Monday, March 12, 2007

Dreaming about Junior got me thinking about some of the things that shaped me into who I am. I know that when I was in the moment of many of these that I didn't think they were the greatest moments...but now as I look back I can see how they shaped me into me.

Going fishing with my mom on summer mornings and her showing me how to properly remove a bullhead off your line.

Walking on the train tracks behind our house trying to jump from one track to the other.

Climbing a big clump Red Maple in the backyard...each year being brave enough to go a branch or two higher.

Making a lauching pad out of snow in the driveway so that I could perform my Michael Jordan impersonation on our basketball hoop.

Building snow horses in the backyard with mom...they were much better than snowmen because you cold play "Lone Ranger" on a snow horse.

Scrubbing down the horse carriage and decorating it for the 4th of July parade.

Practicing pitching with my mom. She was my catcher and caught my heat until I started bruising her hand. She is the best mom in the world. When I could throw to hard she put up a sheet of plywood and painted a strike zone on it, then would stand next to it and throw the ball back to me.

Sledding in the backyard and seeing how far across the lake I could make it.

Diving for "treasures" in the lake behind my parents house.

Going to Russ' restraunt with my Grandma Versluys.

Riding on Grandpa Versluys' scooter with him. He would go from one end of the house to the other with us on his lap.

Eating at G&G Versluys' house while my parents were away. I had such a huge mouthful of milk that my cheeks were puffed out. I was pretending to hit my cheeks with my hands and my Grandpa said, " Jimmy don't you dare". Yeah, they hadn't figured out you didn't want to dare little Jimmy....milk went everywhere.

Playing Little League baseball in a snowstorm.

Tagging along with a couple of dentist that used to rabbit hunt behind my parents house.

Making forts out of hay bales in my parents barn and slidding down the hay shoot.

Shoveling off my grandparents flat room during the blizzards of '78 and then my dad let us jump off the roof into the snow piles below.

Waking up from a nap when I was four or five and there was a goat standing out my window staring in at me...I've never liked goats since then.

Going to auctions on Saturday mornings with my dad, usually on the way home I fell asleep on him.

Visiting Florida during the winter. My parents had a small motorhome and I loved falling asleep to the hum of the tires on the road.

Camping Labor Day weekends in the U.P. and walking the Mackinaw Bridge every year with my family. On the way home we would stop at a park and play frisbee football with other families from church.

Going Maple Sugaring in Rudyard, MI. My parents friends made maple syrup. We would visit them in the early spring to "help" them. I spent more time eating the maple sugar candy and playing with their frisbee catching dog. They had a bear rug hanging on a door that scared the beejeebers out of me.

Spending a week at Hoffmaster State park in the summers. Catching tadpoles, climbing sand dunes, swimming, making sand castles, roasting marshmellows, playing uno, making smores, cooking Hobo pies, riding bikes, throwing a frisbee, playing catch, and riding bikes to the Whippy Dip for ice cream cone's.

Watching the World Series with my Grandpa while my Grandparents stayed with us while they were on a trip.

Making my Uncle Dick's world famous carmel corn with my sisters before we watched the Disney specials on Saturday nights.

Getting up at 6am on Saturday mornings so I could watch The Lone Ranger. I was usually up prior to it starting and sat waiting watching the colored lines on the screen before they started broadcasting...then they played the Star Spangled Banner...then The Lone Ranger.

Going to my elementary friend Steve's house and his mom making us popcorn in a huge pan on the stove. We got to stay up late on Friday night watching TV and eating popcorn. Satuday morning we would run around his Grandpa's farm exploring everything.

Visiting Hawkersmith Nursery in McMinville Tennessee with my dad. He was excited to see the trees. I think I was more excited to see the Tennesse Walking horses they raised on their farm.

Going fishing with my parents every Memorial Day.

Sitting at the front window waiting for my dad to get home from deer camp. Hoping and praying he had gotten a buck.

Visiting our relatives in Montana: staying on their farm, helping with their cattle, riding with my Uncle Chuckon his dirt bike to check on the bulls and sprinklers, fishing for Trout in their creek, and shooting our matching little red bows at pop cans with my cousin Kevin.


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