As you may already know, my personality type parallels that of the great adventurists of the world…Richard Branson, the Wright brothers, Ranulph Fiennes, etc… Yes, that’s right, my story will most likely have its own Wikipedia page someday. I don’t see how it couldn’t. With all the exciting tales I endure throughout my days (usually within an acre of land), I am sure I will go down in history as one of the greats.
Okay, let’s come back to reality. I’m just a guy who likes to write from time to time.
I had a grand thought the other day. I was walking and thinking about how I hate Winter. I don’t really have a problem with Spring, Summer and Autumn, but Winter is hard for me.
One problem I have with Winter is with the lack of daylight. That bugs me. Last week, I had to rush back from playing tennis so we could go for a walk up the road before it got dark outside. It was only 3:15 in the afternoon. That’s annoying. I always hated the dark. Not because I am scared of it (which I’m not), but because people go inside and hide when it gets dark. It’s like the show is over and everyone goes home. That’s depressing. Also, the dark stops me from fiddling around outside. It forces me to go in and wind down for the next 7 hours before I go to sleep. I have always hated going to sleep. Who ever thought that I would be as old as I am and still fight about going to sleep.
Another problem I have with Winter is the cold. Things don’t grow in the cold. I can’t go to the store and dream about what I am going to plant next when it’s cold. I have no visions in my mind. It gets a little boring. Also, as you may have noticed, there are fewer pictures to take because I am doing less and things don’t change that much. I am sure I can take pictures of a dying lawn, but I am sure you would get sick of that.
I remember when I used to live back in my home town in the house I grew up in. We lived on a great road that had a nice amount of walkers that would use it for…well, walking. I like to chat it up with people, so I would spend a lot of time sitting at the end of my sidewalk, waiting for people to walk by. Since this would happen from May through October, I accomplished a fair amount socializing. I’m not sure if the walkers appreciated it, but I sure did.
I always remember the times when I would go out to the road, look up and down, and realize the season was over. There was no one walking and there would be no more walkers until the next season. That thought would always be felt in my stomach.
One more depressing short story and then I will get to the point, I promise.
As some of my readers will agree, the lake in my home town was the bomb-diggity when we were growing up. I have no idea if people still use the lake for swimming today, but when I was a kid, it sure was the place to be. From June 27 through September 3, I would pretty much somehow end up at that lake to swim…every day. My friends and I walked, rode skateboards, rode bicycles…whatever, to get down there and hang out.
I usually had the best times right in the middle of July. Everyone in the area had somewhat committed to the fact that the beach was where it’s at. I remember my friend Brian’s mom showing up in her station wagon full of people, Russell’s mom showing up in her maroon Pontiac and some people even walking. You know, those lucky people who lived close by.
We would all do our thing and swim all day. I remember swimming back from the raft one day and standing up in the shallow water. My lungs were starting to hurt because I was so water logged. I recall looking up past the sand at the big tree that stood near the clubhouse and watching the wind blow the leaves. Everything was kind of hazy because my eyes were so used to being open under the water. This is the era of zinc oxide sunscreen and turtle hunting (we would let them go). This was also the era of Ocean Pacific t-shirts and wondering what the people over at the town beach were doing. Man, I would probably be happy if I could just live those days over and over again for the rest of my life. It really didn’t get any better than that. But, things just refuse to stay the same.
One day, late in the season, I decided to go down to the beach. I knew there wouldn’t be many people there because the sky was a bit cloudy, but I gave it a shot anyway. When I arrived, the place was empty. I was completely alone. I decided to walk past the fence and take a stroll to the end of the dock. I thought I would just hang out until someone showed up. All I really needed was for a few people to come by and we would get something going. Well, no one ever came.
I decided to take my shoes off and hang my feet in the water. I untied my sneakers and finally got my socks off. I walked over to sit at the edge of the dock, but when I looked at the water, I was horrified at what I saw. Little specks of “lake” were floating around beneath me. It was turning. That was the sure sign that the season was over. Once the lake turned, it was time to go home to return only when it was warm again the next year. For anyone who remembers those days, you’ll also remember that school was about to start soon as well. That always gave me a sick feeling.
At that time in my life, I was too young to realize that Winter was just a short hop, skip and a jump away. Now, I understand that the time between the end of the Summer and the beginning of Winter is short…very short. Time seems to really fly by these days.
These are just a few of the memories that have moulded me into the person I am today. I have a strong sense of my past and I truly miss things. I guess when it comes to weather, I prefer to play. I really, really like to play. Laura always looks at me like I am crazy for the words that come out of my mouth, but when I think back and daydream about all my best friends and me riding our bikes as fast as we could down the Road to get some pizza at the corner, I get a little sad.
Maybe that’s why I never liked the idea of high school reunions. Seeing everyone so different would probably break my heart. It’s a reminder of how much we’ve changed. Worst of all, it’s a reminder that much of my past is never going to happen again.
Okay, time to get back on track. I just love it when I look up after a half-hour and realize I wrote absolutely nothing I had planned on.
Back to what I was thinking during my walk the other day. I decided it was time to come up with a plan that would take me away from the Winter blues I experience every year. I had to think of what types of activities I like to do during the Winter. Well, writing on this blog certainly is one of them, but unfortunately, that doesn’t get me out of the house. Playing indoor tennis is most definitely going to help, but what else have I enjoyed in my past that I really got a kick out of? Ahhh, snowboarding.
Back when I was living in Binghamton, my friend and I decided to buy snowboards and all the equipment that came with them. We bought the boards, bindings and boots. I also got all the apparel that made my days on the mountainside comfortable. I always said that if I stayed warm while riding on a snowmobile at midnight in mid January, that was good enough to stay warm while snowboarding. Luckily, I still have everything I started with.
When I first started snowboarding back in 1997, I was hooked. You couldn’t stop me. Since I was in college, I was flat broke, but somehow I always had money for a lift ticket. That first year, I went to Catamount, Hunter (about 10 times), Scotch Valley, Jiminy Peak, Greek Peak and some others I am sure I am forgetting. I remember that I would be able to snowboard for 9 hours straight. The next season, we went to all those mountains again as well as a few others, like Stratton, up in Vermont. It was awesome.
After I graduated college and moved to Atlanta, there was no more snowboarding for a few years. I guess my body lost its snowboard-ism, because the next time I went snowboarding up at Bristol Mountain, near the finger lakes of New york, I went with an 18 year old kid. He was on fire and I only made it down the mountain twice. I felt like a smoker of 40 years. It’s amazing how fast the body can fall apart.
I called a few friends over the past couple of days. One of them is a skier who is willing to learn how to snowboard. The other is Rob. Rob told me that he will hit the mountain with me. I am sure that it won’t be too often, so it shouldn’t conflict with his busy schedule.
I think this will make for a more exciting Winter. At the very least, it will make some some really neat pictures of various mountain tops and ski trails. I bet you can’t wait for that.