Sunday, November 5, 2006

A Dream about Growing up

I had an amazing and wonderful dream last night and into this morning. As some of you know I am originally from a sleepy little town called Loveland in Colorado. It was here that I learned how to swim and went to the beach to play in our freezing cold muddy brown Lake Loveland, which serves as a reservoir for irrigation waters. I also explored the Big Thompson River as I grew up and would regularly skate or bike along the trails that our city has constructed along it's banks. In the summers I would climb the tall trees along the river and "cliff jump" into it's freezing cold waters, runoff from melting snow in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Colorado has seasons with changing leaves that fall and create a thick vegitation on muddy grounds, almost like a new kind of soil that hasn't quite broken down into the earth yet. I golfed in Loveland, on all of our five local courses, two of which were situated across the streat from eachoter. I explored our graveyards, one of which has a highway disecting it... the only one in the world with such a strange characteristic. Loveland, untill recently, had no malls and nothing modern for kids to do. I would have to travel all the way to Fort Collins to visit neat stores or see what the rest of the world was doing. Our staple was farming, but since many of the farmers were growing old and our property values had increased; we were becoming more of a retirement community than anything else. I would have to say the hilight of my youth was finally being allowed by my parents to ride my bicycle wherever I wanted. This freedom had started with the priviledge of riding around our block, which was situated next to another irrigation ditch and a heap of apartments. It was amazing, my parents gave me that freedom and I found so many adventures around one tiny block! I found out that both of the apartment complexes nearby had a couple of kids my age to hang out with, I also discovered that they both had pools, which had unfortunately gone into dissrepair. These weren't fun pools with slides or diving boards, but in Loveland any pool at all would suffice. The apartment nearest to my house had made a wooden cover for their old pool and was trying to pass it off as some sort of giant patio. My friends and I would tryt o lift the edges and peek through the cracks to see what was actually down there but it was far too heavy for all of us. As technology and age increased in my life I played my first video game, Super Metroid Prime! Some of my friends in the farther apartments had invited me to visit for a sort of parent sponsored play-date and as we began playing the game I instantly fell in love. The music, the graphics, it was incredible. The realy treat came four weeks later which seemed like an eternity, when we had finally beaten the game and discovered with amazement that the main character, Samus Aran, was actually a girl! Until then my parents had never allowed me to play video games, I wasn't allowed to watch cartoons or have toy guns. I was also forbidden to own a trampoline. All of these limits on my own interests forced me to find other outlets and I spent a lot of time with Legos and crafts, exploring our back yard, which had a magnifiscent swing set build by my father and uncle, and kicking around my soccer ball. At some point my Mom and Dad had negotiated with the neighboring apartment to borrow some of their land. You see, Loveland has laws about how much land a building needs to have associated with it's property based on how many people live there, and how many cars will be parked there. So this apartment had tons of fields surrounding it, all of the fenced off and full of thistle and other troublesom weeds. My dad had actually taken out two of the fense planks on our side of the property so that I could explore back there and it had always been a thrill! Once, when the neighbors had me babysit their pet turtle it had escaped and I found it's dead shell years later in those same trashy apartment-overflow fields. So, at some point my family began tending to part of those fields with the deal being we would plant grass and keep it nice looking and also take down the fenses if they would let us use it as part of our yard! It afforded the apartment complex with a nicer view since the fense on their side was removed, and it gave us tons of space since we took down our fense and put up a smaller one with horizontal criss crossing strips that you could see right through! So now I basically had my very own soccer field in my own back yard, which also doubled as a volleyball court and eventually a great place for a trampoline. We had it all and it was my responsibility to mow it and help my dad put in sprinklers. We were always doing family projects, drywall, skylights, painting, new shingles and cleaning out the gutters. I became quite the craftsman (and also found new uses for our house). There were times when I would move the trampoline that I had begged my parents to allow me to buy with my allowence ($2 a week) and place it under one of the eves on the house. I would huck myself off the roof and bounce all day long. It was truly amazing. There are tons of stories from my childhood on Greeland Drive in Loveland but now I will share my dream.

"Loveland is located along the Big Thompson River, east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Longs Peak and other mountains of the Front Range are visible from much of the city.

There is a large population of artists in Loveland, which has drawn three foundries, an art museum, and the annual sculpture show in August.

An interesting fact about Loveland is that the city is best known nationwide as the home of the Valentine Re-Mailing Program. Every year hundreds of thousands of Valentines are packaged inside larger envelopes and sent to Loveland, where volunteers hand-stamp them with a Valentine's verse and send them on to the intended recipients." This description is quoted from Virtual Cities

This wooden Indian sculpture was carved with a chain saw years ago and used to reside on the bike trail surrounding Lake Loveland. One year it was struck by lightening and started having problems with rotting. The decision was made to move it to a roadside (the road that is taken to visite Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains) so it could still be enjoyed but would stay safe and could be more easily cared for.

