away from my mom's siblings and their families. It also caused me to shy away from spending too much time with my grandma.

Six months after we lost grandpa my grandma decided it was time to sort through his old shed and asked me to help her. It took us two weeks to accomplish this because it contained a lifetime of stuff my grandpa had accumulated. We made three piles. One pile was for the things grandma was keeping, one pile was for the things she was getting rid of and one pile for garbage. The junk man was coming to get two of the piles as soon as we were finished. The first thing I did everyday upon arriving at grandma's house was to look up into the rafters to see if grandpa's pole still hung there. I wanted that pole so bad, but there was no way I was going to ask for it after what my family had done to me. On the last day my youngest son had a doctors appointment in the afternoon. Grandma told me to go ahead and not come that day because there was hardly anything left to do. Just a few things still remained inside the shed, one of those things was grandpa's pole. I was so worried that grandma would mistakenly put it in one of the piles for the junk man that I hardly slept that night.

I was up bright and early the next morning anxious to get to grandma's house. I was going to ask her for grandpa's pole no matter what the family said. But something was against this happening. First my car didn't want to start, after getting it started I was halfway there when my rear tire went flat. As luck would have it, my husband Paul used my jack a few days before and forgot to return it to the trunk of my car. This was during the time that cell phones weren't very popular and too expensive to own anyway. The junk man was scheduled to be at grandma's house sometime between 7:30 and 8:30 that morning and here it was 8:15 and I was stuck on the side of the road. I started to panic, there I was on the side of the road sitting on the ground next to my flat tire crying like a baby. It was a wonder that anybody stopped to help me considering I probably looked like a crazed escapee from the psych ward. But a gentlemen did stop and he changed the tire for me.

I arrived at grandma's house two hours late. The first thing I noticed when I pulled into the gate was where once there were three piles now only one remained. The junk man had come and gone. I jumped out of my car with my heart racing and ran to grandpa's shed. I stood there, frozen, in front of the door with my hand clutching the handle. A war raged inside my head. I knew I had to open that door but the fear of finding the rafters empty bubbled inside me and prevented me from turning the handle. I decided to count to three and then open it. One...THUMP, THUMP, heart pounded loudly and fast. Two...I started to feel dizzy and my ears were ringing. Three....I couldn't breath as I tightly closed my eyes and slowly turned the handle. I couldn't bring myself to open my eyes as I heard the familiar squeak of the door swinging open. I don't know how long I stood there like that before I forced myself to open my eyes, it felt like an eternity. After opening them I slowly looked up. My worst fear had come true. The rafters were empty except for two pieces of fishing line swinging back and forth in the breeze caused by the opening door. My heart dropped to my feet and I thought I was going to be sick. Grandpa's prized cane pole was gone. I was too late.

I hung my head as I turned and slowly walked back to my car. I stood leaning against the front fender as tears fell from my eyes landing on the hood leaving miniscule puddles in the dust. The grief of losing grandpa's pole had awakened the pain of losing my grandpa. I heard the screen door of grandma's house open and bang closed, but I didn't turn around. I couldn't, as a fresh wave of despair wracked my body nearly doubling me over. I knew I had to compose myself before grandma reached me. She was going through enough pain as it was by losing the man she had been married to for 63 years. I didn't want to add to it by complaining over a fishing pole. I listened to the sound of grandma's slow, sluggish footsteps as she walked up behind me.

"Listen here Missy, you think I don't know what you were looking for every morning? Turn around and look at what I've got for you." Even though grandma tried to sound stern I could hear the excitement in her voice.

I swiped the tears from my eyes and slowly turned around and there was grandpa's cane pole cradled in her outstretched arms. I reached and gently took it into my hands. My face became streaked with tears once again as I carefully set it down on the hood of my car, turned and gave grandma the biggest hug ever. It was mine. Grandpa's cane fishing pole was actually mine to keep forever.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, months turned into years. Time flew by as time has a tendency to do. Grandpa's bubble wrapped pole stayed safely tucked away in my closet. In 2004 my husband passed away and as I was cleaning out our bedroom closet I came across grandpa's pole. I decided to finally free it from it's wrapping and hang it in a place of honor on my bedroom wall. After doing this I lay back on my bed thinking about the way my life was turning out and glanced at grandpa's pole. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. All of a sudden the room began to blur, I started rubbing my eyes trying to clear them, but that didn't help, the fog was still there. I closed them tightly and when I opened them......

