Tag Archives: memories of childhood

Re-post of an entry about my Cerebral Palsy

Greetings, readers. As I wrote yesterday, I have a shift at my job today and left the blog to Rebecca. She said she would either write a new post or re-post a little-read-but-worthy one just like she did last week, and it turns out she chose to re-post. She picked one from the end of my second full year of blogging, where I wrote about my Cerebral Palsy and how it worked in my life. Thank you for reading. I’ll be back next week.

CP and me

November 15, 2013

Greetings, readers. This is my one and perhaps only blog entry dealing completely with my affliction from cerebral palsy. I have been looking at blogs and websites about CP for a project, and have connected with a couple of people in the same boat, and I now have my own case on my mind. I have mentioned my CP in this blog here and there, but I have not done a post about it and how it effected my life.

I have had it since birth and will die with it. However, thanks to my well-meaning but over-protective parents, I didn’t know I had it until around the age of 16. Up until that point, I was simply told that I had a weak left side and the whole topic of being different from other people really didn’t come up at the dinner table.

Let’s start from childhood. Vivid memories of Tuesday evening swimming lessons at the Bellefonte, Pennsylvania YMCA conjure up images of cold swimming pools and a little boy trying not to drown. I remember thinking to myself that I should be able to do what all the other kids were doing – swimming. I could just barely tread water. I knew it was time to quit when my favorite part of the evening was when it was time to leave, and I could put my quarter into the vending machine and get my plastic NFL helmet for my collection.

Around the age of 10 or so, I suffered what I still call to this day my klutz year. I was a normal active boy enjoying Nerf football and Whiffle ball, but in the span of twenty-one weeks I suffered three broken fingers, one smashed elbow, and a broken wrist … all on the same arm. The arm that I tended to fall to – the left. I was cast-free for one week before I smashed my elbow, then for one day before I clobbered my wrist. Not deterred from wishing to feel normal, I continued to play outdoor sports.

In my 20s, I remember playing racquet ball, with my friend from high school, which can be a brutal sport. We created our own game and called it Tenaquet. We served overhand and we gave each other two ball bounces rather than one. That aided my bad balance and Jim’s bad knee. What fun we had. When my knees and my back started to go haywire, I had to officially ‘retire’ from sports.

Around this time, it was becoming painfully obvious that attending Penn State University day classes was not for me. I was having a very hard time with taking notes and I was a horrible test taker. Later I figured out why. Even though I can read, my retention isn’t quite up to par. I had to withdraw and never did finish. I think Mom understood, but was in denial that her son couldn’t finish college. Just a couple of years ago, I found out from my Godmother that Mom had the measles when she was pregnant with me. This could explain why my brain didn’t develop correctly. Perhaps in some strange way she felt responsible. Which of course was ridiculous. Things happen.

As I briefly mentioned in other blog posts, things like my balance and fine motor skills are effected; not to mention the fact that I have seizures. But every day I do the best that I can do. I can just give people 100% of all I’ve got on any particular day.

On the positive side of my mild CP: I can walk, I can jog, I can drive a car. I can write. And I can give a fairly proficient air guitar show. Also, with the help of Flight Simulator X, I can even be, in a way, what I always wanted to be growing up as a kid, which was an airline pilot.

Overall I would have to say that my life has been good and I have learned to live with my mild disability as best I can. Having the knowledge as a child that I have CP may or may not have made a difference. Who knows, I might have been worse off. Unless someone invents a reliable time machine, I will never know.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Family stuff

Those of you who have read Joe’s blog for a long time will know that he has written many times about his struggle to hold on to items he inherited from his parents, even when he didn’t have the space in his apartment to keep all of them. He had to let a few things go in periodic clean outs, and it was difficult for him each time. This is on my mind today, because my family is struggling with a similar issue of losing family stuff, and it is a heartbreaker. We thought some items were safe at a family member’s house and it turns out that they were not.

The items are from my mother, who passed away, and my stepfather, who is still alive but has a lot of health issues. One item in particular was a stuffed leopard that my sisters and I had as children, that our mom kept and then it went with our stepfather when he moved after she passed. After one of my sisters asked about it this week, another sister found out that at some point it was thrown out after something got spilled on it. The other stuff was important too, but this is the item I really cared about and it is gone. I really wish that we had taken it the last time we were all there together a few years ago, but it didn’t seem polite at the time. I ached about the loss for a few minutes, and then thought, okay, there is nothing we can do about it now.

