November 22,2016- Prompt – What Activities from Your Youth do you Miss?

y family lived on the Crow Wing River, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Our home was on a rise above the river. My father built my childhood home there and my youngest brother now owns it.

The things we did on the river or near the river are the ones I miss the most.

In the summer it was plunging into the cool water after spending time in the garden under a hot sun weeding, picking potato bugs or gathering vegetables. Also in the summer we enjoyed watching canoes float by and later with the advent of tubing any manner of floating device is seen. Now in the summer my brother throws a 4th of July party and tubing is always part of the activities. He has a theme each year and I managed to get there one year.gary-bunny-gary-chris

In the fall it was enjoying the reflection of fall’s colorful array, raking up the leaves and making a bonfire from a huge pile of leaves and roasting marshmallows.

In the winter it sledding down the hill, over the river bank, and onto the ice. Once when sledding I ran into a tree and was thrown off my sled and landed hard on the cold ground and had the wind knocked out of me. When the flying saucer made its appearance we flew down the hill at an even greater rate of speed, especially after multiple trips had produced an icy path.

In the spring it was watching the ice break up. Sometimes big chunks of ice were thrown over the bank up the hill fifty feet or more. Sometimes there were trees along with the ice. Sometimes the noise of the ice growling and grinding and then bursting apart got all of our attention.

It seems what I really miss from my youth is the river with all its beauty.

Christine Howard


Hot, close, mid-summer night.  Must be close to one a.m. Mosquitoes by the thousands swarm the big six volt spot-light as it glances over the muddy, reed lined banks of the Sangamon river.

As a ten year-old I never stay up this late.  The rules change when I stay with Uncle Bob and Bruce, mom’s two ex-Marine Corp bachelor brothers.  Intriguing, dark, scary stories abound when I am in their beloved midst.  They are the experts in my world of outdoor lore.  Paddling a small tippy canoe in the middle of the night subtly builds confidence and competence.

Close by:  “burump-burump-burump.”

My spine tingles as the powerful light beam dances off the glowing eyes of our quarry, bull frogs, with their promise of fresh, crispy fried legs for an early breakfast once dawn brightens the eastern sky.

Pat Stone


Once you are not a child, Christmas loses its luster. When you are a little kid, the time before Christmas is so long. You count down each month-long day until the magic day arrives.

If you live in most countries in Europe, the holiest of all holy days is Christmas Eve, at least for a child. The daylight hours drag by until supper time. You enjoy the meal because not only do you eat something traditional, but you know the time is close.

Finally, the meal is done and you are allowed to march to the parlor. The door is opened and the first thing you see is the floor to ceiling spruce tree all decorated and burning wax candles. At that time in your life, you can not imagine a more beautiful sight in the whole world.

You are expected to recite a poem for the family, then everyone sings Christmas carols.

While singing, you look under the tree and wonder, which package might be for you.

Ellynore Seybold