41. Special Families

I hope you have had fun with all my Happy at Home games and activities. Do you feel happier staying home when you can enjoy these games with your family? As much as I like my friends Sid and Daisy and all the rest of the DDD gang, I know that the cars that will always be there for me are my family. Mum and Dad always set me straight and support me no matter how much I mess up. Uncle Diesel and Grandfather Dizzy have so many cool things to tell me that I will never get enough of their Magic Book and secrets.

What have your parents and family members done for you this week, last month, since this safe-at-home situation started? Have you sat down and discussed what it all means, and how important it is to stay safe, follow the suggestions of the authorities and think about the impact all this has on our world? Maybe it is time to really explore all the consequences our choice of behaviours can influence. Before we meet again, I hope you will follow the open roads, accept the advice of those in authority, respect the health and safety of everyone, and encourage all your friends to have a serious discussion with their family members. What we choose to do now, today and tomorrow, can and will affect the health of all of us. It’s like the butterfly’s wings effect, The flap of the butterflies wings may not seem to move much air, but the flapping of a butterfly’s wings could create tiny changes in the atmosphere that lead to violent weather conditions elsewhere on the planet.

The same is true for our behaviour choices. What we choose to do and how we proceed in our daily lives, can have a healing or hurtful impact on others around the world. I hope you will listen to your family, that you support and encourage healthy behaviour, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask in public, and stay safe at home as much as possible. Let’s all choose to be healthier and happier in the future. Your friend, Doug.

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40. Those dead end roads again!

Hello again. You’ll never guess what I learned this week. It will make a big difference for me because even though I thought I was being respectful, I realized that I was not being kind when I told Morris that he was making too much noise. Mini heard me and saw the expression on Morris’ bumper bar. She asked me if I was aware of how my suggestion was heard. I did not know what she was talking about.

This is the story: Morris and the Double Devil Dragsters were making a huge rumble on Dragster Circle. Since I knew them all pretty well, I thought I could tell them what other cars were saying. I told Morris he needed to drive quietly and not blow air out of his muffler like that until he was on the Drag Track. That’s when he looked down, turned away and blew a puff of exhaust out of his muffler, aimed straight at me! I was mad, so I yelled some names at him.

Mini heard me and came over to me. “Do you know what road you are on right now? She asked. I took a big gulp of air through my intake valve and stuttered, “Whoops. Sorry Mini.” “You don’t have to apologize to me”, she said. “It’s Morris that you have hurt. Can you see that?”

I thought about it and then swallowed hard. I was on a dead-end road of criticism and I didn’t know what to do next. Mini went on, “If you are not sure if something you are about to say or do is thoughtful and kind, you can ask yourself three questions.

1. Is what I am going to say, helpful to me? to others? Or to the planet?

2. Is what I am going to say or do, going to bring me closer to others, or drive us apart?

3. What road do I want to take here? An open road or a dead end road”

I realized that my comment was not very polite and probably Morris thought I was being mean or disrespectful. So, I wanted to fix my mistake and heal our friendship. I decided to go down to the track and tell Morris how cool his new muffler is and how I valued our friendship. When I told him this, he said, “You are right about our friendship. I don’t want that to fall apart. I think I know now how much my loud exhaust was bothering people along the road. I will drive quietly until I am in the drag track and I can use the pressure of my muffler for strength and speed. I will be more careful on the Circle, and instead of making so much noise, I will invite everyone I see on the road to come down to the race track for a great show!”

Morris and I are still good friends. I think it is because I owned my disconnecting behaviour and explained more respectfully how important our relationship is to me. That was a big lesson for me. Have you ever thought about how to fix your mistake when you have been on a dead-end road? I now know the questions to ask myself. I think they are almost like the Magic Questions. I’m happier now that I have learned all of them.

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39. This is the Mystery Game!

