Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Morton Salt Umbrella -- jcarolek

When I was about eight years old, I sent away for the clear dome shaped umbrella, the handle of which was the yellow Morton Salt girl. I'm unclear as to why I was so taken with this umbrella, but taken I was and Mom allowed me to send my saved money and the necessary labels into the prize center to claim one of my very own.

I was very proud of my new umbrella and looked forward to the day I would get to use it. I did not have to wait long. For several rainy days, I made certain I had my trusty umbrella protecting me from the rain as I walked to and from school. And to be honest, it is the ONLY time in my life I can recall feeling proud of owning a piece of clothing or accessory.

One day, not too long after getting the umbrella, we had a wicked thunderstorm brewing. It was not yet raining but the wind was blowing hard, and I had the idea that I could pop open my umbrella and let it catch the wind....(I MIGHT have been overly influenced by Mary Poppins). So, I popped it open and laughed with glee as the strong wind caught in the dome of the umbrella and literally pulled me along. This was FUN!

However, my fun lasted only a few short seconds, as a strong gust of wind came and did, indeed, lift the umbrella up, and me off the ground! Now, in retrospect, I am convinced it only pulled me off my feet, but I was certain I was about to take off like the wonderfully famous nanny with her carpet bag. And in a flash, I let go of the umbrella, for I realized in that instant that I had no real desire to go souring into the unknown.

I lost my Morton Salt Girl umbrella that day. While it was a cherished belonging, and I truly missed having it, I learned a lesson about myself that day. I am no risk-taker. I am happy to walk along at a comfortable pace rather than to hurtle through the exciting but hugely unknown roller coasters of life. And when I see others, popping up their umbrellas to catch their chance at the flight of a lifetime, I wish them luck, and remember the Morton Salt Girl.

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