This is going to be a time for sharing reminiscences, so hang in there! I hope these stories are at least a bit funny 🙂
This is a picture of my dad harvesting a wheat field. When I was a kid, I often went to bring food to my dad in the fields, especially when he knew he would be working late. It was sometimes the only chance we would get to see him on a given day. I remember the smells of freshly cut corn or soybeans. The sweet smell of silage, good enough to almost eat. Back then, I wasn’t afraid of much, except the dark. I remember being terrified of the dark for a long time. Somehow, that fear dissipated, probably with the realization brought by maturity that there really were no monsters under my bed or lurking behind the closet door. I definitely wasn’t afraid of germs, like I am now. Sometimes I feel like a wimp compared to the child I was. OCD can do that to you. It can sneak up and take away the person you used to know. I think it was always there, but in my adult years it has taken on a whole new form.
I actually used to play outside when I was a kid, in the dirt! My brother and I loved to play outside at my dad’s house. Because dad was in the field all the time, there was hardly anyone to supervise us. (This was on the days that we were at dad’s house and not mom’s.) I have SO many stories about times when my brother and I were playing with dangerous things, but somehow, miraculously never got hurt. Behind my dad’s house there is a small patch of woods, through which runs a small creek. We LOVED playing in the creek. In the middle of the woods we even cleared away the thickets next to part of the creek and made a silt beach. One time, I had the brilliant idea to bring empty plastic coke bottles down and we filled them with that creek water and drank it. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M STILL ALIVE!
I definitely wasn’t afraid of germs then 😉 There were times when the corn was grown up, but there were patches that the planter missed, so you could sneak out into the cornfield and hang out in the empty patches and no one would even know you were there (not that you would really want to unless you were a these two weird kids). My brother and I stole a match book, the kind that you get for free from places, and took it into the corn field, dug a hole in one of those open patches, and lit twigs and leaves, and whatever else we could find on fire. Yet, another time when I could have easily been in great danger, the entire cornfield could have gone up in an inferno. Perhaps my FAVORITE memory is when my brother and I were playing in the pasture behind my grandparents’ house. I showed this pasture in a previous post, but just in case you forgot, here it is:
The pasture is cool because there is a giant sandstone rock in the shape of a dinosaur head, which us creative kids dubbed, “dinosaur rock.” This was THE coolest place for my cousins and I to hang out during the summer. One time, there were these big dirt filled holes that my dad made in the pasture, and we had no idea why, but it was pretty darn fun to throw the dirt clods at one another. My brother stood at the top of one of these holes and it was made in such a way that it was on the side of a hill. I stood at the bottom and while he was standing on the top, he was saying, “You dare me to jump!” Like he was such a rebel 😉 Of course I said, “Yeah, do it!” Or something to that effect. I’m not kidding you, he was literally swinging his arms, reading to jump, when I yelled, “No, don’t!” (Again, paraphrasing). It was only milliseconds before that fateful leap that I noticed a glassy, blue eye peeking through the dirt. After seeing the eye, the silhouette of a giant, bloated dead cow came into view. I don’t think either of us will ever forget when my brother nearly jumped directly onto the stomach of a cow carcass. If he had, I can’t image how that story would have ended 😦
Well, there is a point to all of this! I saw my brother last weekend and I can’t believe how mature he looks. He was always so much smaller than me. It has struck me in the last couple of years how my family and I are changing before my eyes. I’m just happy to still be close to my siblings and parents. We’ve had such a good life together and will have one to come.
The moral of this post is, watch your kids closer when they play outside! I’m SO surprised that my brother and I made it to be this old 😉
Thanks for reading!