Day Ninety Two

This story started over a year ago, but it has such a great ending that I decided to copy it from Luke’s timeline journal over to this blog.


This is a story I posted online about your and your yellow salamander. Nikki gave you two elastic salamanders, yellow and orange and they became very much a part of your daily routine. After the loss of yellow salamander (below), mom and you ordered a packet of 11! salamanders to come in a box from Amazon. You talked about it every day until they came and the morning of the day they were to arrive you said things like:

Dad: Luke would you like a fresh diaper?

Luke: After the salamanders come

Dad: Luke, would you like some breakfast?

Luke: After the salamanders come

Your mom had a great idea of having a salamander party, which we did with pizza and ice cream for dinner, it was a real hit.

Yellow Salamander Story

My son Luke received elastic yellow salamander as a gift. It coincided with a wonderful book entitled salamander room by Anne Mazer about a boy who cares for a salamander under magical conditions.

The salamander became an important and consistent source of fun and companionship for young Luke. He adored it.

Last night while taking his bath, as the last driblets of water left the tub, yellow salamander slipped from Luke’s hand and plummeted into the drain pipe.

Luke cried a deep and emotionally filled wail into his moms arms, truly the cry of someone losing a close friend mixed with the trauma of seeing him go.

I spoke with Luke and his mom Jessica on the phone while I was driving home from work, the question arose as to whether yellow salamander might somehow be saved. I devised a plan, Luke understood it was only a plan.

I got home, Jessica helped me tape a small strainer to the end of a broom handle. I put a headlamp on and went to the crawl space access to remove the trap to our sewer line. The sieve sat perfectly at the end of the access pipe, it was an ideal situation. Jessica filled the tub with water under the assumption that if yellow salamander was still caught in the pipe, we would force flush him down into our little trap. Yellow salamander would have to pass by the sewer catch and therefore be recaptured into our little sieve.

Alas, yellow salamander must have already traveled this path because he was no where to be seen once Jessica pulled the plug. What I love about the story is that we tried and that I was overjoyed to spend my off time trying to retrieve a plastic salamander from our sewer line at 10 o’clock at night.


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OK, if the yellow salamander story was not great enough, here is the ultimate (that was until 11.2014!) ending. Jess came to me a few weeks ago and asked we could resurrect yellow salamander and come up through the sewer pipe. At first I was like, What?, then realized it was as simple as tying a piece of string to a new yellow salamander and then lowering him down the line and then inviting Luke over to “fish” him out. The first issue was locating a new yellow salamander, turns out it was not as easy as one would have thought. Our friend and one of your care givers Jakki, looked high and low and eventually found them at an Ahh’s in Hollywood. Now the issue was When, so yesterday I went to put YS (Yellow Salamander) in the sewer line and what did I find out, well that raw sewage had been running into our crawl space ever since the last backup? The access cover to the main line had popped off due to back pressure and there was poop and stuff in our crawlspace. So, then YS was on hold and our plumber Stewart was called in on a double time Sunday. While Stewart was finishing up I realize how perfect, I will ask him to “find” YS and present him to Luke at the right moment. Luke, of course you were sitting on a stool watching Stewart “snake” the line and had already mentioned that the “snake” might indeed catch YS, so I asked you to go get me something and while you were gone explained the situation to Stewart and gave him YS. Well, old Stewart came though and at the best possible moment pulled YS from the drain and said. “Geez, what is this?” Now, Luke, you were sitting a good 20 feet away and I watched your face in complete dumbfounded awe for a good ten seconds, you were truly speechless. It was the perfect ending to a long and great story.

This post was made 11.19.2014, because the Salamander story has a new ending.

We went camping a few weeks ago with friends from your school. There was a hike down to a “grotto “ that you went on with your mom on one of the camping days.

There, in that lonely “grotto” was a real live salamander. That you and your mom caught and you got to hold it in your hands. When you came back from the hike with your mom you were so excited and both your mom and I shed tears at the wonderful ending of the salamander story!

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