The Ice Pond

Maybe because I can feel fall in the air; maybe because schools are starting up next week; maybe it is because I know that winter will not be far behind; or maybe just maybe it is seeing all these people dump buckets of ice over their heads for the ALS challenge  that I am thinking about my day with the icy pond.

Back when I was a little kid we lived on a major 5 lane road.  Because of this I mostly played in the backyard of the house; we had three acres so it wasn’t like I was deprived of play space.   I shared my back yard with my father’s quarter acre garden, a swamp, a raspberry patch, several good climbing trees and several ditches.

I don’t remember if I was born yet but there was some sort of trouble with a drain being busted and the result was our property would flood.  To keep our property from flooding beyond the swamp my father dug ditches and ran some sort of pumping mechanism so that he had land for the garden and we had an area to play baseball or badminton or volleyball in.   In the winter he would turn off the pumps and let that area flood so that we had a place to ice skate.

Leading down to that area was a hill that we used for sledding in the winter.  My older brother and my father would make the snow on the hill down to the ice pond into a “chute” which they then covered with water to create an ice chute for our sledding enjoyment.

We had a metal sled that because of it’s shape was called “the boat sled” as it looked like a slightly pudgy round cornered boat.  Put the boat sled at the top of the chute, kick your feet into the snow on either side to get going, tuck your body – feet and all – into the sled and hang on for the ride of your life.

On this particular day I was outside playing by myself and decided to go sledding.  I got the boat sled out of the garage and dragged it to the top of the hill, settled myself mostly in and kicked off.  And I sat!!  The sled was stuck in some snow that had melted a bit and messed up our smooth ice.  I got out of the sled and moved it a little bit farther down the chute to find a place where I could take off from.

Finding the right place, I put the sled on the chute and climbed in ready for a fast ride.

And what a ride it was!! I flew through puddles on that chute, laughing as I got icy splashes to my face and hanging on tight as that sled seemed to just fly down that hill.

Now, no one had ever told me that when Michigan gets that thaw mid-winter that you stay off of ice covered ponds and lakes till someone older and responsible checks it out for you; at least till not after the fact.

So there I was flying down the hill on that boat sled, picking up speed and enjoying the rush that only hurtling down a hill can give you.  I was even wondering just how far out on the ice pond I would go and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone at dinner that I had gone farther than anyone else had.

Got to the end of the chute and I was actually hurtling through the air like being on some whacky magic metal flying carpet!!  I was enjoying this immensely!!

Then I hit the ice pond, slid a little bit and promptly sank into water up to my armpits.  Being a bit on the tall side for a child of that age, the water came up to just my arm pits but I was still about 20 feet from any edge of the pond and I was outside alone!!

What to do??  What to do?? Well, I wasn’t about to lose the sled; especially if we were going to freeze over again before spring.  So I grabbed that sled and held it over my head and tried to walk out of that pond.  Should be easy, right?

I couldn’t go very far with the drag from my boots and holding that sled over my head made making headway all but impossible for me to do.   I remembered my cousin’s advice about what to do when you fall in a lake from a boat and figured it applied in this situation.  I lowered the sled and found that it would stay on top of the icy slush as long as I didn’t put any of my weight on it.  I figured out a way to remove my boots and put them on the sled. Then it was time for me to try to finish wading toward the shore.

It took awhile and I had to break some ice a few times to get to the shore.  Yelling for help did no good as no one was close enough to hear me and with it being winter, no one had any windows open either.  By the time I reached the shore it was all I could do to pull my boots on and make my way to the house.

I got inside and after explaining, to whichever of my siblings was supposed to be watching me, through chattering teeth I got out of my wet clothes, put into a warm bath, then into dry pajamas and put into bed with a heating pad or two.   I fell asleep and slept right through till breakfast, which I ate with gusto, just happy to be alive and already planning my next adventure in the back yard.

Music

I am listening to music and thinking about how when I was younger music was a much bigger part of my life than it is currently and how maybe it is time to bring it back into my life more.

Music could be used to tell someone how you felt about them, especially if you were shy. It could be used to comfort you.  And music could even be used to entertain yourself; either by singing wherever you happened to be listening to or by singing loudly (and badly) while out partying with friends.

I was always involved in music in school, from 5th & 6th grade choir to chorus in Jr. High through chorus and singing in an all girls group in high school.  The only talent show I was ever in at school had me singing with two of my friends – admittedly I didn’t have “stage fright” so it looked like it was me with two back up singers.

I went to many concerts when I was younger, at least two or three a month during the summer and couldn’t even imagine a time when I wouldn’t go to one; music was that important to me.

Over the years I have sung in church choirs, at people’s weddings, sung to sweet hubby at our reception and have even been asked to come to Sweet Adelines (Ladies Barbershop style a Capella)  which so far I  have declined.