Uncle Diesel here to really challenge you and your friends. This game is as much fun creating it as playing it. This is a Mystery Clue game. You will have to put all your brain in gear for this one. Are you ready?

Creating the game: You will need a leader or clue creator that will set up the game. You will need some small cards or squares of paper for the clues. You will also want to have a final object or goal that all the clues will lead you to. We played it first in Larry Limo’s garage because he had so many things to find and places to hide clues. We also wanted the goal to be a can of cool fresh water for everyone’s water tank. (You might have the goal be your kitchen or refrigerator with cool drinks or a favourite snack.)

Clues: You will need to create 5-7 clues that will lead your group to find the final goal. Each clue should be to find the next clue, and so on, until you get to the final goal. You will give the group the first clue which will lead them to the next one, and so forth. I will give you an example of the game clues, but you will need to write your own as your home may not be the same as Larry’s garage.

Clue 1: If you look really closely, you may find a ring. Inside it will be the most wonderful thing. The next clue!!! Uncle Diesel, “I put the second clue inside a big tyre in the corner of the garage.”

Clue 2: Use your best eyes and don’t be shy. The next clue is hiding in a space with the power wrench nearby. (I hid the next clue in the drawer of Larry’s workbench and laid the power wrench right above the drawer.)

Clue 3: Have you looked high and low? Have you searched all around? An open road sign is where the next clue is found. (I hid the next clue tucked under the edge of the Open road poster Larry had hung in his garage.)

Clue 4: How is the game going? Are you having fun? There is another clue basking in the sun. (I laid this clue in the window ledge beside the big garage door. The sun shines in that window every day.)

Clue 5: Hunting for clues is fun but you’ll never guess. The best part is waiting. Are you up to the test? Check for a clue, perhaps under a vest? (This clue was under the protective shield vest that Larry wears when he is using hot tools.)

Clue 6: Do you need my help? I’m trying my best. To give you clues leading to your quest. That’s my job, you must do the rest. Oh, the next one to find is under the chest. (This next clue was under Larry’s tool chest in the back of the garage.)

Clue 7: I hope Doug’s car is still in the drive. You’ll need the clue there, just to survive. (This next clue was hidden under Doug’s windscreen wiper. It will lead them to the cold drinks for everyone in the cooler.)

Clue 8: By now you may be ready to refill your tank. Your prize is refreshing and me, you can thank. We’ve had a great game and put our brains all in gear. Your prize is in the cooler Larry keeps out here. (I put fresh water in the cooler for all. You might supply frozen ice pops or ice cream cups. The prize should be something everyone will enjoy.)

Hope you like my Mystery Clue game. Have fun creating your own clues and challenges.

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38. Animals in the Dark

Hey everybody. Are you looking for another adventure game?

I have another one you can play and share with your friends. Get all your family or friends in the room to stand at least an arm’s length apart. Everyone chooses an animal sound that they will make when the game starts. Then, everyone closes their eyes or blindfolds themselves and the leader gives the direction. It might be one of these: “Find another animal that is like you and get together.” Or “Arrange yourselves in a line in ABC order of the animal’s names.”

If everyone does not want to be blindfolded, you can have one person with their eyes closed or blindfolded and they are instructed to “arrange all the animals in ABC order”. Then they would have to locate the animals and move them into a line. Remember the only sounds the others can make is their animal sound. They cannot talk with words.

I will bet that everyone will get happier when you play this game. My family likes to play it because it doesn’t matter how old or young your family members are. Everyone can play.

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37. Have fun with my secret code game!

What’s happening, mates? Have you tried my messages game? (Activity No:2) Remember the game where you sent a message through everyone and it came out in a crazy way!! Did you have fun with that one?

I have a new one today. It is also about messages, but this time, it is about sharing your own secret code when you send messages to your friends. Create your own secret code and share it with your close friends. Then you can write messages to each other and only the two of you will be able to read them. Sound interesting?

