Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Jared and the Beanstalk


I assume just about every child enjoys the thrill of climbing. I have seen it in all three of my children. They scale counter-tops, desks, furniture, cars, playgrounds, and anything else that is above three feet off the ground.

Rewind life about 25 years ago and those qualitites earned my brother and I the title "greased roaches" by our Grampsie. Yes, the same Grampsie that supplied the manure for his grand kids to find and play in when they thought it was a regular dirt pile.

In Cimarron, my parents planted this oak tree in the front yard. It was my hide out when neighbors passed by on the sidewalk. I am sure I was supposed to be a spy or something of that nature. However, this spy was caught with his pants up one day. After sitting on the branches and anxious to get down, I jumped from my get-down spot. You see, the way to jump from a height is to scoot on your bottom and simply drop to the ground. But where did that sharp stump come from? Before I knew it, I was hanging from the tree by my pants which were now pulled up to near my head. Ok, at least that is what it felt like. I could not do anything but hope not to be seen by my friends and wish my parents would come out to spare their child neighborly humiliation. Thankfully, I was rescued, but don't tell my friends the story or I will likely be the butt of many jokes when we meet at Buffalo Wild Wings for our male bonding rituals of libations, hot wings, and sports.

You would think I would not have been in that tree hanging by my britches. That I would have learned my lesson from a prior encounter of climbing and not reaching the ground after a jump. The first time was at my great-grandmother's house, Grandma Zapalac. She was this small, frail, Czech grandmother that had the house with a front porch and a hurricane fence separating her front lawn from the street sidewalk. She passed when I was around second grade. I remember her funeral very well. I think it was my first funeral, my mother was very proud of me because it was the first time I sat and prayed the whole Rosary without wiggling and causing a stir. It was this enounter that mystified me and now reminds me to roll those beads more frequently. Anyways, I still have that huge black Rosary that must weigh more than Great-Grandma Zapalac. Many of beads have the paint worn down to the wood. Great-Grandma must have prayed it regularly.

Oh yea, back to the first hanging mistake. Instead of pushing the lever to walk through the gate, I decided that I would climb the gate. You know how it goes. Climb up, one foot on top of the fence, swing the other leg over, and prepare to land. All the steps were great except the last one. I didn't make it the ground because my pants got hooked on the gate and there I was again hanging in the air to be found by some cousins.

These two circumstances, even though slightly embarrassing, never stopped me from climbing rooftops, larger trees, fences, or any other of the many heights that a child can come across.

The apple surely does not fall far from the tree; I have three greased roaches of my own and I am tempted to think that Grampsie would have to find different names to describe these critters...I mean children.