An added complication is that, due to certain circumstances, when our stepfather does pass away, all of his stuff might be lost, and there might not be any items from him that we inherit to remember him by. Does this possible loss matter? Just how much do we need family heirlooms as reminders after loved ones are gone?

I do cherish the items I have from people who are no longer with me. It is nice to look up on my bookcase and see a scarf from one of my grandmothers, the statue that reminds me of my other grandmother, my copy of the spiritual book that my mother gave to each of her daughters while she was still alive. These items sit among the ones I have from people who are still with me, like the pictures of my nephews and niece growing up, the candle my mother-in-law gave me, and something from a dear friend who is like a sister to me. I like the memories and the reminders of my loved ones. My life is richer because of all the people in it. But I also know that I don’t lose that if I lose the mementos.

If I don’t end up with my stepfather’s pocket knife, I still remember him using it. I still remember him cooking meals and joking with my mom in their kitchen filled with knickknacks, cutting the lawn on his sitting mower, pointing to his picture of a ship he crewed on and telling me about his experiences on it, sitting at his computer, fixing the latest of his parade of vehicles, and trying to figure out his latest electronic gizmo. My stepfather was a force of nature once upon a time.

I don’t think of my stepfather like that much anymore, and maybe I do need reminders. Maybe other family members will have to do that for me instead of his stuff. And that is okay. And maybe I will end up with an item of his to spark my memories. That would be good too.

Joe will be back with a blog entry next Wednesday. Until then, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.

You can’t go home again

Greetings, readers. I’m in one of my nostalgic moods today and I’ve been thinking of my parents and the house I grew up in. I still remember every inch of the old place. If I close my eyes, I can walk through every room, nook and pantry. I’ve been in the house since it was sold – I know the new owners – and they completely redid the inside. Why not, it’s their home now. It looked so different, though.

I am reminiscing about my childhood and all the wonderful times we had at home. Between holiday gatherings and the normal school year goings on, there always seemed to be something happening. One weekend it might be a game of Wiffle ball in the circle – what my neighborhood called the area outside my house, another weekend it might be watching a Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game with my friends.

I’ve often wanted to go back to those days, but it is impossible. Life marches forwards, not backwards. One of my issues is that I have always wanted to be different; either better than I was or, worse, somebody else. That stems from my poor self-esteem. What to do?

Other people have traits I wish were mine. Because I tend to forget things, I desire to be more like my mom. She was the most organized, clear-headed person I ever knew. Mom always had every base covered. Sometimes I wanted to have Pop’s work ethic. Heck, I would have twenty books written if I did. Then there is my best friend, Dave. He is the king of planning. I’ve always admired how he’d tell me every step of what needed done, and with such encouragement. You see where I’m going with this? I want to be everybody but… me!

I’ve learned recently from friends, family and inspirational quotes that all I need to do is be the best me I can be. I can do that. 🙂 Let’s all do that.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care and happy reading.

I was such a naïve kid

Greetings, readers. I was just telling Rebecca a story from my early childhood and it sparked this blog entry topic. It is going to be about the rather goofy things I did when I was a boy. I took everything literally.

The story I told Rebecca was one from the mid-1970s before cable channels came in, and television reception wasn’t always that great. I was watching a Pittsburgh Steelers game with my mom and there were some difficulties with the signal. A message flashed on the screen, ‘We are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by.’ So the naive, goofy kid that I was, I got off the floor, went to the side of the television, and stood next to it, causing my mom to laugh hysterically. I was five, I did what I was told.

Around that same age, maybe a little younger, I always wondered why people had yard sales. Didn’t they want their grass anymore? Another goody was the garage sale. Where were people going to park their car if they sold their garage? Just call me Mr. Literal.

Of course, like everybody else, I got wise and learned that not all phrases mean exactly what they sound like. For instance, lots for sale. Up until the age of eight, when we were driving on that particular road, I would turn to my mom and ask, “Lots of what?”