Here is the code I created. Draw three tic tack toe figures on your paper. Then put dots in the sections of two of the figures, I will show you how. Each of the letters of the alphabet is represented by each section. This creates your secret code and you can write anything with it.

Daisy's Secret Code
Print out Daisy’s Secret Code

You try it and share this with your friends. You can write any secret message using this code. Have fun!

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34. Travelling the Open Roads

Hi gang! I wonder if you are having trouble staying on the open roads? I seem to choose too many dead-end roads. My friends are trying to help me, and I appreciate all their help. If you have a dead-end road that you want to avoid, maybe you can do what Daisy suggested for me, and pick one of the open roads to concentrate on every day for a week. That seemed to help me.

Which open road would you like to focus on this week? I am going to choose the accepting road because I have been thinking that this stay at home restriction is going on too long. I want to concentrate on the accepting road by thinking about the bigger issue of everyone staying healthy. I accept that when we were all staying safe at home, the number of Covid-19 cases are levelling-off and even going down. Now I hear that cars are going out more and the cases are rising.

I am choosing to accept the warnings about wearing masks and social distancing. I want to make my community safe.

Here are the open roads again for you to consider.

What open road will you choose to focus on this week? Will it help you to be happier if you decide that you want to stay on that open road? Try it and see. Let me know how it goes.

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35. Missing my friends!

Doug tells me that he is missing his adventures with his friends. I was surprised because I thought they had been connecting on the internet almost every day. I guess it has been hard for him to give up driving fast and racing with his friends at the drag track.

I asked him what he thought would help him to connect with his friends and feel the excitement of racing adventures or crazy stunts that they used to do together. He had to think about it for a while. Sometimes it takes time to think of a new activity that will bring you as much fun and excitement as the old familiar games. But do you know what?

Doug came to me this morning and announced that he and Sid had found a new racing video game that they could play and challenge each other, right from their own homes. They asked Larry Limo to help them discover a game that would be ok for them to play, and they found it. Maybe you could ask your parents to help you find a new activity or game on the computer or in your game closet so you could get happier at home? Maybe you will invent one and send it to me here so we can share it with other dragsters and friends?

Doug learned that “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try hard enough, you can always get what you need.”

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36. I love to help!

Good day, everyone. Did Mini tell you about Doug’s missing his friends? Doug asked me to help him and Sid find a new challenging racing game, I got happier and knew he would be happier by involving me in solving his problem. Sometimes I guess kids think that they have to solve all their problems by themselves. And that is not altogether a bad way to think. But if you trust your family and parents enough to ask for help, everyone feels better, and the problems can be solved much quicker and in safe and effective ways. Parents like to be asked to help their kids. I used to ask my brother Uncle Diesel for help. He was always happy to help and I was always happy to get his suggestions. Grandfather Dizzy has helped Doug a lot too. If you read Doug’s book, The Amazing Adventures of Doug Dragster, you will see how helpful parents and grandparents can be. Check it out.

What are some of the problems in your life that you could use help solving? Do you trust your family to help you? Connecting with your family and seeking ways to help each other, always helps you get happier. Try it.

Just go to the Kids Dragtrack and do the quiz.

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33. Who can I trust? Can I trust myself?

Yesterday Morris said he would skype me this morning, but he didn’t. I thought I could trust him and now I am wondering, was he just joking or did he just forget? Do you ever wonder who you can trust, or even what is TRUST? It is one of the open roads, but I never really thought much about it until this morning.

I am going to lead a skype meeting of all the Double Devil Dragster gang and challenge them to discuss what TRUST means to them. Maybe you would like to do that with your family. You could use the class meeting process. Ask each person to first say what TRUST means to them. Then ask each one to tell about a personal experience with trust or the lack of it and how it felt. Finally, challenge each one to think about whether they want to TRUST others or do they want to be TRUST worthy themselves. These are hard questions to consider. I think if we discuss it together, we will be happier with each other because we will know more about how others think about TRUST. What do you think?

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