Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hills and Vales

Where I grew up, we lived on a street that was one long hill, as were the two streets behind us. This made it difficult for me to learn to ride a bicycle, but gave us hours of fun with our sleds and homemade go-carts. I always enjoyed listening to Bill Cosby's comedy sketch 'Go-Carts" because of my early time with them. At the top of our street, and a block or two down, was a cemetery. At Halloween, this gave an added thrill to the antics of the day, daring one another to walk by-or into-this no man's land.
I made friends for blocks around our house, and for me it didn't matter what the age or gender. My brother and I made friends with an older lady who lived back in from the top of our street. On one occasion, she told us about the snakes in her cellar. We thought she was telling us a story at first, but then she took us down to show us. There were hundreds of black snakes with orange rings around their necks--Western ring-necks--dangling from the rafters of her cellar. We were ecstatic. She gave us buckets, and we collected as many as we could carry, and she was letting us have them for free! When we arrived home, our mother was not as overjoyed as we were. I don't remember what she said exactly, or even what we did with the snakes, but it was one of many memories that I associate with that first home.

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