Although this last example isn’t quite the same, there is a road in Maine which I travel on every time I’m there, which goes from camp into town. It says, ‘Please watch for blind child.’ That in itself is fine, but the sign has been there for over forty years. That child is now probably fifty. Unless there is some special place that I don’t know about such as a blind school in that area, it is not necessary. I have always wondered why they didn’t take it down.

Well there you have today’s blog entry. If you have any examples from your life dealing with this topic that you would like to share, please do so in the comments here or on my Facebook page. We promise not to giggle.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and, as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of things we might remember from our childhood

Greetings, readers. This top ten list was going to be a general list that anyone could relate to, but as the list got going, it seemed to get more specific to the time I was growing up. I’m 51 years old, so I think anyone around my age will be able to remember the same things.

#10. Mom or Dad would say, “Sorry, but we can’t do that. It’s a school night.” [There were many things I enjoyed doing, from playing ball outside to watching that 9:30 TV show, and there was always that cut-off time on school night.]

#9. Snow days. [During the cold snowy winters of the mid to late 70s, I eagerly anticipated each snow storm with the high hopes of those beloved snow days. I know we had to make up the days off from school at the end of the year, but to stay home, warm and cozy, was always fun.]

#8. Older cars and cheaper gas. [Back when American cars were big boats, with plenty of room and large gas tanks, no one thought anything of going for that long Sunday drive. Most big cars were fancy, stylish, and sounded cool. The cheapest gas I can remember was 40 or 50 cents per gallon. Yes that was more money back then, I know, but if you just look at the numbers compared to today you’d get a chuckle.]

#7. Saturday morning cartoons. [When I was a youngster, I could not wait for Saturday mornings. I would run downstairs, fill my cereal bowl, and plop in front of the TV to watch three hours of really good cartoons. The cartoons they make today are not nearly as entertaining to me and some Anime cartoons are quite violent. It is a pity that the Saturday morning cartoon is actually gone.]

#6. That disco craze. [The music of the 1970s was funk and disco. I don’t love all disco music, but some of my all-time favorite songs are from this genre.]

#5. Roller skating. [Before roller blading, there was roller skating. When I was a teenager, roller skating was just on the way out. There used to be a place called Sir Skate here in town that would do a whooping Friday and Saturday evening business. Lots of school kids could not wait to flock to the rink and skate the evening away to good music.]

#4. Going to a Friday evening movie or drive-in. [Many an evening was spent by me going to our local theaters and watching such hits as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the 1976 version of King Kong, Smokey and the Bandit, and of course, the original Star Wars. Ticket prices were cheap, as were the refreshments.]

#3. Baseball games on the radio. [This is more something of the 1940 and 50s craze, but I can still remember my mom listening to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the radio. In the mid 70s, one of our local TV stations starting showing the games and we began to watch instead of listen to them. My favorite radio announcer recently retired, the LA Dodgers’ Vin Scully.]

#2. Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor and Johnny Carson. [I always associated certain times of my life with certain celebrities. Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show was one of them. I would always watch his opening monologue on Friday nights when I could stay up later. My three favorite news anchors were Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, and John Chancellor. Today the world is so depressing I no longer watch the news. Sorry current news anchors.]

#1. Holidays at home with family. [Some of my happiest memories are at Christmas time as a child. I enjoyed big Christmas trees, lots of presents, Christmas carols and a great holiday dinner. In elementary school of course my favorite part of that time was the holiday break. Three weeks of no school. Back then, yes, it was called Christmas vacation. So sorry for not being politically correct. Lol.]

There’s my list. If anyone has a question, comment or wishes to add your list, please feel free to do it here.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

My parents’ habits

Greetings, readers. During a writing exercise late last week, both Rebecca and I came to the conclusion that the work would be a good blog entry. We just now read over it and it reads a little choppy. This is the first time that I can recall that we have used a writing exercise as a blog entry. It has some good details that I want to share with you about my parents. I hope you enjoy it.

My mother was a creature of habit. I remember in her final years that she would always get up at precisely 7:00. She must have set an alarm. After getting dressed I would hear her walk down the steps and then the morning ritual would begin. First, she would unlatch the front door, then she would turn and switch on the lamp which was on the credenza. Making her way into the kitchen, she would activate the fluorescent light on our old stove.