It's three days before grandma's birthday and I'm standing in the parking lot at the lake we go to every summer. The heat is almost unbearable, causing sweat to run like a river down my back. I'm wearing a pair of blue jean shorts and my hot pink David Cassidy tee-shirt. My waist-length golden brown hair hangs straight as a board down my back. My bangs have grown too long and I impatiently swipe my hand across my forehead pushing them away from my eyes. I wish daddy would let me cut my hair because it's so hot and I hate having to brush the tangles out. I just celebrated my tenth birthday last month and happy to be in the double digits. Even though I don't get to wear a bra yet like my cousin Cindy, who's a year and a half younger than me. I see everybody's here. Uncle Jerry and Aunt Rose, with my cousins Danny and Susan, they came all the way from South Carolina. Uncle Clyde and Aunt Ruby from Washington State. Uncle David and Aunt Helyn, Uncle Ray and Aunt Susie with my cousins Cindy and Ronnie. Uncle Jesse and Aunt Nona with my cousin Barbara and her baby. Uncle Don with my cousins Sean and Christa. Mama and daddy with my two brothers. Grandpa and Grandma.

I'm barefooted and the soles of my feet are on fire from the hot asphalt. There are small patches of shade scattered across the parking lot where the suns scorching rays are thwarted by the leaves from the surrounding tree's. I hop from patch to patch until I reach a small strip of grass encircling a large rock situated between the parking lot and the boat dock. Grandpa is getting the boat ready so he can start taking us to the other side of the lake where we are going to camp and fish until the day after grandma's birthday. There's only four seats and four life jackets, one seat is grandpa's so only three can go with him in the boat at a time. Grandpa's going to have to make a lot of trips. I love riding in grandpa's boat, he lets me lean over the side and stick my hand in the water as we zoom across the lake. But if I have to ride with daddy I will have to sit still and have no fun at all, he's mean and doesn't let me do anything. I'm very scared of daddy. Mama and daddy climb into the boat when it's their turn. I try to blend in to the rock so they won't see me and make me get in with them. Daddy grabs my little brother who's standing in the boat whining and puts him on mama's lap. My brother Brent, who thinks he's grown up just because he's gonna be twelve on his next birthday, tries to show off for my cousins and starts climbing into the boat without daddy helping him. I silently laugh to myself when his knee slips and his foot lands in the water with a splash. Soaking his new shoes and daddy's new shirt. Daddy jerks him up by the arm and tosses him into the boat. Brent embarrassedly slumps down into the one remaining seat as grandpa maneuvers the boat away from the dock. I jump up and down giddy with happiness because there's not enough room for me on this trip. I don't have to ride with daddy.

Since I don't have to hide from daddy anymore I start exploring my surroundings. I climb up on the rock and look across the lake. I can see grandpa's boat as it goes around a bend and out of sight. I laugh gleefully with freedom from the ever watching eyes of daddy. I jump from the rock and land right next to my Aunt Rose who is sitting in a lawn chair fanning herself with a paper plate, startling her. Slowly our group grows smaller as grandpa goes back and forth across the lake. I make sure I'm on the last trip over so I can ride with grandpa, my favorite uncle David and my cousin Danny, by standing close to my rock and staying really quiet. Which is really hard to do because I want to run and play like my cousins are doing. It's finally my turn and my cousin Danny helps me put my life jacket on and get in the boat. My cousin Danny's kinda weird, I don't remember ever seeing him before. But he's really funny and keeps making these goofy faces, making me laugh. When we are in the middle of the lake I lean over the side of the boat and stick my hand in the water letting it skim across the top. It's cold and the brownish-green water feels neat as it soundlessly sloshes between my fingers. I love this moment and wish it would never end. But it does, I can see our camping spot so I take my hand out of the water and sit down in my seat so daddy doesn't see me doing what he told me I better not do. I don't want him being mean to me in front of all my cousins.

Before most of us arrived that morning grandpa and a couple of my uncles set up our camp so it would be ready when we got there. Grandpa already had his fishing pole standing in it's holder stuck in the ground on the shore with it's line in the water. I can see it as we get closer to our camp. It is bent over with it's tip almost touching the water. Everybody at camp is busy doing stuff and they don't see it. I know what it means when a pole does that, there's a big fish hooked on the end of the line and pulling it over. I yell at grandpa and point to his pole. We start waving our arms, pointing at the pole and yelling. But we are still too far out to be heard in camp. Nobody notices us waving or the pole slowly slipping into the lake.