I think that might be why this latest influx of movies that center around music (Pitch Perfect, Jersey Boys, Walk the Line, Rock of Ages, Burlesque and soon to come out Get on Up) are ones that are always on my “must watch” list.   It doesn’t matter how many times they come on the TV, as soon as it gets to the singing parts I am right there, singing right along with gusto – even if I still don’t remember all the words.    I don’t consider them musicals like we did the many that Disney has produced over the years, but rather they are more like movies that have an amazing soundtrack.  And after all isn’t that the very best part of the movie?

How many times do you find yourself humming a song or even singing out loud, especially if you are by yourself? When you think about it, how much is music a part of your life?   I know it is still a part of my life and it always will be.

 

The Model T

Since in my last blog I told you about my father’s restored Dodge, it leads right into this little story about the day he took sweet hubby for a ride in his restored Model T.

My father belonged to a group of Model T enthusiasts who were called, ironically,  The Model Ts.   The group was having their annual pig roast potluck picnic and he invited sweet hubby and myself along.  They were going to drive there in the Model T and I was going to follow along behind them in the van, just in case.

The Model T was stored in my father’s barn in Pontiac and the party was somewhere west of White Lake (?) I don’t really remember the city, I just know we drove west on M-59 for quite awhile.

And what a ride it was!!  First off, we discovered he couldn’t really see the lights as well as he always let on as he was going through them on pinks or oranges, depending on how you classify a yellow light that is in the process of turning red.  Keep in mind that I was following them in our van and I had no map, no address or any directions other than being told that I had to “keep up”.    So Pops would blast through on a  pink and I would go through on what must surely have been a solid red.   I was swearing under my breath and praying that no cops were around to see and write up what would surely be a hefty ticket.

Second poor sweet hubby was shoe horned in the vehicle because once Pops found out that the poor boy had never ridden in such an old car, well he made sure he was going to ride in it.  I had planned on being the one who was riding with Pops that day; didn’t quite pan out as I thought.

We drove for what felt like forever till we got to the right neighborhood and found the right house, tucked back in on the very last road.  Pops pulled over to park and I turned around on the street and parked across from them as the only other spot near them was a parallel parking spot and I avoid those like the plaque.

Pops stopped the car, set the brake and jumped out to go to the picnic.  Sweet hubby had to maneuver around in the seat to get his leg out so he could extract himself from the car.  While he was moving around, the car which had been parked on a slight incline, started to roll backwards.  Sweet hubby was starting to panic and yell, I was yelling to get Pops attention and suddenly people were running to help stop the car.   We got it stopped, sweet hubby got out and we had to listen to Pops complain that somebody’s leg must’ve disengaged the parking brake. I had to also listen to sweet hubby complain that Pops hadn’t set the parking brake.    Needless to say, I didn’t get to eat my roasted pig in very much peace!!!

The Dodge

My friend over at http://denofthebeastlybear.blogspot.com/ just wrote a blog about attending his friends’ wedding down in Tennessee and the old cars that were there.  In a conversation with him I found out that he had never ridden in a real old car till that weekend.

WOW, I thought everyone had ridden in a model A or T or even an old Dodge at least once in their life.  After talking with him it became apparent that not everyone grew up with a father who was obsessed with old cars.

Almost as far back as I can remember, my father had an old car or two in the garage that he was restoring. Sometimes one would be to the point where he could actually drive it in a local parade.  Of course, we weren’t allowed to ride on the running boards like we wanted to do for the parade; he deemed it unsafe.   Other times they sat in the garage while he pursued his other passions, farming, wood work and junk collecting, and didn’t get restored.

After having been out of touch with my father for several years and in getting to know him again I found out that he had a fully restored 1929 Dodge.  I believe it to be a Dodge Senior Six Sport, at least that is what I think from looking at the pictures of it and seeing pictures of others online.  He never really referred to it as anything other than “The Dodge”, so I don’t know for sure.  (If anyone can tell for sure the year and make of it please let me know.)

About two years before he passed away he told us that he was going to sell the Dodge.  So we helped him by searching on the internet and figuring out what it was worth.   We told him the price and I kidded with him that since my birthday was coming up that would be a wonderful present.   He just wanted to sell it and that is just what he did, for a third of it’s value since it was fully restored.

If you see this beautiful vehicle on the road or at a local (MI) car show; it just might be his old Dodge and you will know that, that person got a very good deal.

Chucks Dodge0001

Pops in his Dodge

Introducing

I would like to introduce a new blogger! He grew up in my hometown, we rode the bus to school together for a whole year and he dated one of my friends, who helped me convince him that her and I were cousins.  (Have I ever mentioned that I have always wanted a large family??)

So far, all the stories he has posted on his blog are true; unlike me 99.8% of the time and never my own, he posts people’s names – only their first names though so that they can retain a bit of anonymity.

