I was riddled with rock salt from the old man in Jones’s Field. The big kids in the neighborhood told me about this man who lived in a farmhouse next to the pasture not far from my house. One cold and blustery day I decided to take my moto-ski snowmobile into the pasture and with a curiosity I pointed the snow sled toward the edge of where he lived. I looked up ahead on the trail and I was coming up on the dwelling. I just about got to where the trail opened up to his lawn when I heard a pop sound and something stinging in my chest area. The old man had shot rock salt at me to get me off his property. It was a good thing I had my full face helmet , I would of taken the shot into the face without it.
I turned my sled around real fast as to get a quick escape when out of the corner of my eye I see three dogs running full tilt toward me. I was only about twelve years old at the time I am about crapping my pan’st at this point. Pop! I hear another shot but this time he missed me. I’m thinking in my head this guy is a lunatic and I’m about ready to get eaten by a wolf pack. I looked back for a few seconds and the dogs were right at the back of the sled and I’m punching the throttle right to the pin when it happened. When I was looking back, I forgot to also look forward and I collided into a cement slab that was probably there from where an old silo sat. I went head over tea kettle and landed on the other side of the slab. The dogs stopped right in their tracks and didn’t even come at me. The dogs sensed that I was done in for and walked slowly back to the farm house.
I stood back up, checking myself, when I looked at the damage on the snowmobile. My god, dad was going to kill me, my quest to be a snowmobile racer was never going to happen. I can see my dad now, Son? YOU WILL NEVER RIDE A SNOWMOBILE AGAIN! I knew my dad well. He didn’t take equipment failures and stupidity very good. The skis on the sled were in a v-shaped pattern, or snowplow pattern now. I have skied before and you know with snowplow it is a method of slowing you down. I had about eight miles to get back home with this sled. I started up the snow machine ,very slowly limping back to my home. My chest was still stinging from the rock salt attack. I was so afraid to report to my dad of the encounter with the farmer that I had to make up a story.
His eyes lit up when I showed him the damage to the sled. What in the heck happened? Dad, I went around a corner when going through the woods and smacked into a tree. He didn’t need to know the right story, right? I still to this day will have nightmares about being shot at from this old man. It kind of gave me an “Wizard Of Oz feeling”, he was like a character in a movie. The wicked farmer of the East, all the pigs are singing and the horse’s are talking. I come upon his land and I’m walking up a white road, I presume is salt blocks.
Old man Jones passed away a few years back, I wonder what kind of a person could do this to a young child. I certainly was not out to cause harm to this person. I was not there to steal anything. I was only being a twelve year old kids with an inquisitive mind.
It seemed like yesterday that my friend Jeff and I decided to skip classes and go to the beach in Southern California. We had picked up some beer and smokes from the local store and was going to party the day away.
Laying on the beach, around lunch time and I dozed off for a minute. I guess the excitement had run me down. I decided a short nap was in store. The girls and Jeff ,were out in the surf enjoying the waves. I snoozed off.
Things are getting foggy now and I’m dreaming of my family. I still have my parents and one sister. My sister and I are close in age and are very best friends. I can now see her in my dream, it is Thanksgiving dinner and the whole family is sitting around the table. My sister is quite a joker and makes me laugh at every moment. I think she moved all the silverware around that my mother had so elegantly placed in order. Now everyone’s fork was on the opposite of where it was. My sister wanted a reaction out of my mother so she could get a good laugh. My sister had that gift like no other. She made people feel good, happy, and to make them smile.
I think I’m coming out of this snooze, waking up now and I can hear the gulls above. Screech-Screech.
It is getting late afternoon, time to leave for home. We have to be back early so we can make it look like we went to school. If I come home the same time, my mother will think I just got out of school. We are driving down Highway Five , I look up ahead and there is some kind of accident. A gray colored mustang is on its roof. Jeff mentions to me that my sisters boyfriend has a car like that. She always rides with her boyfriend. We decided to stop and see if it was her and her boyfriend. I walk up to the car and the medics are tending to a woman. I look down and it is my sister. So shocked, I don’t even know what to say. I said to her, sis? You ok? She replies; Yes I will be ok and to meet me at the hospital down the road. Jeff and I and the girls hopped into the car and raced off to meet my sister at the hospital. The ambulance arrives and we are waiting for them to take her out on the stretcher. One attendant comes outside and walks up to me . Sir, Are you family. I replied, yes why? Your sister didn’t survive that crash. We think her Aorta was ruptured from the impact.
My heart was broken. It has been 40 years now, memories of that day are fading. I just want you to remember that in one moment in time, your loved ones can disappear. Always tell them you love them and give them a hug, it might be your last.
