Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ready or Not Here I ... OUCH!

Everyone who has ever been succumbed as a child to their mother yelling "Get out of the house NOW!" knows how to play hide-and-seek.  It is the perfect pastime to ditch younger siblings/cousins (I was that younger sibling and cousin ... therapy starts next week).  The game also is the beginning of finding out if you are allergic to poison ivy, seeing how long you can go without screaming at the spider crawling on the tree you are standing behind, and realizing that your Punky Brewster high tops do not make you faster than the person who is "It".

However, my extended Texas family (there is a Louisiana side of the family, too.  Those stories will be in a future posting) kicked it up a notch.  Family get-togethers at grandma's house included enough food to feed the US Army with plenty of leftovers to get us through a long hard winter.  When you eat that much food you must succumb to a food coma for a good two hours and then partake in the street football festivities.  (Street football is similar to street hockey from Wayne's World: "Car coming!", "Game on!", and "Moonpie!"  I guess "Moonpie" was something my family created in an ode to my uncle.)  Anyway, by the time that everyone gets to the point of playing hide-and-seek it is already pitch black outside.

Since grandma lived behind the backwoods of east Texas the shadows created by the security light were like black holes.  So dark that you could stand in the middle of the shadow and no one could see you.  This made playing hide-and-seek in the dark adventurous!  Especially when we had at least 10 people playing. 

We would use the random patio table in the yard as base.  Grandma's yard had the deepest, darkest shadows plus climbing trees and all of the vehicles that the various family members used to make the trip.  Hiding options were endless!  However, the game would never have passed OSHA standards.  Grandma's yard also had dips, valleys, and potholes. 

Imagine running from the "It" person trying to get to the random patio table in the yard (that some cousin thought would be hilarious to move to the other side of the yard without telling anyone else) and either falling into a valley full of potholes or colliding with a person standing in a tree shadow.  You had those two scenarios and the scenarios were mandatory.  By the end of the game someone had a broken rib, someone else had a broken finger and everyone had scrapes and bruises.

Now when the family is able to get together we still look for an opportunity to play hide-and-seek in the dark.  We are not nearly as agile as our younger selves or are we any smarter.  But through the huffing and wheezing we are still able to laugh about all of it.  The games don't last as long and they usually end in having a beer to help with the pain of the scrapes and bruises and to relive the stories that just occurred and the ones that happened 20 years ago.


Strawberry said...

I love it!! Guess I'm glad I was inside playing board games and didn't know how dangerous the outside game had become! Take a pillow for the therapist's couch.

Teche said...

Trips down memory lane are so much fun! Thank you, but you forgot that there was also the perils of dodging the septic tank over flow from all of us staying in one house for more than a day! It was kind of like playing live action Atari pitfall at times. I think our last game was one of my favorites. It was a good way to say goodbye to MawMaw's place. I can still see Blake rolling around on the ground laughing in his shrub shaddow and therefore giving up his hiding place after I was desperatly trying to hike my leg up high enough to get into our climbing tree. See, we may not be as adgile as we used to but we have mental skills now. All I had to do was to get him to give up his spot so I could get back to base! lol Good times. Such good times.

Melissa Smith said...

I second that Teche! Melissa was able to partake in that last game at the lake and man how I didn't want it to end. She is the youngest of her cousins and never had the backwoods east texas upbringing that we had. After giving her warnings I mean things she could expect, she was still on board.

I remember things like "The Store", Tom Phillips place. Seemed to be the only place that sold IBC Rootbeer as a kid. I also remember 6 mile. 6 miles from what?!? Riding with Paw-paw into town not realizing that we were "the slowpokes" taking a Sunday drive regardless of the day.

The best memory for me was all of them. Never can I replace or replicate the smells in the air and the red iron dirt, yelling car during the football game and waiting and waiving as they drove by.

I do know that my last visit up there was for Ashley's baby shower and I walked with Bailey down the street from Joe Gonzales' place and was pointing out things to her about the old place. We met the new owner. The man was as nice as could be. We talked a bit and as I started walking back to Joe's his wife came out on the porch. All I can say is I'm pretty sure that Jean Smith still lives there under another name because it's scary how they look alike. Thanks Julie for the walk down memory lane. I found myself getting a little choked up thinking back...not sure if it was from the memories of the good times or the injuries from hide and seek in the dark!

Teche said...

Clint, that's funny because I never even thought about why it was called six mile! Do you guys remember how we used to make "houses" out of the two big wisteria bushes and spent most of our time picking the leafy branches of the mimosa trees to make beds and pillows? We could only play in there till all the bees ran us out! lol