Please take some time to go over to his blog, http://denofthebeastlybear.blogspot.com/, and read the 138 posts that he has put up so far.  I think you will like them.  Some are extremely funny, some are thought provoking and some will let you get to know the real person behind the blog.

Click on over there and enjoy.  Leave him a comment to let him know you stopped by or that you liked what you read.  He has some really, really, really good posts and only one so far that I didn’t really like.

I hope that you do and give this very well written blogger a place in your daily line up of things to read.

Just another sad event

On Tues., July 8, 2014 my friend Rick died.  He didn’t die peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones as we often read in obituaries; but rather on a street, alone.  And herein lies  why it is so sad………….

Rick received a closed head brain injury quite a few years ago when the ATV he was riding on collided with a pick up truck that was going the wrong way on a clearly marked trail; Rick almost died.   Strong man that he was, he recovered and was able to walk, talk and sort of resume a normal life.  He really wasn’t competent to make legal decisions but his employer (the big blue oval) said that he had to return to work when in fact he should’ve been medically disabled and given disability.  He worked for a few more years and his employer kept demoting him as he could no longer handle his job.  Eventually he was offered a buy-out & retirement which he took and started being at home, every day, all the time.

He had some medical issues, suffered a few seizures when sleeping; otherwise he was a happy go-lucky guy – he just had no “filters” so to speak and often spoke exactly what he was thinking; which could either be hilarious or hurtful depending on the situation and what he said.  He liked to go on walks and was known to go dumpster diving behind stores.

One year for a few weeks Rick and his wife came and attended a financial class near us.  Since it was at night and we went too, they would come down for dinner, we’d all go to class and then they would come back to the house, play cards or watch TV and then spend the night.

The lady teaching the class was just a tad snobbish (at least that is how she seemed to us) but Rick never cared about that; he would still talk to her every week.  So one week he showed me what he had found while dumpster diving; it was a carved onyx donkey.  (I collect the stuff, and it was a nice piece)  He took it to class and was going to show her his great find.  For grins I said make sure you tell her where you found it after you show her.  He said alright, he didn’t care if people knew he went into dumpsters, and headed up to the front of the room to show her. I sat in the back of the class to watch what happened.

I could see him show her the piece, talking quite animatedly about it and she took it from his hand and was really looking at it, telling him how nice it was; I had a great view of her reaction when he told her where he had found it.  I thought this lady was going to throw it at him.  She rapidly dropped it in his hand and stepped back a couple of feet.  As soon as she could get away from him she came flying back to the back of the room and right into the Ladies’ room.

I slowly sauntered in there on the pretense of using it before class and saw her furiously scrubbing her hands. When she saw me in the mirror, I could tell that she was ready to explode – it was so hard to keep a straight face and inquire why she was so upset.  To her credit she didn’t say anything bad about Rick and never let on that anything was wrong; she just said that she had gotten something on her hands and needed to get it off.   For the rest of the sessions she wouldn’t touch anything that Rick brought to class.

Rick loved to joke around and kid.  If he liked you, you knew it.  He adored his wife and always told me how much he loved her.  Some of his favorite times were when he would come visit us and spend a night or two here.  He loved the way that sweet hubby cooked and would always praise him about his cooking skills.

On July 7, 2014 Rick died, alone on a street within a half mile of his house and on the 30th anniversary of his wedding to his much loved wife.

If you have ones that you love, let them know it – the more the better; you never know when your last day on this earth will be.

Fourth of July Weekend

Hello Gentle Readers!!

I trust that all of you will have had a good weekend; I know we did.  As usual, when a holiday comes along, we wonder how much of it we will be spending alone especially now with the youngest one recently married.  So, we contacted the kids to see their plans.  The oldest was heading to the lake house of one of her boyfriend’s friends and the youngest was spending time with her hubby ALONE for ALL weekend.  So, that left us doing nothing with no one and figuring it would be another sucky holiday.

When the girls were younger and we lived close to hubby’s parents, every holiday was a party!! We’d buy all the holiday themed party goods, make a bunch of party foods, chips, dips, and things to cook on the grill (if it was summer).  We’d spend the day together joking and laughing, grilling and cooking – just having a really fun time.  Cue the music to move us back from NY to MI and all of that changed.

Suddenly the girls had places to go and people to see – other than us.  Holidays like Memorial day, Labor day and the 4th of July became days where we were just alone; just another day.  I decided this year to put an end to that.  When I found out the kids’ plans for the 4th I set about finding friends that would be in town and who wouldn’t mind a couple of extra people.

