Beyond my Backyard

The possibilities were endless in the field behind my house, although it was more than a field. There was the field, sometimes mowed completely, sometimes just a path around or through it. In addition, were the woods; as a child they seemed endless, also with paths mowed through and around them. The paths came to an end when you hit the backyards of the street a half-mile down. Then there was the creek, and the numerous paths we ran down to get there. Every season brought new adventures.

I spent many summer days riding my bike along the paths, sometimes with my sisters or neighborhood friends, but most often alone, lost in my own little world of thoughts. I climbed pine trees, which resulted in sappy messy hands. I built and discovered forts, filled with adventures to imagine. And there were wild black raspberries to pick and eat and stain my fingers purple.

The creek brought a whole new set of adventures. I was cautious, never getting too wet or muddy, so I walked along the edge, crossing over on rocks and coming back again; studying the water spiders and minnows.

I remember one day that we had guests, and I was out exploring with Johnny, we were probably ten. He was braver than I, and he convinced me to wander farther past the creek then I had ever been, exploring new territory. We came upon a swampy area with green sludge covering a large-to-me stagnant pond. Suddenly, we were in alien territory and on the lookout for little green men and funny little spaceships. The adventures were as endless as my imagination.

When the weather changed and the air turned cold and the snow fell, it was a whole new playground. We would layer the clothing; stuff our feet into snow pants and boots, and add our hats and gloves, and go exploring again. And ooh, the excitement and risk that came with sledding down the hill straight toward the half frozen creek! I flew down the narrow path, bumping over a tree root or two, landing in a heap with my sisters at the bottom, and then hiking back up through the trees, using them as leverage to get up the steep hill.

Oh the memories of the adventures and explorations as a kid growing up without a television!

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