May 08, 2008


I work
with several young people and children
throughout the week,
and started thinking about when I was a kid.

I did not belong
to any organized sports teams when I was little:
Other than swimming lessons;
enough to swim and boat
and sail and ski safely in the Mississippi river,
one summer of tennis lessons;
enough to blast those little yellow balls out of the court,
and riding lessons;
enough to stay on that horse when needed,
fall safely off when needed,
and maybe work toward blue ribbons at the county fair...
My friends and I were on our own -
riding bikes, sledding, climbing trees,
playing in the river in summer,
and on the river in winter,
exploring hills, forests and fields
surrounding our homes.
My mom preferred us to be
I do not have an extensive memory
of 60's, 70's, or 80's TV.
I remember riding my bike
a whole bunch;
gravel or dirt roads in my neighborhood,
and wonderfully smooth, paved
roads at my friend's houses.
Climbing trees was easier
at my house and surrounding fields:
Fruit trees;
(a great challenge for the edible targets),
and pine, cedar, willow, oak, and maple trees
were all attempted,
and most were conquered with minimal injuries.
But trees lining those
wonderful, paved streets
were younger,
and not strong enough to
offer a challenge to
professional tree climbers.
Hide and seek - at dusk;
with several kids of various ages
joining in
from a large neighborhood.
Playing in a friend's backyard pool (?)
an unusual experience to someone
who grew up with the Mississippi
as my back yard.
Hop Scotch.
Swinging off a rope swing
over a quiet stretch of the river.
Throwing a stick
for a dog to fetch
(off the end of a dock...)
Sleeping under the stars
watching fireflys,
or lightning bugs -
same thing, I think.
Summer is coming...
Have you tried playing like a kid

What is your favorite game?
And do you still play?
Let me know.