The farthest I traveled, when I was a little girl, was to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Chicago. I traveled outside the country: to Canada; well, to the little island of BoLo, just outside The Motor City. Deanna dreamed of traveling to far off places. I liked to be home. What could I see and experience in exotic places? My house was the best place in the world. That’s why my friends came to my house. We had all kinds of adventures at my house.
My friend, Daylene like to spend the night at my house. She lived in a tinsy-tiny house just a couple of blocks from school. Daylene was a walker, so she went home for lunch. Sometimes, I walked over there, if I had permission to go down-town at Noon Hour. Daylene’s house was always warm and cozy and smelled spicy. Her mom was short and round and had big white teeth that smiled even when she just sitting there, still and relaxing. Sometimes I walked over to Daylene’s with Mike, after catechism, if Mom was late picking me up, which was almost all the time. Anyways, Daylene only had one brother and no sisters, and just a tinsy-tiny house and a tinsy-tiny back yard; no barn or tool-shed, or chickens or pigs or anything. She had no pets at all, and she wasn’t in 4-H either. Maybe that’s why she liked all the confusion at my house.
Daylene and I built forts in the hayloft with Tommy and Bonita. We made-believe mountain climbing with hay-hooks to pull us up the steep cliffs. That’s how I got a hay-hook, in my knee, but that was way later, when just Bonita and I pretended without Tommy or Daylene, so Daylene never got scared off by that accident, which was pretty awful. I limped around for a couple of days. Anyways, Daylene like the barn, with all that hay-smell mixed in with the low-down mooing sound and stanchion-clinking. Those things could make even the jitteriest person relax and want to take a nap.
Sometimes Daylene and I took a walk out in the fields and pretended to be old-west explorers looking for gold. That was new and exciting for Daylene, but me and Bonita did it all the time. We found pheasants and fox dens and field mice that way, but never any gold. A couple of times we found stray dogs. We tied baling twine around their necks, dragged ’em home, named ’em, and claimed them as our own, even though they probably had a home somewhere around us and were just out finding adventure of their own. That’s how we got Garbigo. I named him, ’cause he was the dog getting in the garbage at night. Garbigo was mostly white with black spots and lots of whiskers. He was big enough get the better of me and pull around. I planned to give him some discipline and show him who was boss. That was before he ran me into a skunk. Peeee-yuweee! I smelled skunk before, but I never got it full in the face until Garbigo dragged me flat into that skunk tail sticking straight up in the air, like a black and white flag against the just-barely-spring ground. Mom made me stay outside and strip down naked and wash in tomato juice. Garbigo tucked-tail and took off yelping, with the piece of baling twine leash trailing along behind. I never saw Garbigo again.
Daylene and I stayed out until dark on one adventure. I heard Mom hollering “Supper time!” way up at the house, and I knew we better high-tail it up there ourselves or we would miss supper. We cut across the quicksand. That’s the corner of the field by the fox dens; nothing grew there ’cause it never stays dry enough. I knew better because I saw what quicksand can do by watching Tarzan and My Friend Flicka. A person can get swallowed right up in quicksand and never be seen again. Sure enough, Daylene and I got about half way through and we got stuck as stuck can get. We wiggled and wiggled and only went in deeper. Daylene got super-scared.
“We better wait for help,” I said. “Because if we struggle, we’re dead.” For sure, somebody would come looking for us.
Nobody came. Just more calling us for supper. The sun was gone, and I was getting cold. Daylene looked at me, ’cause she depended on me to know what I was doing. To tell the truth, I was a tinsy bit worried about those fox, or maybe something bigger that I never saw before, ’cause I was never that far out in the field at night. Plus I was already in trouble for going in the quick-sand and double-trouble for being late for supper, and maybe triple-trouble for getting my friend stuck, when I knew better. I decided to risk the fouriple trouble. I stepped right out of my shoes and into the quicksand. Silty mud slid between my toes as my legs sank in the mud; I tried to run in the biggest steps I could take.
I made it. I was free. I ran for help, so Daylene could get free. Sure enough, Mom came out to help Daylene. Mom even got my shoes out. That’s because for one thing, my mom was a genius at just about everything, and for another thing, shoes cost a lot of money, and they’re was none to spare. I wasn’t even in any trouble; not one ounce. That might have been because Daylene was over. Mom never liked to get mad when company was around.
I guess my desire for adventure grew. I love traveling around the world, making new friends and seeing how they live. Soon I will leave to meet my sisters and Mom in Italy. I’m pretty sure we won’t run into any quicksand; perhaps we will encounter a skunk or two. Still, with my brave and easy-going sister-friends and my genius Mom, I’m sure we’ll find have the time of our lives.