As winter has stuck its head into our area, I go back in time to remember those days when we had snowball fights, wearing warm clothing, including big, sloppy boots and gloves, and staying out just about all day.
We never minded how cold it was because we were having lots of fun.
And we walked to school, which was eight blocks to Willard School, 13 blocks to Central Junior High and 13 to Kokomo High School.
Boy, it was fun — until we got to school. Then it was serious, as we were there to learn, not play in the snow.
There were no school buses in Kokomo, as you went to the school that was in your neighborhood.
Of course when we moved out to the country, we did have a school bus to pick us up, and it was serious again as soon as we got on. Mr. Taylor, who was our bus driver, was very strict because he was given the job of driving us safely to school and back home afterward.
A sign of a good man is one who values life, not only his but also others too. I don’t think he ever was mean to anyone, but I guess we just knew he was in charge without him saying so.
Anyway, it was fun stopping to pick up the friends and sliding over to make room for them. I don’t think there was anyone on our bus that did not befriend me as soon as I got to my new school. As a matter of fact, I think that was the best part of living out there, as everyone seemed to care about their fellow man.
And, yes, when it snowed hard we did have some snowball fights after getting off that bus, but we stopped as soon as we entered the halls of Western High School.
Before I get too far into my yarn about winter, I want to stress to you the bus we got on each school day would stop at our mailbox, which was down a long lane bordered by trees, as our house set back about a block from the bus stop. So you can believe there was some snowball throwing as we went to get on that bus. And when we got home, we caught you know what from Mom and Dad if they saw us doing it.
Oh, what a wonderful time we had playing in the snow, building a snowman or making a fort to hide behind from the other throwers. It was fun to live out there. And once the winter weather left, we knew it was time to prepare our garden with care so that we might have those good-eating veggies after growing season was over. You might say I have been gardening just about all my life, and I love it too.
So getting back to the winter weather we are getting now: I don’t get out anymore than I have to, as I have to take care of my health and also my little lady of the house. She is a good woman, and it hurts to see her having bad days. But when I said I do, I meant it and so did she.
That is a good thing about being retired; I don’t have to get out if I don’t want to. That is the reason we worked all those years, and if we live long enough, we get to experience the rewards of doing so.
Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.