I dreamed last night, that I was visiting a large plantation style house, like so many in Loveland, near Thompson Valley High School where a football game was being played between my school LHS and their alltime rivals TVHS. All of my friends and I were having such a great time and it really felt like high school, although many of the people there were actually my friends from college who I have grown very close to in recent years. TVHS is right near the Big Thompson River (which has a terrible history of one giant flood) and after the game we all started walking back to the cars parked down by the bike trail. I fell behind because I was trying to clean up some dishes and see a few of the cute girls still hanging out at the party and wave goodbye to the parents there who had helped facilitate it all. When all was said and done I began sprinting to catch up with my friends, I couldn't do it for very long, just as in real life I have never been the best at long distance but I have tons of fun with fast short bursts and jumping off of rocks and doing grabs like some sort of freestyle runner. So I pressed on and felt the tall grass slapping on my jeans and eventually hopped from boulder to boulder on the lining of the river. The river was higher than usual and parking was also at an all time high with the football game going, so many of the cars had parked on the banks (which doesn't make sense at all). So as I got closer to my friends I had to hop from rock to rock and then to the tops of cars that were nearly submerged in water now! At one point the cars and wood in the river were floating and I inevitably fell in. Soaking wet I scrambled back onto a car and finished crossing with a smile on my face. All the while I had seen the backs of a couple of my friends off in the distance. They were heading into the forested area near the car park and I kept calling out. Now that I was nearly with them I scrambled up the sandy crisp beach, out of the cold fresh water. I looked up as I stumbled and saw all of my friends facing me and waving "heads up" as they swung their golf clubs! My friends were playing golf and randomly shooting balls into the river and across the field. It was such a beautiful sight with the sun setting on the Rocky Mountains and the tall, sparsely placed, trees that lined the river with the boalders and the sand and leaves falling down. I needed a picture of this to remember my friends, specifically Nick Struck who stood right out in front with his club. I started to run past them to get my camera in the car when I finally woke up from the dream.

This dream sort of reminds me that I may not get back to those childhood moments. I may never see my friend Nick Struck again and I probably won't be doing many more ditch explorations, let alone falling in! I haven't golfed in years and the last time I tried to get a friend to walk with me on the frozen waters of my favorite ditch in Loveland, he said no... he had outgrown it and didn't want to act foolishly. It was such a sad moment. I love those ditches; I have found crawdads, snakes, raccoons, and many other creatures there. I have had friends drive me way out into the country, when I was younger, to the top of the ditch and then let us out with our inner tubes, made from real car tubes, to float down. We would go through spider filled tunnels and see the farms and yards of people we had never, and would never, meet. We could see tall grass and grasshoppers and all sorts of wonderful nature along the way. One time I hopped into the ditch riding my Huffy bicycle and rode down half submerged. I aslo joined a group of friends in damming the ditch one year! We collected all of the engine bricks, rocks, and scrap wood we could find in the ditch when it was dried up and then built a dam and a bridge that we could cross when the water started flowing again! We built tree forts, some of them nearly 50 feet high! On the shores of that ditch and I met all sorts of crazy characters there... Some guy from LHS who I had never met (this is when I was younger) shocked me with some sort of cattle prod thing he had made in science class. In the winters I would sled into the ditch and on the slops that peeled away from the tall banks, keeping the water in. I learned the basics of snowboarding here and also learned how to ditch school to play in the snow, following my own path in life, standing up for what I wanted to do, my parents let me do as I wished but always reminded me that I would be paying for their retirement some day and that I would have to support myself, so get a good education they would say. A few times I ice skated all up and down the ditch, it was like rollerblading but more in nature and I went so far, always on my own, just exploring all that Loveland had to offer. While other kids complained of boredom I was knee deep in water during the summers collecting golf balls to sell back to golfers and make money with. I was out on Loveland lake with a hand-me-down boogie board trying to learn how to skim board. Some of the coolest and most memorable times were the rope swings and the explorations we did out onto the frozen Lake Loveland, hearing loud popping and echoing sounds, like some sort of giant slinkey, as the ice expanded and shifted under our weight.

I have included some pictures here and may update this someday when I visit Loveland and find my favorite spots. This time it won't be a dream and I will have my camera! I miss all of my friends growing up and I hope to continue exploring the world and getting immursed, I think that is why I like surfing so much, just getting in and charging in some new and changing environment with friends who are willing to get dirty. I would like to dedicate this post to all of my RA friends over the years who seemed almost like family, we had to share such challenging situations and alway be there for eachother, people like Nick Struck who would adventure with me and always kept such a positive attitude, people like Rande Skeen and Charlie Nichols. Also, my favorite friends from Loveland Colorado including Shean Perry and the boys from the apartment complex who's names I can't even remember fully, just Chris and his Metroid game. Scott, the boy who was the youngest and always got picked on, his life's dream from such a young age was to open a plumbing company called Scotty-Potty's Plumbing! Craig Depershmidth, Parker and Bryant Richards, Josh Dudley, and so many more. I will miss those days but always remember the fun times we had and what our age and innocence allowed us to do with our never-ending spare time.

posted by Court @ 3:53 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

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