Shortly thereafter, I would walk downstairs and join her. I was amazed at the preparation that mom took to make her morning as simple as possible. All the coffee mugs would be laid out. My oatmeal packets would be sitting in the bowl ready to be opened. This was to cut down on as much extra activity as possible. I think my mom was just like me; not a morning person.

One of us would flick on the button to begin the water boiling in the kettle. The other would turn on the coffee maker. As the coffee began brewing, Mom would open up the packets of the instant oatmeal. My two favorite flavors were peaches and cream and strawberries and cream.

Even though I was still in school, I was allowed to have coffee. I began drinking it at age ten. Half coffee, half milk. That is how I liked it. Mom would then continue with her ritualistic ways. I have dreamt of being more like her but I just can’t seem to do it. Many of my problems might be solved if I could develop more good habits.

One of the habits I need to work on is set up days to do specific tasks. For instance, laundry on Wednesdays, shopping on Mondays, and house cleaning on Saturdays. Mom had the right idea though I think she went overboard with it at some points.

Dad was kind of the same way. He never slept in. Pop was always up between 6:45 and 7:00. Got himself dressed and shaved and was down to breakfast by 8:00. In the earlier years, I believe this was because he had to teach a 9:00 class at Penn State, so he was already in the early morning mode. If I’m at Panera café by 11:00 in the morning it is a miracle. I am not a morning person.

When I go to Maine every August, I enjoy getting up early. I want to have a nice long day to do all the sundry activities that Bear Spring Camps has to offer; 9:00 fishing, lunch at 12:30, afternoon swimming and boat rides, and still the occasional happy hour. Every year I tell myself I am going to keep to this schedule when I get home. LOL. That schedule lasts about a week and then I am right back to Mr. Lazybones.

Rebecca has told me that doing something 21 times tends to make it a habit. I think in July, right before I go to camp, I will force myself to get up early and have that long day. That way when I get back from camp, I’ll already be in my new habit. Wish me luck all.

Take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

A childhood memory of when I would be head of the house when Dad was on trips

Greetings, readers. Last night as I was trying to get to sleep, my mind wandered back to my childhood. I had a happy memory of when I would take over my dad’s home office when he would go away on short trips. I was roughly 10 years old. I had no brothers or sisters, so when Dad would leave I felt like I wanted to be the man of the house. This is how I would go about accomplishing it.

Around 5:00 in the afternoon, I would get myself a soda and that would be my before-dinner “beer.” I would then sit in Dad’s chair in the living room and watch my favorite TV shows from there, instead of where I would normally sit, which was on the floor. During dinner, I would also sit at Dad’s chair at the table. Mom thought this behavior was cute, though nothing was ever said. She knew exactly what I was trying to do, though the only indication she gave me was a smile. The other big thing I would do is that at 7:00, my homework time, I would walk upstairs to Dad’s office and do my school work there, instead of at the kitchen table. Sometimes if I didn’t have much homework, I would uncover his manual typewriter. I would just start typing my thoughts for the day.

At 9:00 when they evening was over, I would come downstairs, see what Mom was up to, say goodnight and get ready for bed. I have very vivid and fond memories of what I considered taking over for Dad during those early years of my life. Honestly, as I dictate this to Rebecca, I can’t say for certain if I was practicing for real life or if I was just a kid pretending to be Dad. You must remember that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

When Dad would return from his trips though, I was just as glad to see him as he was to be home. As much as I enjoyed using his office, I gladly got back to my routine of doing homework at the kitchen table, snacking on graham crackers.

This behavior stopped around the age of say 13. Why it was so important those two or three years to mimic Dad I’m not quite sure. All I know is it always put a smile on my face. Perhaps it made me feel important.

To conclude this trip down memory lane from some 35 or 40 years ago, I enjoy thinking about my past. There are a lot of memories that I will carry with me until I pass on and while my entire childhood was not peaches and cream, being head of the house for a few days is always one of my happiest memories.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care and happy reading.

CP and me

Greetings, readers. This is my one and perhaps only blog entry dealing completely with my affliction from cerebral palsy. I have been looking at blogs and websites about CP for a project, and have connected with a couple of people in the same boat, and I now have my own case on my mind. I have mentioned my CP in this blog here and there, but I have not done a post about it and how it effected my life.

