My First Brush With Danger

I must have lived a pretty sheltered life growing up as I don’t remember doing anything particularly dangerous. We camped, hiked the Allegheny Mountains, boated and basically lived off the land.  I suppose that could be pretty dangerous as it is. To have nothing, want nothing and never really be anything. As if God just put us on this earth. Native American Indians seem pretty dangerous. I remember asking Chief Cornplanter permission to enter his land. I was really young then in the safety of my father and two other sisters and sometimes two other cousins.  We didn’t worry about bears, snakes or any other dangers to be had. Dad let us and it must be ok. Come to think of it, he let us do a lot of things. More than Mom let us do and she pretty much let us do anything as long as we didn’t get into trouble.

                Native American Indians I always found fascinating. Somehow the Europeans were more sophisticated with their diseases, guns and horses. But I think we are getting back to nature with being greener and even trying to respect the earth more. We are definitely trying to understand the earth more especially with the weird weather. Do we have global warming or is it a volcano underneath the arctic? Change affects everyone and not just the obvious as a ripple effect from the most important person to the tiny microscopic organisms deep beneath the sea. Maybe the Indians were so far behind they were advanced.

                Now let’s go back to my first brush with danger. I remember taking swimming lessons. I must have been about four.  I liked the first two lessons and then they just decided to throw me in the water. I guess I wasn’t progressing fast enough. I can still feel myself twirling around as my feet hit the water. Mom said it took a long time for me to want to go back to swimming lessons. I guess seeing my sisters have all the fun in the water; I wanted to join in too.  Today I am not the best swimmer (as my Mom would say,” what do you want a medal?”)  But I do get around ok.

                My mom asked that a lot as I was playing sports. I had a lot of brushes with danger playing sports. One of the biggest fears was getting hit by the ball whether it was a softball, volleyball or shot put.  Everything was so hard and fast. I remember making the transition between slow pitch and fast pitch. Never could hit the ball right during fast pitch. I broke my pinky while trying to catch a pitch with the wrong hand whiles a catcher. I got hit in the head a lot but I don’t really remember feeling any pain.

                Mom always made sure we went out which was a brush of danger. She made sure we could ride a bike right up there with mowing the lawn, driving a car, typing a paper and getting a job. Later on, college became important too ever since Mom found out it was ok by Dad.  All these, brushes with danger! Especially the third shift factory job to pay for college. Brushes with danger to prepare for life, what’s after that?   I guess keep preparing for life and taking risks until you can’t anymore.          

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