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Life should be enjoyed while we can

By JACK GODBEy

Community columnist

As a child, my favorite day was Saturday. All I had to do was watch cartoons and enjoy my Fruit Loops.

During the week, my days were filled with school and my evenings with homework, chores and then before you knew it, it was time for bed and I would repeat it all over again. 

Saturday was a different story. We would all load up and head to town to the grocery store. The backseat was normally overstuffed with all my siblings. Me being the youngest and seat belts not being such a big deal back then, I would ride in whatever empty crevice I could find.

We lived so far in the country that it wasn’t feasible to run to the store anytime you wanted. Instead, we got enough groceries to last the entire week. For me, it meant collecting my allowance, buying a comic book, a candy bar and a soda of some sort.

I remember approaching my dad in the store with my hand stuck out for my allowance. He would say, “If I give it to you now you’ll just spend it. Wait until you get home.” 

Spending it was exactly what I had planned and once he gave in and gave me my .50 cents the spending spree would begin. While Dad was trying to promote saving it for a rainy day, I wanted to spend it and enjoy my time in town. 

Sunday mornings were also busy in our house with the whole family getting ready at once for church. Once my mother would apply enough spit to get our hair to lay down and our shirts all buttoned up correctly, we would be herded into the car in time for Sunday school to begin.

How my parents managed to get all of us kids ready and then to church on time every week without pulling their hair out I will never know. 

I recall during the summer months after church, we would stop at the Cree Mee Dairy Dip in Stanford and we would all get an ice cream cone. I recall one dark Sunday when our car just drove right on by without stopping for ice cream. Despite every kid in the car screaming I was able to hear a conversation between my parents that my dad didn’t have the money to buy ice cream that week because he had placed his extra money in the collection plate at church.

After some reflection, he remembered that the Bible says that charity begins at home and maybe God wouldn’t mind if some of the money went towards ice cream or it may have been the carload of screaming kids. I’m not sure. Either way, we got ice cream every week after that. 

Many years later as an adult, I found myself on vacation with family and we walked into a restaurant for some fresh seafood. After seeing the prices of the food, I opted out on the seafood and ordered a hamburger. 

When the food arrived, everyone received a big plate of steaming seafood except me. I got a very wimpy looking hamburger. I never met a hamburger I didn’t like so I was confident it would be fine. 

However, that was the worst tasting hamburger that I ever had in my life. My mind instantly drifted back in time to the Sunday ice cream incident. I chuckled and realized then, sitting in the restaurant eating my cardboard burger that life is short. Always stop for ice cream and never order a hamburger in a seafood restaurant.