I have had it since birth and will die with it. However, thanks to my well-meaning but over-protective parents, I didn’t know I had it until around the age of 16. Up until that point, I was simply told that I had a weak left side and the whole topic of being different from other people really didn’t come up at the dinner table.

Let’s start from childhood. Vivid memories of Tuesday evening swimming lessons at the Bellefonte, Pennsylvania YMCA conjure up images of cold swimming pools and a little boy trying not to drown. I remember thinking to myself that I should be able to do what all the other kids were doing – swimming. I could just barely tread water. I knew it was time to quit when my favorite part of the evening was when it was time to leave, and I could put my quarter into the vending machine and get my plastic NFL helmet for my collection.

Around the age of 10 or so, I suffered what I still call to this day my klutz year. I was a normal active boy enjoying Nerf football and Whiffle ball, but in the span of twenty-one weeks I suffered three broken fingers, one smashed elbow, and a broken wrist … all on the same arm. The arm that I tended to fall to – the left. I was cast-free for one week before I smashed my elbow, then for one day before I clobbered my wrist. Not deterred from wishing to feel normal, I continued to play outdoor sports.

In my 20s, I remember playing racquet ball, with my friend from high school, which can be a brutal sport. We created our own game and called it Tenaquet. We served overhand and we gave each other two ball bounces rather than one. That aided my bad balance and Jim’s bad knee. What fun we had. When my knees and my back started to go haywire, I had to officially ‘retire’ from sports.

Around this time, it was becoming painfully obvious that attending Penn State University day classes was not for me. I was having a very hard time with taking notes and I was a horrible test taker. Later I figured out why. Even though I can read, my retention isn’t quite up to par. I had to withdraw and never did finish. I think Mom understood, but was in denial that her son couldn’t finish college. Just a couple of years ago, I found out from my Godmother that Mom had the measles when she was pregnant with me. This could explain why my brain didn’t develop correctly. Perhaps in some strange way she felt responsible. Which of course was ridiculous. Things happen.

As I briefly mentioned in other blog posts, things like my balance and fine motor skills are effected; not to mention the fact that I have seizures. But every day I do the best that I can do. I can just give people 100% of all I’ve got on any particular day.

On the positive side of my mild CP: I can walk, I can jog, I can drive a car. I can write. And I can give a fairly proficient air guitar show. Also, with the help of Flight Simulator X, I can even be, in a way, what I always wanted to be growing up as a kid, which was an airline pilot.

Overall I would have to say that my life has been good and I have learned to live with my mild disability as best I can. Having the knowledge as a child that I have CP may or may not have made a difference. Who knows, I might have been worse off. Unless someone invents a reliable time machine, I will never know.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Libraries and Schlow Library

Joe is having dental work today, so you are hearing from me. He may be in some pain today and tomorrow, so the next blog post might be next week.

Libraries have been on my mind lately. I visit my local library, Schlow Centre Region Library, three times a week, and I love it. I use their public computers to be on the internet. I borrow two or three books, and three to four DVDs, from the library every week. I am a regular user. I know a lot of the staff by sight, and they are all nice, patient, and helpful. Someday I hope to have enough extra money to donate to the library that gives me so much.

Libraries have been in my thoughts lately because of two recent news items. The Centre Daily Times issue on September 27, 2013 reported that the East Penn Valley Branch Library in Millheim, Pennsylvania would close the following week, due to budget cuts in the county library system of which they were a part. I feel bad about any library closing, although in this case it is possible there will be a good ending. The community might open it up again on their own after the materials and resources from the library were donated to the Friends of the East Penn Valley Branch Library. And on September 17, 2013, the CDT reported that Schlow Centre Region Library may have to close for a week next year, to off-set money lost from state aid.

Libraries do so much for people. They are sources of information on government agencies, how technologies work, and they have manuals, non-fiction works, plus entertainment materials too. Often the local history archives for the area are in a reference section. They can provide a meeting place for organizations, and often put on events of interest, in a community room. The staff is usually able to assist people in finding information, on databases and websites, as well as navigate through the library system. They have newspapers and magazines available to read on-site, which may be especially helpful to someone looking for a job who cannot afford to buy a newspaper every day. I don’t know about other libraries, but I know that Schlow has made free downloads of ebooks available to patrons, something that costs the library a bite out of their budget for each e-book copy. On top of all that, they provide the latest books by popular authors, sometimes with multiple copies for books with long waiting lists, so that more people can read them sooner. They provide older books too, including the classics. Many people discover authors new to them in the stacks. The libraries have photocopier machines at either the same prices or cheaper than other places. They might also have printing available from the public computers, perhaps with a small fee to off-set the paper and ink costs. A community without a library within an easy visiting distance is poor in ways beyond money.

