I like to pretend.

 Every trip to the post office, every trip across country—it doesn’t matter where I go—I like to pretend I am on a mission.

 Karen doesn’t like to join my team, or army, or panzer group—even when I offer her a lieutenancy. Of course I am always the captain, but that is incidental.

 Karen just frowns at me.

 “Look to the South, Good Buddy,” I warn.  “The Nazis are coming fast . . .”

 “Keep your eyes on the road Jim,” she scolds.

 “10-4,” I respond as I pull the Tiger Tank (aka Toyota Prius) back to the center of the road.

 How about you?

 Why not make a mundane trip to the grocery store into a mission behind enemy lines? Why not make a trip to church into a scouting mission across the Sahara?

 Life is interesting enough, I suppose, without all the pretending  but it is never as much fun.

 My  7 year old grandson Zion will pretend with me.

 Last Christmas high command gave us a mission to take important orders to Second Army (i.e., Karen told me to take a letter to our mail box at the end of our 150 yard driveway. Brave Master Sergeant Zion volunteered to join me.

 “General Granna (i.e., Karen),” I warned.  “Do not be surprised if we don’t make it back alive.”

 “Don’t miss the postman, Jim,” Karen retorted.

 “Yes general,” I deferentially responded. “10-4.”

 After establishing our password, Zion and I grabbed our browning automatics (broken broom handles), grenades (plastic donuts from Zion’s sister’s pretend kitchen set), and bowie knives (Karen’s carrots) and quietly, with great alacrity, approached the dangerous mail box.

 Along the way, of course, we were attacked by banzai warriors (our four barn cats), a German Stuka (our Black Lab), and an enemy patrol (Karen lovingly called Granna).  Against all odds we made it.

 But not without casualties.  I sustained a serious leg injury and Zion was nicked in the left arm.  In fact, we lost several good pretend companions.  Sly Zion, halfway, as we hid behind the chicken coup insisted on a field promotion to lieutenant or he would desert.  I reluctantly agreed.

 After such an arduous and dangerous mission Lieutenant Zion and I celebrated at Granna’s kitchen table.  She served us A-rations (Christmas cookies) and mess coffee (hot chocolate with marshmellows).

 It doesn’t get much better than this, 10-4?

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