Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fond Memories

We received a good rain last night. How do I know? I awoke to the sound of drip....drip...dripdrip. Yes, we have a leaky roof and it doesn't matter how many times we have gone up to fix this leak; whenever a good rain falls, it drips.

To some, probably most, this is annoying. But I always find myself laying there in bed, listening to the drips hitting the pan underneath it, and smiling to myself. Why? Because this dripping sound that irritates most brings fond memories for me. Memories of the best summer I can remember...

It was the summer of 1989 and my mom, siblings, and I were all living in our log cabin outside of Salcha, Alaska. We had no tv and no running water. We fished for our meat, grew two gardens for our fruits and vegetables, and had a couple of chickens for eggs.

We didn't have any video game devices. We told stories, played pick up sticks, jacks, cards, or made up games outside. We kids would race across the Tanana river, me with my youngest brother on my back. I lost my favorite pair of boots in that river.

I caught my first fish, a rainbow trout, in a little yellow rubber raft; learned how to gut it, and barbeque it.

In the back of the cabin we had a dense birch tree forest. One day a man dressed in skins appeared and introduced himself to my brothers, sister, and I as "Stan, the mountain mule man." He hung around and played our games with us for several days, one day he had simply disappeared and we never saw him again.

Another one of the many memories from that summer was how it rained nonstop for three days. The roof of the cabin leaked; everywhere. There were pots, pans, bowls, anything and everything we could find sprawled throughout the small space. Just as we were all settling down to sleep in our one room that the five of us shared, a leak sprouted right on my older brother's forehead. I can still hear the laugh we all shared echoing in my head.

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