WHEN NOT SEEING IS BELIEVING

Most of my life I’ve lived by the mantra that seeing is believing.  That’s always held true in science, chemistry, and physics class.  But now that I have my senior’s degree in life, I’ve been forced to re-think a few former ‘givens.’  I’ve had two astounding life-lessons pertaining to the grave fallacy of believing in what you see… or at least, believing in what you believe you see.

Carol and I have been back home in Mississippi for just over 5 months now.  We purchased the former home of our nephew and his family.  There’s usually a few adjustment to living in a new environment, as you learn it’s personality and quirks.

Lesson one: our master-bath shower.  I don’t like a soggy bath mat, and assume that others might not also.  So before stepping into the shower, a place my ‘dirty’ T-shirt on top of the math mat.  Did I mention that the glass door to this shower is clear glass?  No frosting, no lily pads, no mermaids, no frogs.  Just crystal-clear glass.  Half way through my shower I happened to look down at the T-shirt on the bath mat.  To my horror, it was FLOODED.  The shirt had standing water on it, and clearly visible was hundreds of splashes as more water continued to pounded it!  The bathroom was FLOODING!  Or so I thought.  It wasn’t what I saw.  It was what I thought I saw!  You see, a quick check revealed that the clear glass was revealing the T-shirt on the mat OUTSIDE the shower… and it was also revealing a REFLECTION of the shower spray hitting the floor on the INSIDE of the shower!  These two perfectly combined images made it APPEAR that both of them were one and the same!  What a relief!

Lesson two:  I’m only now ‘recovering’ from this latest lesson.  It happened just within the past hour!

Carol and her sister are on a week’s vacation in South Carolina there to holiday on the beach with family.  Mary Ellen’s son and two grandkids went along also.  Her daughter-in-law had to stay home to work.  I’m not a ‘beach person’ myself, so I eagerly agreed to stay behind and baby-sit the four-legged children.  We have two, Mary Ellen has two, and her son-in-law has one… and this one is staying at Mary Ellen’s.

It’s only a short hop over to M.E.’s place, and I make the trip 4 times a day, for feeding and outside time.

This morning I was making trip one to ME’s.  As soon as the garage door opens, you can here the active pups inside, anticipating what is coming.  I went inside, saw the three active pups eager to get into the backyard, walked across the hallway, across the den, and opened the patio door… and there were only TWO PUPS scrambling to get outside!  My nephew’s larger dog, Delta, was not there!  Somewhere between the back door opening into the garage and the patio door, Delta had simply disappeared!

Needless to say, I was only a degree or two from freaking out!  A thorough search of the house revealed not a trace of Delta.  I went outside and called.  No Delta.  Before making the dreaded call to South Carolina, I drove the entire neighborhood calling for the lost pup… but to no avail.  Finally I made the call… and was told that Delta often ‘hides’ when outside.  I looked.  No Delta.  Perhaps she would also hide INSIDE.  I search everywhere, including closets, and under furniture.  This is a 40+ pound animal, so hiding space is limited.

M.E. called her next door neighbor, who joined the search with me.  I know that the circumference of that neighborhood is one mile, and I made it many times.  And then South Carolina called! 

 I was told that a church friend of my nephew’s had picked up Delta, and that she was (safely) with this friend!  Whew, what a huge relief!  

I’m at a total loss as to what my part played in this whole fiasco. It could ONLY mean that Delta was NEVER at the door eager to go outside as she always is.  I EXPECTED her to be there, therefore, I THOUGHT that I saw her there!  I expected three, so I saw the two as THREE! 

But, as I explained to Carol, I would swear in a court of law that Delta WAS THERE when I arrived!  It was the same thing as that morning in the shower when the bathroom floor was flooding!     

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WHAT’S YOUR LETTER?

If you were asked what letter of the alphabet most aptly defines your life, what would that letter be?  That’s an unusual question, huh?

In my case, that letter is a no-brainer.  It’s the letter X.

First of all, there were never many X’s in the telephone directories of yesteryear, not even in the in the midst of folks’ names.  But there’s an X in mine, handed down to me over generations.  My father’s grandfather was a Hendrix (sir name) and the Hendrix name was bestowed up on him (William Hendrix Murphy) and I was named after my father as William Hendrix Murphy, Jr.  

Yes, there are more than just a few folks named Hendrix, but I’ve not run across all that many.  I think I met more Fox’s that any other name which include an X.

But the X tie-in doesn’t stop with my name.  I was married previously.  This means that I have an X.  And that of course means that I am also an X myself…an X to my X.  But just as two wrongs don’t make a right, two X’s don’t cancel one another out… I’m still an X and she is also.

There are two other important Xs in my life, but not ones that pertain to my personal earthly being.  Back before the days before broadcast television (Yes, I’m that old) we had only RADIO for ‘our broadcast-listening pleasure.’  My very favorite radio programs, around the age of 5 to 7, was one called DIMENSION X.  (I now have a CD of dozens of these old recorded radio shows!)  My mother forbade me to listen to Dimension X because she thought (correctly) that it would cause me to have nightmares.  But boys will be boys, and I am one.  I slipped Dad’s battery operated radio under the covers, and faked being asleep, while listening to our brave space explorers being lost on Mars and other similar scientific terrors.  The night I was caught was a night to remember also!

One of my all time favorite, early 1950s black and white sci-fi MOVIES was ‘The Man From Planet X,’ starring the mother of Sally Fields (of The Flying Nun fame)!  This is a true statement, not just ‘some other X’ to add to my ‘X-list.’ I even have the CD of that old movie today.  Funny thing: it’s not nearly as frightening today as it was in the 1950s.

All that said…. What other letter of the alphabet could possibly be more meaningful to me that X?

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