Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Taking Chances: Part 1



When I was a child of at least 8 or 9, during the hot Summer days when I was bored, I often wandered down into the woods that were behind our house. My journey would start by walking down our black-top road for about an eighth of a mile, turn left onto a little dirt road and when I reached the creek that meandered into the woods, it was there that I began my little journey.

I would climb down the small bank that separated the road from the wooded land, and then get into the creek and began wading through crystal clear water that was as cold sometimes as ice. I would take my time, climbing over the occasional big rocks some of which had that green slimy, slippery stuff on them, taking care not to fall into the water.

I was fascinated by the tadpoles and frogs that I might find, although there were no fish...even though the creek was the outlet for a pond we had that did have various fish stocked in it. No snakes either...thankfully!

I love walking under the cool canopy of the trees...smelling the damp earth...listening to the water wash lazily over the stones. Above me, birds and squirrels chattered...I never felt alone there. Just free. And cool...the Summer heat didn't penetrate through the leaves overhead.

The creek wandered though the woods for maybe half a mile total, ending up in a field kiddy-corner from where my house was, so I was never too far away from the house...yelling distance if my mom wanted me back home. 

When I was through wandering along the creek, I'd walk across the little field, climb through the barbed wire...walk across a few yards of another field and be in our yard again.

I sat here thinking today about those times of my wanderings around the farm...which to me then, felt safe. But...even then, it could have been a dangerous thing for me to do, and for my parents to allow me to do.

It chills me to think that even then, there could have been a child molester or some other kind of creep around...I could have been kidnapped or wound up dead...you know? It was still a time that we were--as children--not warned of 'stranger danger', of not taking candy or any gifts from strangers...or even getting into a vehicle with strangers. (Although even then, I knew better than to get into a car with someone I didn't know, or take anything from a stranger...remember my story about my swing!)

Too--I think about the wild animals that could have been lurking in the woods...I (years) later learned that we had bands of wild dogs that ran through the countryside...it's frightening to me to even consider the 'what if' this little girl had run into those hungry and likely mean dogs.

I took chances that wouldn't consider taking today, or allowing any child to take without an adult present. The world has changed so much...and is seemingly so much more dangerous now than ever before.

Chances which could have ended in a sad story.


7 comments:

  1. My first childhood home backed up to a pretty large woods & the Rouge River. Lots of property to roam! It was nice as a kid to explore, but we were not to go in the Rouge River since even way back then it was polluted.

    Our summer home was the best, woods plus a gorgeous lake just a few steps away! The best memories are of up north - lots of fun!

    As for dangerous situations in my childhood, there were some, but the worst was one Halloween night. My friend Sherry & I were out trick-or-treating when a van of young males pulled up by us on the street. One of the guys stumbled out of the van (obviously stoned!) & tried chasing after us. We ran up to an old lady's house, yelling & pounding on her door. They took off when she came out of the house. She told us to go straight home. When I told my parents about what had happened, they didn't seem too concerned. Nothing ever came of it. But I found out later that another girl, a younger girl from my elementary school, had been abducted by guys in a white van (just like the one following me & my friend!) & gang raped. I wonder if my parents would have reported the incident to the police, if it might have spared that little girl the trauma she was forced to suffer. Of course, my parents never really cared much about me - but how unfortunate for that other kid who didn't get away!

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    1. How scary! And how lucky you and Sherri were but that poor other girl. See...things did happen back in our childhood that could have ended tragically, but we were fortunate to live in a time where there weren't as many freaks roaming about like now!

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  2. I bet there were as many evil people, but it wasn't as widely reported on as now & cases were harder to solve back then too. On the other hand, yes, people are doing more violent things, like kids shooting each other instead of just punching each other like in our days, inhibitions seem more relaxed & so many of the "games" our kids play & movies they see are filled with violence! Society isn't getting any better!

    There were a couple really crazy kids up north when I was growing up & spending my summers up there. One was my "best" friend, Belinda, who tried to drown me one day in the lake. She sat on my head & wouldn't get off while I struggled under her in the lake until my mom saw what she was doing & yelled at her & made her go home. (Amazing that mother intervened & didn't let me drown! LOL! I guess she still kinda liked me at that point? I often wish she wouldn't have bothered saving me! haha )Another time Belinda tried pushing me down the spiral staircase in their summer chalet. And another time she tried pushing me out in front of a truck coming down the road we were walking on! CRAZY girl! Many years later she was found to be seriously mentally ill.
    Then there was the Winkler boy who liked me up north. I agreed to be his girlfriend, but when I later changed my mind & threw his necklace at him in the woods he'd made for me, he later grabbed me on the road while we were on bikes & held an arrow to my eye, threatening to stab my eye out. He was found to be mentally ill later as well. Gee, was it something in that lake water up there???
    :-/

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    1. Holy crow, Laura! You had some evil friends...wow! You ARE lucky in every sense of the word! I had nothing like that happen to me...most of friends, though somewhat wild, weren't like that! Yikes!

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  3. LOL - I guess I just attract the crazies, prolly growing up in a crazy family or something! haha

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    1. You need to get rid of that magnet that's drawing all these weirdos to ya! LOL

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  4. It's probably the magnet attached to me from the family I was cursed with - am getting rid of them for sure! Maybe my life will start looking up finally without that baggage! Need to focus on life with John, the best hubby any girl could wish for! :-)

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