WAY OFF TOPIC! Down Memory Lane. . .
I learned to read when I was only 4, but after I learned to read, and for about a year and a half, I read on my back on on my belly in the iron lung. I was one of the last of the polio kids and for close to two years, from almost four until about six, I was in children's hospital on a ward that house children boy and girl alike who had polio. I was the youngest and the other children were old enough for school, so they had reading and homework. I envied their ability to read, so I bugged the nurses until one of them taught me to read. Once I learned how, I read everything from the directions on the lung to books and the other patients charts. When I was discharged, I went to live for a year with my grandmother because my mother was not convinced that I was not contagious, so at my grandmother's house, my spot was at the kitchen table. She had one of those yellow fomica kitchen tables and I would sit there and read--mostly outloud to her. By the middle of first grade, I was reading Little Women to my grandmother. I owe my reading skills to her because she was illiterate and I read her bills, the paper, books, and anything else she needed me to read for her. When I moved back home, my favorite place was in the attic of our old house. My mother saw reading as one of those rich folks activities and when she saw me reading, she considered it me being lazy. So, I would sneak to the library, and check out as many books as I could, and sneak up into the attic and read until it got so dark that I couildn't see. When my mother died, I lived with my sister and she had an old victorian house and my room was the attic, but outside my window was a widow's watch or whatever that thing is where you can stand and look out for your man to come home. I crawled out of my bedroom window and sat there and read for hours…even in the winter. Now, my favorite place to read is in the living room on the sofa with my feet prooped up on the table. I read so much that when I am not reading, I look for something to read. I am doing what I always wanted to do: reading, writing, and thinking…and they pay me for these activities. When the Business college has large companies CEOs or other upper management come for various meetings, they bring them into my office and the first thing out of their mouths is usually Did you read all of these books. I only have one book case in my office and doubt there are a hundred books on it…so it always amuses me and the deans when they ask that.
There you have it.
My brothers and four cousins (all boys) and I use to play in the natural caves all over the state. My mom was a woman who liked to take roadtrips and we would end up in places way out in the middle of nowhere and she would spread out a blanket by a creek and turn us loose. I remember sleeping outdoors too. Mom would do her spring cleaning and that meant putting all our furniture out side while she scrubbed floors and walls and we would beg her to leave our bed outside for a night or two. Sometimes, we would wake up with every stray dog in Paris in bed with us. One night, I woke up and felt something crawling on my leg, and I screamed and my mom turned her bedroom light on and looked out of her bedroom window--our bed was outside her room in the back yard--and my brother grabbed the intruder--a huge garden snake. When I was mobile enough to walk without the leg brace, my brother and I use to go to the creek and catch crawdads and sell them to the fisher men. We would get a buck for twelve and we thought we had more money that Elvis. Yep, those were the days. There was a mountain not far from our house and we would climb from bottom to top and mom would pick us up at the top, but on our way, we always stopped by a huge waterfall that fell off the side and was fed by an artisian water source. It landed in a huge rock bowl that we called slick rock and that's where we would swim in that ice cold water. I don't think I had a care in the world. Behind the water falls was a little cave--not very big into the mountain, but if you got into the water, you could enter the cave from that way and it led us into a huge underground cavern. We would swim around in there and pull ourself up on the ledge and go back as far as we could see, but mostly we just stayed close to the mouth of the cave. There were some places that looked like camp fires had been there but thinking about it, those were probably from ancient tribes of people.
We also explored on our grandfather's land. There was an ancient Indian burial ground and since we were kids, we had no way of knowing that those relics were sacred. We dug up bowls and weapons, and other things. I gave some to my teacher and one day my grandfather said, girl, you're digging in a graveyard, get out of here before some ghost comes and snatches you bald. We stopped going around the burial grounds. Recently, an archeologist claimed that area as protected area and they have started digging to "save" the relics. Anyway, like you, I spent a lot of my time reading, exploring, swimming, and just having a great time being a kid.
Karen my girlfriend and I used to sleep in the tent in her backyard when our parents would lets us. Had a blast doing that until her dad caught our visitors one night....lol he chased them down the street in his underwear and shotgun!!!! OMG those were the days!!! And NO we were not doing anything wrong but kissing!!! We didn't dare do anything more.....;-)
My uncle used to drive the bus right by my house and if it wasn't filled up he would pick us up and take us for a ride on his route! Mom would get so mad at him because he would get us at supper time....LOL