David Freeze: We all collect things while learning lessons

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2011

Just the other day, I was trying to clean my house before the housekeeper came. I did a column a couple of years ago about how I dread that day every month. It just means that I hustle and clean up like I should have been since she was last here. As I was going around the house, I realized that Iíve been collecting a few things.
One of the things that I have collected of course is wives and girlfriends. Never at the same time though.
On the first weekend in October, our running club was timing a triathlon at the Kannapolis Y that had an 11-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. Denny Hogan mentioned the lack of volunteers, saying ěIf we just had all your wives and girlfriends here, weíd have all the intersections covered.î It seemed funny to the two of us.
Probably more interesting are some other things that I collect. About 30 years ago, I started collecting two things. Race T-shirts started coming in just about every weekend. I have had hundreds of them, some rather interesting ones.
Locations included Montreal, London, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York and lots of little out-of-the-way towns too.
There are only about 40 still here, the favorites for various reasons.
Running shoes are another thing. On a normal day, there are about 10 pairs in the house and a couple more out on the deck that are best used for yard shoes. Sometimes they smell so bad I never bring them in. It is not what you think; I am referring to the horse manure from the barn on them. I just hate to let them go.
Another thing from a few years later is sharkís teeth. My daughters and first wife joined me on a weekís vacation on the gulf coast of Florida. We found sharkís teeth everywhere, and brought back a couple of 20-ounce cups of them. It was a great way to spend some time with the family. Now my daughters and I look for them every time at the beach.
None of these seem really odd, do they? This next one might. I have now collected one comic strip yearly for a long time. It is the ěPeanutsî column, starring Lucy and Charlie Brown and a football. There is a lot to learn from Charlie and his optimism.
Just this past Sunday, once again Lucy pulled the football away from Charlie when he ran to kick it. Lucy had a signed document stating that she would really let Charlie kick it this time. Then, again at the last minute, Lucy pulled the ball away and Charlie fell again. This time she used the line ěPeculiar thing about this document, it was never notarized.î
In 2010, Lucy shook hands with Charlie, convincing him to believe her yet again. Lucy pulled the ball away as usual, saying ěA womanís handshake is not legally binding!î
In 2009, Charlie was trusting of Lucy, and thought she wouldnít do it this time. He thought she would try to fool him this time by allowing the kick. Lucy pulled the ball away anyway.
Lucy quoted scripture from Isaiah in 2008. Still she pulled it away and taunted our hero afterwards.
One of her best was in 2007. Lucy convinced Charlie that the odds were really in his favor to finally get to kick the ball. You guessed it, she still pulled it away saying ěIím sorry, this wasnít the time.î
Lucy told Charlie in 2006 that to get along in the world, he had to learn to be more trusting. She told Charlie that she was giving him a chance to trust her, and he fell for it.
Just after she pulled the ball away, Lucy laughed and said, ěSee you again here next year!î
In 2005, Charlie was told by Lucy that this time she wouldnít do it because she was representing an organization. Charlie believed her again, and came running to kick the football just as she pulled it away. Lucy laughed as she told him that she represents Womenís Lib.
But the one thing that gets all men is a womanís tears.
Charlie knew in 2004 that he shouldnít try it, but Lucy cried big tears as she told him ěWaah! You donít trust me!î
Charlie immediately came running, started his kick just as Lucy pulled the ball away. Lucy laughed and said ěNever believe a womanís tears, Charlie Brown!î
You are a good guy, Charlie Brown. Things will be OK.