I remember going to Schlow library when I was a kid in the 1970s. It was called the Schlow Memorial Library then, in honor of the library’s founder, Charles Schlow and his wife Bella S. Schlow. It was, and still is, at the corner of Allen Street and Beaver Avenue. I loved being able to take out any of the books in the children’s section. At that time, there must have been a certain kind of cover for children’s library books, with a textured cover, a certain font, and muted colors, because whenever I hold a book like that now it takes me back to happy memories of books in my childhood. The children’s books were in the room downstairs, and stairs and an elevator led up to the room upstairs with the adult collection. I think there was a check out counter on each floor, or the checkout was downstairs in the lobby outside the children’s collection room. I am just not sure now.

When I was older, I became familiar with the adult collection too. The adult section had the reference books that no one could take out, photocopiers, (computers in the 80s and 90s), maps, records (later with tapes and CDs), and, in the back of the room, the fiction books. The non-fiction section was in a loft area over the fiction section, reached by climbing stairs. If you couldn’t get up the stairs, a librarian was available to get your selection for you. The children section and the adult section each had their own card catalogue, with cards for each book in long trays; a patron would write down the location information on paper provided. Now, of course, the catalogue is on computers.

Schlow went through a couple of renovations in the 70s and 80s. Then sometime before 2004, it was decided to rebuild the building from scratch. As I recall, a long fundraising project raised the funds they needed before they put the plans in motion. In 2004 the library materials and operations were moved to the old borough municipal building while the library building was torn down and the new building built. In 2005 the new library building opened, with the name Schlow Centre Region Library. The children’s collection in still downstairs, with a room with computers and a collection of video games, as well as the books and puzzles. The first floor also holds the circulation desk. The upstairs is the adult collection, non-fiction on the same floor as the fiction section and other resources. If you want to read more about the history of Schlow library go their website at schlowlibrary.org or click this link to their history page on their website. [Oops. The history page link doesn’t go there anymore. It does go to the website, if you want to click it anyway. – 4/24/15]

It all looks different from when I was a kid, but I still get the same warm feeling of home inside the walls.

Top ten happy memories from my childhood

Greetings, readers. I thought long and hard this morning of things that made me happy when I was a youngster and teenager. The following is a list – this time in order – of the top ten happy memories.

#10. Watching the Indianapolis 500. [It used to be shown in prime time and they would always announce right before the show who had won the race in the ABC news break.]

#9. Trips to Pittsburgh. [In the early years, my mom practiced psychology not only here in State College but also in Pittsburgh. For the first eight or so years of my life, occasionally the family would take a weekend trip so she could see her Pittsburgh clients.]

#8. Park Forest Junior High Fun Nights. [Every six to eight weeks, on a Friday evening, the commons area and gymnasium would be opened up from 7 to 10pm for music, dancing, and basketball. It kept us kids off the streets.]

#7. The trip to Maine with Mom and Dad. [I had many fun times in the car looking at the pretty scenery, listening to my music under headphones, Dad’s classical music on the cassette tape, or having conversations with my family.]

#6. Watching college football games on Saturdays and NFL games on Sundays.

#5. A special weekend at the Altoona Sheraton. [About once a year or so I would beg Mom and Dad to go to Altoona to the Sheraton for a fun weekend getaway, mostly relaxing and swimming in the big, heated indoor pool.]

#4. The holiday season. [From the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade until the end of the college bowl season, it truly was my favorite time of year, and still is.]

#3. The Memorial Day carnival. [Expensive but fun. Sadly it no longer comes around anymore.]

#2. Nerf footfall and Wiffle ball games with my best friend Dave Trost.

#1. The Christmas light ride through Park Forest Village and surrounding areas. [Through my childhood and teenage years it remained the single happiest evening of the year.]

Ok folks, there you have it. Chime in with yours via reply. Let the debating begin. Until Friday, have a great day, take care and happy reading.