Thirty-nine and feelin fine

Here we go. I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks, getting a novel posted to Swoon Reads, traveling to Denver to see Frozen the musical, and doing the alumni band thing for our college homecoming. I’d like to write about those things on here…we’ll see if I actually get that done, though. I keep trying!!

Today, however, I’m going to tackle another of the hundred journal topics. So without further ado:

39. Write about a time as a child when you played in one of the following: a treehouse, a cornfield, a construction site, a junkyard, an abandoned house or barn, a stream, a cemetery, a pasture, railroad tracks.

Okay. I’m gonna go through each of these in turn.

Treehouse: I do not think I have ever been in a real, honest-to-goodness treehouse. I sure wished I had one as a kid. I even went so far as to attempt it, but only got a flat piece of wood in a mimosa tree in the backyard. I also really wanted our own kids to have one, but that didn’t happen either. It’s too bad. Treehouses rock.

Cornfield: Nope. The first time I was in a cornfield was probably as an adult, in a corn maze during the fall. The only thing I remember as a kid was a wheat field and I was told to be dang careful and not damage the wheat. When I watch movies and people run into fields like that I cringe because DON’T DAMAGE THE CROPS!! Next.

A Construction Site: Okay, first though was nope, that’s not anything a kid should do, but then I remembered that once, when I was a kid, my sister and I went to an empty lot and climbed up a huge pile of gravel and slid down. It was kind of fun but we were terrified of getting yelled at by someone so we only did it once.

Junkyard: I’m not able to think of much involving a junkyard. I can remember being a teenager after my sister wrecked my car, and I got my stuff out of the car at the junkyard after it was towed. I think that’s how it went down. That was a pretty miserable time.

An abandoned house or barn: We went to my grandmother’s farm sometimes growing up. We only went a couple of times. Grandma didn’t live there; nobody did. There was an old house with a cistern, a old barn with an old truck in it, an outhouse, trees, and a broken down fence. It was surrounded by the wheat field that I wasn’t supposed to go in. We didn’t so much play there as explore each time we went. I remember that the truck belonged to the man who leased the farmland to grow the wheat on, so we weren’t supposed to touch it. He also had some hay stored in there. There was a sidewalk leading up to the house, and an old stove inside and some broken plates and jars. When I was a girl, the house was pretty much intact, but now a tree has fallen on one side of it and caved in the roof, and some bees have set up residence. So it’s not really visit-able in the warmer months. I had to use the outhouse once there when I was a little girl. Now the outhouse has collapsed. The barn is gone now, too. My friends and I went and camped out there when we were in college. We slept on top of the cellar. Now that concrete slab has cracked as well and isn’t safe. I used to dream of having my own home there, in the stand of trees, but I don’t think that will probably happen anymore. The people who rent the farmland from my mom now want to tear down the house and trees so that acre will be farmable too. I don’t really want that to happen. It probably will some day and that’ll be sad.

A stream: When I was about eight I went with my mom and sister to Falls Creek youth camp. I was not old enough to be there but mom was playing the piano or cooking or something so I went with her. While we were there I met a nice boy and he took me down to the creek and taught me how to catch crawdads. We were gone for a long time and when I got back my mom was really bothered by the whole thing and I wasn’t allowed to go off with him again.

A cemetery: I’ve been to lots of cemeteries but I don’t think I ever played in one as a child. I was always very interested in them though, reading all the markers and being careful to walk on the correct side so I didn’t walk on anyone. I remember when we went to the Maple Grove Cemetery in Alfalfa County we would always stay a long time and my legs would hurt, but there were stickers so you couldn’t sit down. And sitting on gravestones was wrong. And sitting in the station wagon was out because it was a zillion degrees out there and the vinyl seats were hot as fire and glued themselves to your thighs. There was an outhouse there too, and I also used that once. It’s not there anymore either, so it’s hold it or hide behind a tree at the cemetery now.

A pasture: Okay, so I like played in a pasture all the time, sort of. I mean, we had the four acres growing up, and it was sort of a pasture. I think we called it a field but basically the same thing. Again, there were stickers, but I kind of liked hanging out there. There was a big metal box of some kind that I enjoyed playing in and making it my house or den or whatever I was imagining. I really liked it but it seems kind of boring to share. I guess because it was mostly all in my head.

Railroad tracks: My most vivid memory of railroad tracks is when I was about 13 and Marissa and I were out driving around. She only had a permit but it didn’t stop her. She liked to stick to the back roads though. Anyway, we decided to go to the video store. We took the back roads there, only going into town for the actual video return and rental. On the way back, she took a different route and we got stuck in some really bad mud. And we were like two miles from town. We were near the train tracks so I took charge and decided we were going to walk back to town. Oh, and I also had this somewhat wild kitten, Oliver, with us that we had just found a week ago or so and was still kind of afraid of us. Also, he turned out to be a little half-witted later. And it was dusk, bonus. And Marissa wasn’t wearing any shoes. So we followed the tracks back to town. She was complaining the entire time about not having shoes, and she asked me to give her one of mine so she could have one foot not hurt. Then we would be even, she said. I reminded her that her shoe size was like three sizes bigger and it wouldn’t work. She then wanted me to take a shoe off anyway, out of sympathy for her. I think I actually tried it for a while and then gave up because that was dumb. Oliver freaked out when we tried to carry him so we had to just let him walk behind us, crying because he was afraid of being alone but also too afraid to be held while we walked. We went on like this until we got to town, well after dark. At that point, I tried picking up Oliver again and he completely complied and fell asleep in my arms, sweet baby. We went to my Grandma’s house and banged on the door but she didn’t wake up and answer. So then we walked to Main Street and used the phone on the street corner in front of city hall. It was probably like midnight at this point. I can’t remember if our parents were worried or if they even noticed we were missing, ha ha. Anyway, that was an adventure.

Here is a bonus picture of Oliver, the railroad travelin' kitten, sharing a treat of some kind with Corky, my rat terrier puppy.

Here is a bonus picture of Oliver, the railroad travelin’ kitten, sharing a treat of some kind with Corky, my rat terrier puppy.

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