Today was a first for 2015. Since Michelle is off for a girls weekend in Portland, our fearless hero (me) is on his own. (OK, not quite on his own, left over manicotti in the fridge, YUM!) This does mean I can’t just throw the bike on the back of the car. If I want to commute home from work on the bike, then I damn well have to wake up early enough to bike TO work.
Today I did so! The first round trip of 2015. The best part though, is going both ways the rain held off until I got to the final destination! On a pretty wet day, I was dry as a tater chip!
On the way home I let my mind wander WAY far back…
For some reason, while pedaling this afternoon, I tried to pin down some of my earliest memories. Why? Well I guess I’d say: Why not!
So, as my mind wandered it settled on what I believe to be my first memory, and it will not be s surprise that it involved pedaling a bike, well ok, a trike!
I am pretty sure this took place somewhere in Pennsylvania, and I believe I was three. I think it was with my cousin Wendy. But I do know I was on a trike, in a courtyard of some type, playing cowboys and Indians.
Editors Note: Yes, I know, this is NOT a politically correct thing to do nowadays, but this was the 60s and we kids played cowboys and Indians back then.
In my defense, I was the Indian in this game. I know this because I had a wire coat hanger, and I was riding in circles, chasing the cowboy (or was it a cowgirl) and shooting my arrow. I distinctly remember how cool it was I could steer the bike with no hands! (My mom shoulda known then she was trouble!)
The next memories that are still took place in Missouri when I was 4. (I was an army brat and tended to move some!)
Two things stand out for me during our year or so in the “Show Me” state.
The first involved the biggest damn daddy-long-legs that, to this very day, I had ever seen! I was playing on a wooden floor in the house we had. I think I was playing with blocks. When I looked down the hall and saw this huge assed spider walking towards me.
Editors note: To my 4 year old senses, this thing stood a foot tall! Anytime there was a cartoon, like Johnny Quest, that had a big spider, this one popped into my head! I suffer from post traumatic spider disorder!
Well as it came toward me, I slid my butt back away, and he kept a coming. I swear he kept pace with me. Somewhere along the line I must have called my mom, because she came out and saw it. Folks, this is no lie, she took off her shoe and hit the thing, and it didn’t even slow down! If anything she made it mad!
Well being an army wife, she fell back on superior fire power and higher intelligence. She ran to the closet and grabbed one of my dads combat boots. (They went up to my knees when I stepped into them!) And stomped the spider with it! She had to hit him twice with it to kill him!
The other big one also involved bugs…
I was up on a hill behind our house, with 2 friends. Being the ever inquisitive nature and science buff, even then, I noticed bees flying into a hole in the ground. Now in the Pooh books, bees lived in trees! (I am telling you, this went through my head!) And I had the great idea that we could trap these bees in the hole by putting a stick in it! So we did….
OK remember, 4 year olds aint that smart! It never occurred to me there were be other holes… Well the bees knew where the exits were and suddenly we were surrounded. Then, 3 little boys, leading a swarm of bees were running screaming toward MOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!! You know, I don’t know if I (or anyone else) got stung, but I do remember running and screaming down that hill!
Finally, and this one might get me in trouble, I remember the first time didn’t tell the truth to my mom.
We were back in PA, in a trailer park. It had snowed, and then we got hit by freezing rain. I was outside the next day playing and breaking through the crust of snow.
Editors note: This is still the 60s and kids played outside ALL the time!
Well, behind our trailer was a gully. And here in lies one of the legends of my family.
I was behind the house and saw the gully. I was very intrigued by it. The way the ice and snow had fallen, it looked like you could lay on your belly, feet pointing down hill and hang there, then pull yourself up. So, being a young Mountainstroh, I did just that. I laid on my belly and hung on.
Of course, now being 5, I was still NOT that smart… I didn’t have the leverage to pull myself up. I held on as long as I could, but soon I let go and slid almost all the way down. I still remember wondering how far I was going to slide and how much trouble I was going to be in. I was NOT allowed down there even in good weather. I seem to remember my mom having seen a bobcat or Cougar or something, so it was WAY out-of-bounds.
So, there I was stuck halfway down, and did what all kids do when they are in trouble. “MOOOOOMMMMMMYYYY” “HEEEEEEELLLLP MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” I learned MUCH later she thought this was part of her Soap Opera, and couldn’t figure out who was yelling, but then, being a loud child, she figured out it was me!
She cam running back there, saw me, and went into action! She first tried to kick steps in the ice to come get me, no dice, that ice was solid. I think SHE almost slipped doing so. Then we REALLY would have been screwed! OK plan B!
Somewhere she found a clothes line and got it to me. I tried to climb up, but that was NOT gonna happen. I then wrapped it around my arms and she pulled me up. WHEW! Safe!
But then the question I was dreading: “How did you get down there!” Somehow, my little pea brain back then decided telling her the real story would have been a BAD idea! I hesitated and looked around and then I saw some giant ice cycles on the trailer. “I was going to break off those off, and I slipped!” I heard myself say…..
It was a fun mental exercise doing this. These all happened 45 years ago, and each one is more memorable than what I had for lunch last week…
Try it sometime, and tell me why is your oldest memory….