Posted on by 0 comment

If you have been following this blog regularly you know that we are currently seeking an agent for our memoir. It is a long slow process. I thought it might be fun to share a little from our memoir. The first part of the book is about how, prior to our meeting in college, Crystal and I grew up. One of the chapters is titled “Scouting”. Being in the Boy Scouts was a big part of my youth and I have a million stories. The following event, while not currently in the book, should give an idea what it was like, and for that matter what our book is like.

When I was about eight years old I wanted to join the boy scouts. I loved the idea of camping out and being in the woods. Unfortunately, I was too young. Both of my parents quickly agreed that joining the cub scouts sounded great. My overprotective mom obviously didn’t think this through. She liked the idea that there would be a lot of parental involvement and even became a Den Mother for my den. She loved leading our group in various craft projects and helping me with my rank advancement activities.

I think she hoped I would move on to new interests before I advanced to the actual Boy Scouts. You see the Boy Scouts actually involves activities away from parents and family. Cub Scouts was OK, but for me, it was just biding time. I couldn’t wait to be out in the woods, with my fellow scouts, having adventures. This is what terrified my mother. She watched me growing up. I was the five year old who figured out that drawers and a toaster could be made into stairs to ascend to the top of the refrigerator. I was the ten year old who could climb to the top of almost any tree in the neighborhood. I used to assemble a system of ramps in a local prairie to do X-games type tricks fifty years ahead of the actual games. These and many more of my antics used to terrify my mom. She was born to be a mom and I was her only child. If it were up to her the Doctor never would have cut the cord or at least replaced it with a nylon tether.

Being in the scouts was a great experience. I recommend it to all young men who like the outdoors. By the time I was a first class scout (a middle rank) I could set up a camp site, make a fire, chop down a tree, paddle a canoe down rapids, and hike up to twenty miles in a day or swim a mile.

Learning new things and challenging my abilities was great, but what I really loved was playing. After a hard day of advancement activities, hiking, or competitions, there was always time to play. Whether it was capture the flag, flashlight tag, or steal the bacon, it was all good. One day, during a Jamboree (competition between Troups) we decided to play softball. I loved softball, baseball, football, basically anything with a ball. While my team mates were trying to decide where to play I ran out to center field. This was my position. I loved to run and had a knack for knowing where the ball was going as soon as the batter began to swing. I could almost cover three fields by myself. Or, at least, I thought I could. That day we were on somewhat rocky, seldom used field, with a partially disintegrated backstop. It didn’t matter, this was fun. As usual, outside of the field and game, itself I had noticed nothing about my surroundings. Near the end of the game, a big boy, Hal, who was a couple of years older than me was up to bat. He hit the ball. I knew immediately, it was high and deep, and directly over my head. I turned and started to run full speed away from the field. I knew this ball would take everything I had to catch. Without slowing I reached up, one more step and I would have it. Then the strangest thing happened. That final step never happened. Instead there was nothing under my foot. Still totally focused on the ball, I took another step, still nothing. Then I noticed the ball, which had been on a direct trajectory into my glove (as God had intended), was getting further away. I never took my eye off the ball as it went further and further way from my beckoning glove. Finally the free fall came to an end with a rustle and a sickening thud. I gasped for air as the wind had been knocked out of my body. After what seemed minutes later, my troop was standing at the top of the embankment looking down at me. I stared up at them, some roughly ten feet above me, from the bush which had sort of broken my fall. They looked concerned and asked if I was OK. I said OK, I think. When I finally got to my feet I was still most upset that I didn’t make the catch. I stumbled over to grab the evil ball sitting in a creek about twenty feet behind me. Before climbing up the dirt wall I rubbed a little of the “sterile” creek water on my multiple scratches and scrapes. After all, the game wasn’t over. For some reason, after that, no one else wanted to finish the game. We headed back to camp and dinner.

Stories like that were never told to my parents. In retrospect, maybe my mom wasn’t as overprotective as I had always believed.


Crystal, Lisa and I on a Camping Trip

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.