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* Sitting in a grocery cart seat in a dress with a scratchy petticoat and my mom letting me choose between two packages of multicolored plastic pants to go over my diapers.

* Walking through a cow pasture with my sister and our two teenager cousins and being told not to step in a cow pie. I froze in fear because I didn't know what a cow pie was. They had to carry me over and show one to me before I could move.

* "Swimming" in an irrigation ditch with the same cousins. They were wading. I was three so it was deep for me.

* Being dragged into the house suspended between my cousins as we ran from a bull that got out and watching him trot past the house from the kitchen window.

There were two more memories from that time but I don't want to go into them. They were blocked anyway until I was an adult and able to deal with them.
My first skates were little brown sandals that fit over my shoes. They were for beginners and nearly didn't roll at all. Once I grew big enough, my parents bought me the kind that clamped onto the toes of my shoes and had an ankle strap. Those were always coming off my toes and tripping me so I couldn't go very fast but they did work for my favorite method of skating. We lived in a brand-new neighborhood with nice smooth sidewalks and sometimes the wind would really whip down the street. I'd put on my windbreaker, skate upwind and then hold the sides out like sails. I'd rocket down the sidewalk. Wheee! That only worked while I was a skinny little stick of a kid.

In junior high, my friend sold me her outgrown shoe skates for fifty cents. They were really worn, so I suspect they originally came from Goodwill. But oh man! Shoe skates opened up new possibilities. SPEED.

Being born in the midst of the baby boom meant just about every house had kids and every girl with shoe skates would put them on if anyone else was skating. We always had one or two races around the block which included a section of dirt path across a field we had to run through. Half of us would go one direction, the other half the other way. We always skated our side of the block and cleared all the stones and sticks before we raced.

Sometimes we'd work out simple syncronized patterns. My friends and I would each pick a daisy from my yard and skate in a train calling ourselves "The Daisy Express."

We'd skate until it got dark. Those of you born after the late sixties probably don't remember when outdoor rollerskates had metal wheels, but that's what we skated on. It was a rough ride but we didn't know any different. The cool thing about metal wheels is sometimes they'd throw sparks on the sidewalk and if you were skating in the dark, you saw them. That was always on the way home because it was dangerous to skate if you couldn't look for obstacles to keep from tripping.

I was a rough and tumble kind of kid. I always had skinned knees and elbows. ;)

Maybe I should write a kid's book about The Daisy Express!



July 2015

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