Saturday, June 28, 2008

Slip Slide and Away. A Really Long Way.


When I was just a kid, I had a few cousins come to stay with us for a short period of time. I don't know all the details but I believe it was around the time that their parents were getting divorced. We weren't privy to adult details at that age, so we were kind of just told is that they were vacationing at our house for a bit. There were five siblings but only two were staying with us - this is a little tribute to their visit.

I grew up on an acreage and my folks were pretty cool about letting us kill grass whenever we pleased. For example, the back portion of the property was overgrown and paths were mowed down for the dirt bikes.

Well, these cousins were born city slickers and having more than a small yard to frolic in was unusual. I don't recall much of what we did during their stay... I think we played with our Atari but I'm not positive. The only thing that I remember clear as mud is our homemade slip and slide. Who can claim creator of this new adventure to entertain all of us is beyond me. But here's the gist of it... We started with a very small piece of Visqueen (plastic) on the hill and started the hose. Each time we slid across the plastic, we progressed further into the grass. And further... and further. For all you current city slickers - beneath the grass is dirt. When dirt gets wet, it's mud. When five kids slide across it over and over and over it gets pretty messy. Messy but totally fun.

We were out all day and my brothers and I finally came inside when it was time for dinner. We were so covered in mud that I'm surprised my mom let us back into the house. My cousins, on the other hand, stayed out until dark since this was a once in a lifetime experience for them.

I'm sad to say that my cousin Shawn is no longer with us, but Karla is a grown woman with kids of her own. She happened to be in town last week with her two sons - the older about the same age as she was when she stayed with us. She traveled from Colorado to spend some time with our grandmother who is about to celebrate her 93rd birthday.

Who would have guessed it, but my mom and dad decided to recreate the past. My dad picked up another roll of Visqueen then they invited everyone out to their place.

My dad rolled out the entire sheet of plastic down the very same hill that we had massacred about 30 years ago. He even lined up two separate hoses to ensure enough water would run the width of the slide.

It was a much cleaner version of what we had created when we were young but it was an amazing memory for the next generation.

...and thanks to the hoses and the tilled (but unplanted) portion of the garden - there was still plenty of mud to go around.

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