I was just outside about an hour ago now to take Sammy for his late-night stroll and yes, I know that means I was out walking after midnight yet again, but truthfully, I enjoy doing these walks then.
Well, most of the time I do, that is. If I ever encounter some animal -like say a skunk or a bear -in my midnight wanderings, I might have to change my walking times a tad I suppose. So far though, I've not encountered any problems along those lines and I hope to heck I never do too!
Anyway, tonight though -with all the snow on the ground and frosty (VERY, VERY) air, it brought back a lot of really good memories to me though.
I was thinking as we walked how low the temperatures are and yet, I wasn't minding the cold at all. Granted, I was very bundled up -long johns, scarves, heavy coat and layers of clothing under the coat too, so I was prepared for the cold -but it was nice and crisp feeling as Sam and I walked along the roadway.
And I was remembering another night, many years ago -well over 50 years back in time -during the Christmas holiday one year, when two of my Mom's brothers who were home for Christmas and three of my cousins and I went for a walk in the freshly fallen snow down to Peale -the little old ghost town about a mile down the road from my house here.
That night though the moon was out and was very, very bright -lighting the road almost as if it were daylight. There was probably a good 6-8 inches of snow on the ground at that time and since it was very freshly fallen, no plow had been through on the roadway so we were the first to mark the snow with our footprints.
My cousins -Ray, David and their sister, Joanie and I were having a great time running in the snow, trying to see if we could slide (without falling down, of course) and in general, just having a great time with my uncles leading the way.
We walked to the curve in the road where it goes downhill and leads then to the old park location and the two houses that were still standing at that time. My uncles decided we'd best turn around and head back home at that point as neither of them wanted to walk down the hill and then, have to really trudge hard to climb back up it with the amount of snow on the road. Today -I totally understand their logic about that decision!
So anyway, we were continuing our playtime with the snow and talking, teasing, joking as we walked along and in the process, we were so engrossed in our own fun there that we weren't paying any attention at all to anything my uncles were doing. It was just assumed by us that they were casually walking and talking and both of them still behind us.
So engrossed were we that we didn't even notice any movement along what had years before been a path or sidewalk area in the old village of Peale!
But movement was there and we soon became aware of rustling of some of the fir trees along the road that was a bit unusual.
Then, all of a sudden, we heard a sound indicating something pretty large had to be following along that pathway and watching us and that's when all four of us kids stopped dead in our tracks for a very short interval to listen carefully to the noises.
It was then that the "creature" following us burst forth from behind a big old pine tree, waving arms and making all kinds of strange growling type noises at us.
Needless to say, all four of us kids screamed at the top of our lungs and took off running with this thing in hot pursuit behind us and it was now making a different kind of sound.
The darned thing was laughing! A very loud laugh too and one that was also very familiar to my cousins and to me as we realized then that we had just been pranked by our Uncle Ralph!
I've never forgotten how much fun we had on that walk nor how scared we were at the imaginary monster behind those trees until the realization came to us that it was just crazy Uncle Ralph playing head games with us.
And I miss those days, those uncles and the tricks they would try to pull on us kids too and in general, just how much fun it was to be around all the family like that.
It's one of those kind of memories that I wish my kids had been able to enjoy a family event like that when they were growing up. Who knows though but maybe someday Uncle Clate will take his niece and nephew -along with perhaps a brother-in-law or someone else and go for a midnight walk in the snow on a beautiful moonlit night.
If for no other reason that just to show the kids the beauty in fresh snow, cold air and walking along an old dirt road towards a long extinct ghost town where no ghosts exist though! (At least, none that I know of live there, anyway!)