Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Pre Summer Everyone!

FINALLY! It’s finally warming up here in northern Minnesota. And boy has it been a long time coming. We experienced one of the most grueling winters we’ve had in a long time. LOTS of snow and many, many days of below normal temps.

I remember the days of yore being this way when I was a child. Huge snow banks, artic winds blowing, and spit freezing before it hit the ground. Of course, back then my body was a mass of youthful joints and muscles and my brain surely wasn’t at full capacity. We spent many days outside playing when it was -20. (That’s the ‘not at full capacity’ kicking in.)You simply bundled in layers and did what you had to do. The big game was to see how quickly your chin would freeze – well, not actually freeze, but it would stiffen up, making it a bit more difficult to get your face muscles moving properly. Then me and my cohort playmates would laugh our asses off because our faces would be a mess as we tried to smile and our words jumbled because our lips didn’t move.

We were always looking for something to do. The times were perfect for kids who were always looking for something new to experience since there were only four channels on the television, no VCR’s, DVD players or Playstations, and we really had no choice because our parents shoved us out the door and said, “See you at suppertime.”

My sisters and I had the greatest dog when we were young. Spike was a combination of about every big breed of canine you could imagine. And that crazy idiot loved to retrieve. Didn’t matter if it were a rock, a ball, or a cantaloupe. As long as you threw it, he’d chase it. So one day we got this bright idea of implementing his animal-god-given talent. We tied a flying saucer (remember those?) to the back of our toboggan, then spent the next thirty minutes rolling snowballs and loading up the front of the sled. Finding a harness, we hooked the dog up, loaded our little sister onto the saucer and climbed aboard the toboggan. We spent the next thirty minutes screaming in joy as we whipped one snowball after another and Spike just kept up the chase. We were given the rides of our lives around town as we clung on tightly with one arm and kept the stream of snowballs airborne.

Then along came the advent of snowmobiling. Not the same machines that are sold now but a safe little 10 horsepower chunk of metal with skis and a hard vinyl seat. Perfect for tying a long rope to as one of us drove and the other strapped on old alpine skis. It makes me shake my head in wonder that we’re all still alive. We took out more trees, hit more parked cars, and took more headers than should have been allowable. I remember once we found some cardboard so we came up with the bright idea to have two people sit on the cardboard as one held on tightly with one hand, using the other to wrap around the person in front of us. The job the person in front had was to hold the rope tightly as we were pulled around. Sheesh. We never did get more than a five second ride on the cardboard because immediately we’d fly off it but weren’t smart enough to let go. So down and around we’d go, sliding on our ass and screaming in delight.

Oh, hey. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the cold, cold winter we experienced the past year. So easy to get off track. So now as an adult, I’m thinking I experienced childhood with a helluva lot more enthusiasm and imagination than the kids of today. But we’ll talk more of that later. I just got out of the hottub. I had to soak my sore joints. Wonder why my shoulders, my hips, and my knees ache all the time? Well, I’ll figure it out when I’m sitting in the chair watching my taped shows. Oh hell, I could go out and sit in the sun since it FINALLY WARMED UP!

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