Time sure has changed. I guess I can be classified as an older person because the milk man would come into our house and put the milk in our refrigerator when we was sleeping in the morning. I always knew he was there because you could hear the clinking of the glass bottles.
Watching the milk trucks was like watching the ice cream trucks. I remember it was Hood Trucks around here. I loved it in the summer the neighborhood kids and I would run down the street to get a sliver off the block of ice. Cheap man’s popsicle, but we looked forward to it every summer.
I always loved the glass bottles when in primary school. I think it was around elementary school that they changed to the carton pint size milk servings. The days of the glass bottle’s disappeared forever. Some things were better left alone.
The kids and I in the neighborhood are in competition on the big sledding hill behind my house. I have never get first place and I know it was because of the sled that I was using. Christmas has brought me a new shiny red sled. It has handles on the side that I can hold onto when trying to curve the sled to keep it on the trail. I know my mom has a box of wax that she uses for making peanut butter balls. I will rub this on the bottom of the sled to make it go real fast.
I look out the window from the kitchen and can see all the kids walking up the hill. I better get a move on, where is my mittens? Ok, there they are. Right where I left them last time, next to the register. My snow suit is in the closet so I retrieve that and slither myself into it. Now off to the porch to get my boots. I go into the bread draw and get two bread bags to put over my socks so my feet don’t get wet. I’m all bundled up and now I have a cramp. Oh no! I have to go number you know what. I take my boots off, take off snow mobile suit and run to the restroom. Phew! That was a very close call.
I venture out to the big hill and all my friends are there. Big Bernie, Greg, Joel, Chirbair, and Unie. Ok we are at the top of the hill and we all get into position. Big Bernie gives the command and we are off. It is quite a battle between us kids. Whoever gets to the bottom first is the winner of bragging rights for the day. It is a viscious battle to the bottom and old red sled of mine had performed quite well. I didn’t get first but was third for this day. I get a ribbon in my mind and tomorrow I will do better because of this new red sled. I think I’m going to use furniture polish on the bottom for the next race. I can now hear my mother calling, time for supper.
I just realized today that Christmas is coming up on me real fast and I have only bought one gift so far. I’m waiting for something and maybe time to catch up with me so I can go out and do some stomping, oops I mean shopping. I woke up this morning and told myself, self, today you are going to take the batteries out of the riding lawn mowers. You are also going to take the snow blower out of the shed and get it ready for snow. Oh, It snowed here last night so I guess time caught me there. I also woke up a sleeping giant in the snow blower. A mouse jumped out of it when I finally dragged it all the way across the lawn. Darn mice, I hate those suckers they get into everything around here. Oh, what else has time caught up to me? Ok, I’m getting older before my own eyes. The reflection in the mirror has told me that I’m not getting any younger. Seems like the older you get time creeps up on you faster than when you was younger. There never seems to be enough time to get where you are going. Here in Maine, I prepare early and stack my wood outside so it will dry. I know that winter is coming and that is something I just have to get done. The summer creeps faster than I know it then I’m tossing wood into the cellar. Spring is around the corner, right? What the heck is that brown spot on my hand? That wasn’t there yesterday was it? I will have to do checks more often I guess. Oh! Since when did I need reading glasses? I could see an ant crawling from miles away and now I cannot see ants without glasses. My kids are no longer kids, I still call them kids but they are adults now. I never thought they would grow up this fast. That crept up faster than a bear shitting in the woods. I hate the fact that AARP was watching this drama of my life take place because it didn’t take long for them to send me cards. What do you mean I’m in the age gap? Come on, I was just out at a high school football game and going out to winter carnivals. When someone figures out where this time factor can be slowed down let me know. I just cannot figure it.
Reflecting back in my childhood years the comment hey Four Eyes would be heard quite often. Yes, very harsh words to a young child. Back in the days when most children were giving glasses if their grades were dropping. Your son or daughter is having trouble seeing the chalkboard seemed like a perfect answer to the parents when grades were dropping. The fact really was your son or daughter was being bullied by harsh words, Hey Four Eyes? The saying, always watch what you say because some day it might come to haunt you really is true. In my older years now, but not a person who was bullying about four eyes, have been burdened with wearing glasses. So I have become four eyes. Another great thing my dad always told me, keep your nose clean and don’t burn bridges. Someone you didn’t like and you let it be known, could some day be your boss. REMEMBER THIS! So true today. Any stories about same situations or indifferent please leave a comment. I write short stories and English is my first language. I just blame it on the stupid teacher with four eyes who didn’t care if I passed or not. No just kidding!