Have you ever had a hair brained idea? As kids we had them all the time. Sometimes we had to ask for permission and it was at that point we were told all the problems with the plan. That is why our Dad was so cool. Usually, if it wouldn’t cause any permanent damage he would let us do what ever it was we ask to do.
One such occasion was when we wanted to star gaze on a clear night when there were meteor showers expected. During the early 1970’s there were not many outside lights to interfere with the night sky. When there were no clouds to block the view, the stars went on for ever. I had no idea there were that many stars in the sky.
“Dad, can we watch the meteor shower tonight” we asked. “No problem” was the reply. “But we want to stay up all night and count the falling stars” “No problem.” “We want to spend the night on the roof!” “You want to do what?” I’m sure at that point Dad thought we had lost our minds.
Our house was not like the typical house here in the states. It was made entirely of concrete and the roof was flat. Dad thought about it for a few seconds. (I’m sure we caught him off guard) He started to run through his list; we don’t have a ladder to get up there. We don’t need one Dad. We use the wall to climb up. You might roll off in your sleep. We will make a pallet between the pipes that stick up. For every argument against it we managed to come up with an answer. We were very determined.
In the end we won out. As the sun started to set, the three boys started dragging blankets and pillows up the side of the house. I could only imagine what the neighbors were thinking. What are those Mullins boys up to now? The big surprise came when not only did the Mullins boys climb up to the roof, so did our Dad.
We lay up on the roof that night for hours with Dad, watching the falling stars and just talking about nothing. Dad would point out different stars, planets and UFO’s. When he knew we would be safe between the vent pipes, Dad climbed down and went inside with the girls. I’m not sure how soon after he climbed down we all fell asleep.
We woke in the morning safe and sound. Tossed the bedding off the roof and climbed down. We had counted more shooting stars than I ever knew existed. It was not long after that experience that Dad brought home a big book on astronomy. We would go through the book and point out things that we saw that night.
That was the first time we spent the night on the roof but not the last. It was just one of many hair brained ideas we were able to convince Dad into letting us do. That time spent with Dad that night was priceless.