Growing up the term “drifting” was not yet invented (or at least we didn’t use it). But in the winter we loved to drift on the snowy streets in central New York. It was probably from watching dirt track racing growing up but as soon as we could drive (and the snow fell) we worked on perfecting our “Drift”. Back then (mid/late 80s) rear wheel drive cars were common and we wouldn’t dare drive one of those boring FWDs.
In addition to being fun it taught us how to control our cars in the snow, making us safer drivers in theory. In the snow this was a low speed maneuver, probably 10-25MPH (unlike the drifts kids do with FWDs today).. Drifting in the snow is a beautiful thing.
Now I’m old, I live in the south and I drive a FWD so no more drifting for me but I did hit an oil slick while going around a bend last year and the car behind me crashed while I safely got my car under control. See, it did make me a safer driver.
I always think of great things to blog about while driving home but by the time I’m home I usually have forgotten about them. I think its time to put a notepad in the car so I stop talking about wind chill and freezing water.
Another distraction on my way to school (in addition to the ditch) in the mornings was the occasional loose dog. There was one house on the way to school with a particularly mean dog. One day it got loose and came after me. (I was probably in the 4th grade)
Dog grabbed my sleeve and started pulling and biting at my jacket. A car passing by saw me walking to school with this dog attached to my sleeve and told me to “get in the car!”. I told the lady (probably a teacher from the school) that I couldn’t get into a car with a stranger and I continued walking. Eventually, the dog lost interest and left me alone. I think he ripped my jacket pretty badly but I was basically unharmed.
As a child I walked to Elementary school from 1st to 5th grade. It didn’t matter the weather, I never took the bus. It was about 1/2 a mile through our neighborhood.
One of the distractions on the way to school was a ditch about 10 feet wide and 50 feet long that always had standing water in it. In the summer it would be full of tadpoles and in the winter it would freeze over. It was only about 18 inches deep and if you broke through the ice you just got out and went to school wet. I fell though a few times.
One winter day, I was walking to school and there was a kid standing in the ditch up to his knees crying. “Get my mommy, get my mommy”. At the time I was in 4th grade and he was in 5th. I wasn’t going to get his mommy, i didn’t even know where he lived. I told him to get out but he just kept crying. I continued on my way to school leaving him there to cry it out.
As a child I just considered the kid a cry baby but now that I have kids of my own I have thought more about what makes one kid pull himself out of the water and another stand there helplessly. I suspect the kid who was calling for his mommy had a very loving mother that was always there for him. Possibly an only child. I was one of 4 so obviously my mother wasn’t overly available and thus you end up with very independent kids.
My oldest memory is from when I was 4 years old and I’m not sure if I remember is as much as remembering it as my oldest memory when I was a kid.
Our driveway was poorly done and where the car tires parked the asphalt was indented. The indentations would fill with water after it rained and I remember playing in one with toilet plunger. Ah the simple pleasures of being a child.
Its a shame we didn’t have digital cameras back then. I take about 150 pictures a month of my kids. It will be neat to show them to them when their older and see if they remember any of them. I don’t think my parents took 150 pictures in 2 years.
Its strange what memories our memory holds onto.
I remember being about 13 and I was throwing snowballs at/with my friends. At one point we were about 10 feet apart and we threw at the same time. The snowballs collided and disintegrated midway between us. Of course at the time we only had a second to ponder the coolness of what just happened. We needed to grab another snowball to chuck at each other ASAP.
But some 20 years later I still remember that moment (although I don’t recall which one of my friend’s was throwing the other snowball )