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How can it be that childhood summers can seem to be both endless and yet fleeting? Or so it seemed to me when I was young. I was blessed to grow up on the outskirts of a small Ohio town. Every waking day held the promise of adventure.
Both of my parents worked and I was left in the care of three older brothers who's idea of fun did not involve keeping a close eye on their kid sister, so I was pretty much free to do what I wanted, but even without direct supervision, I knew my boundaries, and how to push them without getting into too much trouble.
My friends lived about five houses up the road, and I usually wandered over to their houses early in the morning and stayed until 2:00 in the afternoon, which was fifteen minutes before my mom was due to return home from work. She was barely in the door before I was begging to go to my friends house. She assumed I had been home all day up until then, so permission was usually granted and off I would go back to my friends.
We spent hours on end pretending to be characters from our favorite television shows, Lost In Space, Girl From Uncle, and Daktari. We also loved to explore the woods, build forts, ride bikes, and fish. Okay, we thought we MIGHT like to fish, but since we didn't have poles or hooks or fishing line we had to come up with our own way of doing it. We found some wood trim laying around in my friends garage, and for hooks, why not use open safety pins. I provided the pieces of hotdogs for bait. For line, some twine should do the trick. We walked up the road to a farm pond on someone's property, who we didn't even know. Never mind that my neighbor had a stocked pond behind my parents property, heck where's the adventure in that? Well you can guess how many fish we managed to catch. It didn't take long to come to the realization that no matter what you do you can't keep a piece of hotdog on an open safety pin hook. We did fatten up the fish though, so the man who owned the pond should have been grateful.
I'm fast approaching my mid fifties, and my friend from up the road is still my best friend, and even though our lives have taken more spins and turns than a carnival ride we still manage to share adventures. We just finished hiking 52 miles on the Appalachian Trail, which is something we do each summer. Neither one of us does much fishing these days.