Now the tip of the pole has disappeared into the water, the only thing keeping the whole thing from being swallowed by the monstrous lake and pulled down into it's algae covered depth is the pole holder sticking in the ground. Grandpa starts yelling cuss words I hardly ever hear him saying while he's trying to make the boat go faster. I guess it's not going fast enough because he kills the motor and jumps out of the boat into the lake. He swims to shore. With his clothes dripping a stream of water he runs towards where his pole is barely winning it's battle with the fish that's attached by a hook to it's line. Right when he reaches for it the pole snaps in half with a loud crack. The bottom half of the pole snaps straight up and the top half sinks into the lake as the fish attached to it swims away. I can see that grandpa is really mad because he's waving his arms and yelling at everybody. Uncle David starts the boat and takes us to shore. I've never seen grandpa this mad before and I wish we could stay out in the boat in the middle of the lake for awhile. I start climbing out of the boat and I see grandpa pick up what's left of his fishing pole and throw it in the lake. He walks along the lake shore and disappears into some tree's. Everybody in camp is really quite. I'm not sure if this is going to be a fun trip anymore and wish I didn't point out grandpa's pole to him because maybe he wouldn't be so mad and everybody else wouldn't be so sad.

Just before dark I see grandpa making his way back to camp. He digs another pole out of his boat, baits it, flings the line out into the lake and puts it in his pole holder. He digs a little silver bell out of his tackle box and hooks it to the tip of his pole. This is so if a fish gets on the line it will cause the bell to ring. Grandma calls out that dinner is done and grandpa gets out of his lawn chair and goes to make his plate. I see mama, Uncle David and Uncle Don over by grandpa's pole. I can't see what they are doing to it but it must be funny because they are laughing. They keep looking towards where grandpa is standing with his back to them. They all move away when they see grandpa walking back. Mama is limping when she walks away and I wonder how she hurt her foot. All the grown ups are whispering to each other and pointing towards grandpa through out the evening. This is going to be interesting.

I'm trying to keep my eyes open because I don't want to miss seeing what ever my uncles and mama have done to make everybody watch grandpa so much and giggling when he's not looking. It's hard to stay awake with my belly full from dinner and being so tired from playing all day with my cousins. Just as my eyes close I hear grandpa's bell tinkling and open my eyes as he reaches for his pole. He stands there for a couple of minutes and then puts it back into it's holder. Fish must of just been nibbling on the bait. Ten minutes later I hear tinkle, tinkle, tinkle again and the same thing happens. Every ten minutes the bell would tinkle and grandpa would jump out of his sleeping bag and grab his pole, just to return it to it's holder. Shaking his head he would climb back into his sleeping bag. Two hours later and me being sick of hearing the bell I sit up and watch as grandpa jumps for his pole again. This time all the grown ups start laughing and I see Mama show grandpa a piece of fishing line with one end tied to his bell and the other tied to her shoe. She starts shaking her foot and the bell starts tinkling. Grandpa just got paid back for yelling at everybody earlier. I lay back on my pillow and with a smile fall back to sleep.....

"Mama, we're hungry. What's for dinner?" I hear my 13 year old daughter say as she taps on my bedroom door. I'm instantly transported to the present and back to being my adult self in my everyday life.

"Be right out Staci, mama's hungry too. How about taco's? Tell your brothers to start setting the table." I hear her whoop of joy as she bounces down the hallway in search of her three brothers. I swing my legs onto the floor, stand up and turn to straighten the comforter I had been laying on. I ponder what just happened and the amazing adventure I just returned from. I look at grandpa's pole with wonder and awe. I smile as I realize my grandpa's cane pole is a time machine and it's all mine.

From that moment on, whenever I'm stressed or feeling down from a hard day of life, I go into my bedroom, lay down on my bed and let that old cane pole take me back to a happy time in my life. Someday when my grand kids are older I will tell them the stories grandpa told me about his amazing cane pole and I will add my stories to them. After a few stories I will let their excitement build as I lead them to where my amazing cane pole hangs in it's place of honor. I've got the rest of my life to make a lot of great memories with them to one day look back on and tell their grandchildren about. One day one of them will inherit their grandma's cane pole time machine and I hope it brings them as much happiness as it has brought me.

This is a story I have wanted to write for a very long time, but have been unable to find the right words, until now. It's a story about a man that saved me from a childhood of nightmare and the gift I received that helps to erase the bad memories by allowing me to visit the good ones any time I wish to.

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