Wednesday, March 9, 2016

memories

Another post to my quiet blog. I imagine someone is reading and finding it worthy to follow my silly day-to-day happenings. It's good for me to write anyway.

Cro and I still have colds but much better. Mine did not get anywhere close to the severity of his. The biggest annoyance has been the inability to breath through my nose. For some strange reason, Ricola cough drops clear my stuffy nose so I can sleep. It might be the menthol but it also might be the trick I've been reading about applying pressure to the roof of your mouth.

Me (front left), Travis (red stripes), two kids
from next door and my cousin Loren (in back).
My uncle David died a few days ago from a heart attack. He was a good friend to my dad. Uncle David's family and mine were together lots as I was growing up. His son, my cousin Travis, was the cousin I was closest to when we were kids. Country kids growing up, building snow forts and having snowball fights in the winter and building forts out of hay bales in the barn and having corn-cob fights in the summer. So much fun.

There was an old limestone strip mine near our farm. We often called it "the rock crusher" because now and then the miners would blast dynamite into the area of ground they were still mining. It would shake the ground like a mini earthquake and is a memory tied to the wonder of my childhood.

But back to the topic, the area the miners were finished with had filled with water over the years and became deep ponds. Dad and Uncle David wanted to go swimming so mom and my aunt, sister and cousin Travis all went along. I was the eldest kid by a couple of years but was still too young to be trusted messing around in the "bottomless" pit.

While wandering the edge I found an old tire. Hmm, in cartoons tires float! I picked up the old tire, held it to my chest and jumped off the embankment into the water. The tire sunk and drug me down with it. It was a complete tire with rim and all – not a cartoon floating inner tube – it sunk, I let go but I didn't know how to swim. I held my eyes closed tight and calmly kicked out with my legs and arms, not knowing whether I was headed up or down.

A few seconds later I felt a strong arm wrap around me and pull me to the surface. When I opened my eyes it was uncle David who had me. I'll never forget the worried terror I saw in my dad's eyes when I opened my own. Uncle David swam me to the edge where all of us kids were given strict orders to stay in sight and to not get near the water.

Uncle David remained a friend to my family long after his divorce from mom's sister and even after dad's death. He would often hunt squirrels and deer on the property and had only last week brought mom deer meat from a recent hunt.

Losing a long-loved family member is sad in so many ways.

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