This is how we came to spend the 4th with some of my oldest friends at their house eating bbq ribs and numerous salads all prepared by their father and drinking ice tea till we thought our bellies would burst.  And after all that food, including corn on the cob and watermelon, we pulled out what we had brought for dessert; two cartons of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream, brownies, chocolate raspberry, hot fudge, strawberry and salted caramel toppings as well as my extra marshmellowy rice krispy treats.   Needless to say, we ate so well at their house that we didn’t need to eat again till the next day.

On the 5th of July we had been invited to spend sometime and have dinner at the home of our older daughter’s Godmother.  Almost her whole family was there, so there were plenty of adults and children to interact with.  We had a hearty roast chicken dinner with all the fixings, followed a couple hours later by strawberry shortcake made with an angel food “loaf” cake and plenty of strawberries.  In between dinner and dessert the kids, daughters and all the husbands played games while my friend set me down for a crochet lesson. (more on that in future posts).

So, instead of this weekend being full of too much alone time while others’ partied around us it was, instead, filled with lots of fun, food and people who truly wanted us to be with them.  I will be looking for another party or two to wrangle an invite to for Labor day weekend – who knows, by then maybe we will be in a position to have people over here for a change.

Hope all of you had people to see or places to go to so that you weren’t just sitting on the sidelines twiddling your thumbs and stabbing at the remote control.

Holy Crap!!

I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since I have written a blog!  Wow!!  No good excuse for it either.  I headed over here to re-read some of the past ones and had my eyes pop open because I saw that the last time I wrote was last July.

Holy Chit Batman!!!  What a way to lose readers!! (Wait, have I ever written anything worthy of being read?)

Today I spent some money buying vitamins & supplements that the doctor said our blood work revealed that we were too low in and dang does it cost money to try to get naturally healthy.  We were also told that we should be eating more RAW fruits and veggies.  I can handle quite a few of either in their natural state; just unless it is a certain time of the year they are not the cheapest things to buy.

A week or so ago we were up to Hooterville to spend some time with Momma & Jay.  Jay had to go to a doctor appointment so we spent time at their new farmer’s market.  I picked up some asparagus for both families as it was an incredible low price, especially fresh picked.  I had read somewhere that it is best to store asparagus standing up in water – shallow water just slightly over the cut ends.  So when we came home I got out two little custard bowls put the asparagus in them with the recommended amount of water and put them in the fridge; did the same at Momma’s house except I didn’t put their’s in the fridge.  I have one bunch left in my fridge and it still looks the same as it did the day that I put it in there.  Going to have to either grill it or steam it soon so it doesn’t go to waste.

Didn’t think that I had much to say, but I guess I did!!!

LOL – have a good day now!!

I am not going to

ask if it can get any hotter.  I listened to the weather tonight and it is indeed supposed to get hotter in the coming days.  I will pray for rain instead.

Today I felt like I was literally melting into a puddle.  It is cooler now that the sun has gone down and I wish this coolness would continue on into the rest of the week.  At the end of last week it was perfect here, the days were just warm enough with low humidity; my perfect kind of summer day and the nights had a cool breeze to them which was just wonderful for sleeping.

My friend said it rained today at her home which is south of Hooterville but north of my home and she said she hoped that it would come our way as it had cooled off there nicely.  We can only hope.

After suffering through 19 straight days of rain so far this summer you probably think that I am nuts for wishing for more rain right now, but that isn’t it at all.  I just want the rain so the heat and humidity go away.  I don’t mind warm as long as it isn’t humid too.

Need to find that perfect area that has temps between 70 and 78 degrees Farenheit with sun, low humidity and blue skies the majority of the time with enough rainfall to grow things and fill the rain barrels.  Ah, it is so nice to dream!

So gentle reader if you know of any such place, please share!!

Up in “Hooterville”

Today marks the 2nd day that we have been up with Momma and Jay.  Momma had shoulder surgery and needs a helping hand for a few weeks, so we packed our bags and drove up here.

Life is soooooooo much quieter here than it is at our house.  Even though we live in the same type of semi-rural community that they do, our neighbors are a bit closer and a ton noiser than theirs.  While I have seen their neighbors’ vehicles, I haven’t actually seen the neighbors.  The distance between them is such that I am comfortable enough to take the dog out for her early morning walks in my pjs; something that I would never do at home!

I am looking forward to venturing into Millington, which is nearby, not because I haven’t been there before but because I recently found out that they have a place that has amazing cinnamon rolls.  I found this out because I have a friend who must travel to places for her job and one of those just happened to be Millington and she wanted recommendations for restaurants.  So, being me I Googled Millington and found a recommendation for a down-home diner style restaurant that also has “excellent cinnamon rolls”.  I told my friend about the place and that maybe she should try it and let me know about the cinnamon rolls.  She did and told me how amaziing that they were and how many she also took home.  My mission this time is to get there and try one of those cinnamon rolls.

Well, it is heading toward 10am and I should probably take a quick shower while Momma is busy reading her paper.