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Travel Log

    I am sitting in a cowhide bottomed rocking chair on a wide, wooden porch, with my head leaned back against the rungs on the ladder back of the chair, gently rocking myself with one bare foot touching the floor; I can feel every grain in the wood with my big toe. The other foot, bare, also, is propped on the first rung dowel of the rocker, while the bright sunshine caresses my body, warming me all the way to my innermost being.

    One of my younger sisters, Donna, becoming frustrated upon being asked to repeat a task, at about age 4, exclaims, as she repeats the movements,

"Now, are you atisfied?"

    Once, about five hours into a fifteen hour drive to Wisconsin, from South Carolina, we stop to take a break and another one of my sisters, Bernie, exclaims, "I'm tired of going all these places. I'm ready to go home!"

    Recollections of playing with a bolo bat; soap bubbles, a slinky; jack stones; a yo-yo; wet-to-color coloring book.....

    I find myself sitting on the moist grassy side of a river bank, my bare feet dangling over the edge, brushing against the damp boggy edge, just inches above the water. I sense the fragrance of the can of freshly gathered earth worms next to me as a dragon fly comes along and sits on the tip of the fishing pole whose blunt end I have pushed into the ground, and supported with a brick, while a rock lies over it to keep the cork bobber from pulling the pole down the moving stream as the current constantly tugs at it. At that moment, the cork disappears from sight and the mosquito hawk is launched into the sky, sputtering only momentarily until it gets its wings to work

    Running around in the back yard as dusk falls and evening approaches , I find myself joined by my cousins trapping fireflies (lightning bugs) in Mason Jars so we will have light to see by when dark finally arrives.

    Wearing a medium weight Parker, visiting my cousins in the north, lying on my back in the snow, I find myself carving snow angels with my arms by waving them at your sides in a sweeping arch motion.

    I am sitting in English class, not comprehending the teacher's voice in the back ground droning on about future perfect objects of the preposition while I unconsciously chew on the barrel of my Bic pen while daydreaming about next weekend's picnic, when suddenly I discover I have a mouth full of blue ink which has escaped from the vent port of the pen barrel.

    I walk into a hotel laundry room where I smell the laundry powder and see the stacks of freshly folded bed linens and towels. They wreak of sunshine from drying outside on a clothesline.

    I jauntily skip into our front yard and fall headlong onto a pile of newly fallen leaves.

    Flying kites on Easter Sunday became a tradition at my Uncle's house, tying one piece of string on after another, to see how far out across his field of hay we could launch the kite.

    After several hours of riding astride the back of a horse, trying desperately but unsuccessfully to remain centered in the leather western saddle, I begin to realize that there are worn spots in the leather and my legs are unprotected from the lather of perspiration the horse is generating from carrying me this distance

    Do you recall finding the Big Dipper in the sky for the first time. . . recognizing the "Man in the Moon" or the "Milky Way".

    Dressing up for Halloween was always fun. I spent the afternoons getting Hank and Mary and Bernie and Joe ready. One year we wrapped Donna in torn sheets to look like a mummy, but at the end of the night, she looked like a car accident victim. As the years passed, my Halloween preparations grew.

    Electric motors animated face masks and waving arms. Recorded sounds loomed erie in the night. Wireless microphones allowed for remote startlings, etc. Eventually, all of my home made Halloween gags became commercialized (by others) and were available in most WalMart stores.

    Sitting on a See/Saw with a friend and being left high in the air because they won't allow me to come down, but eventually do and I leap from my seat, allowing them to plummet to the ground uncomfortably.

    Riding a broom and pretending it is a horse, I pat my trusty steed on its head and tell it, "Giddy up, boy!".

    Before actually playing some adventure game with my friends, we "rehearse" every move and statement before we begin.

"Now, I'll say 'Go over there', and you'll say, 'Okay, but why do I want to do that?' and I'll say, ‘Because I'm the sheriff,' and you'll say, But 

I can't fit in there!' and I'll say. . ."

    Tracing those magic marks on our special TV film during "Winky-Dink"

(End of Chapter 5) 

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