Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Planning Ahead

When Sarah and I were little, my Mom only worked part-time and stayed home with us during the day and the summer. As we got older we needed less supervision, and so my Mom went back to college to get a bachelor's degree in Nursing and then got a full-time job.

That first summer, when I was probably 13 and Sarah was 11, we were left to mostly fend for ourselves during the day. For the most part Sarah and I got along pretty good, or at least as good as you can expect a brother and sister to get along.

One warm August day, however, we decided that we were going to get into trouble and get sent to our rooms. I can't recall if this was an imminent threat (as in, when Dad gets home we are in trouble for something), or an inevitable one (as in, eventually we are going to get in trouble, it just happens). I believe it was the latter, but I can't remember for sure. Regardless, in our young minds the solution to this problem would be a secret mechanism for passing notes between our rooms.

Now, given how our rooms were situated, it is conceivable we could have decide to try and drill a hole through my closet into Sarah's. But however young and stupid we were, that was clearly not a good idea. Instead we settled on a rope and pulley system that would run between our windows, with a bucket attached, so we could put stuff in the bucket and pull it between the rooms. This wonderful contraption would allow us to, when we got in trouble and were sent to our rooms, freely pass notes and objects back and forth.

So we got down to work.

It turned out to be a bit harder then we were planning. Our room's windows opened the same way, and so required running the rope under one window and then trying to hurl it over to the next bedroom. There also wasn't an easily apparent way to attach a pulley to either window that would allow the rope to run under the window and over to the other, but still move a bucket.

Undaunted we spent all day working on trying to get something to work, with countless trips in and out of the house to view things from the backyard (our rooms were on the second story), and innumerable attempts to get the rope strung between rooms correctly.

At some point it got late enough that Dad came home while we were working on our secret rope system. What we had failed to consider was that in all these trips in and out, attempts to throw the rope between windows, and other activities we had managed to leave every door in the house wide open, along with about half the windows. And the air conditioning was on.

That day was ridiculously hot, and so my father came home to about an 85 degree house, with an iced up air-conditioner that had been running full-tilt all day trying to cool things down, and two kids trying to string rope between their windows in the event that they got in trouble and were sent to their rooms.

Oh, we got in trouble all right, and definitely got sent to our rooms. What we didn't have was a working note-passing system.


Alyssa said...

My brother and I got along horribly when my mom went back to work.

We took sibling rivalry to new levels!

McBrideFarm said...

I was waiting for this story to appear. hehe. I do remember some contemplation about how cool it would be to just have a little door that through our shared wall. I'm so glad we never followed through on that...though the story would be even better now! :)

Dan Phillips said...

Thats great. My brother and I also had something similar to that. I think it only got used for a day or two and was soon forgotten. We had a heat return vent in our rooms. Which happen to go up between our rooms. So we were lucky we didnt have to be as inventive as Sarah and Steve. We only had to try to run a string between the two vents, and if i remember correctly it was a lot harder then it would seem.

Steve Eck said...

Alyssa, Sarah and I got pretty good, although it varied from day to day how much we would fight.

Sarah, I'm not sure if we would be here to be telling the story, if we had sawed through the wall.

Dan, Having a duct between the rooms would have made it so much easier! That is funny that you and your brother did something similar.