Monday, March 21, 2011

Cold Snowy Night

I believe I was about 7 or 8 years old when this happend.... I am not sure though.

My parents went out for the evening leaving us 5 kids at home with a babysitter.... Chris Mitchell, the neighbor boy was left in charge.  He was siginificantly older than I was.... he was a grown up, like 17 years old or something.

I remember helping Chris get the younger kids to bed, and then settling in the living room with Edie, my older sister, in front of the television wearing our pajamas.  After a little while, Wendy Bomar, the neighbor girl, showed up and joined us in the living room.  I thought I was so cool being able to stay up with the "big kids" for a change. 

We were all sitting around like a bunch of teenagers talking about school and friends when Chris decided to play a game with us called "Chicken."  Looking back now, I realize he wanted to play the game with Wendy and not us, but he had to include Edie and I in order to keep peace.  He was, afterall, babysitting us in our house and we might "tell on him" if he didn't keep us happy.

So the rules were explained.  Chris would take his hand and start at my toes.  He would slowly drag his fingers up my leg until I said chicken.  The girl who allowed him to go the highest up her leg was the winner.  Stupid game... but I figured if this was what the "big kids" played then I had better just go along with it.

Of course I was first. I am pretty sure Chris was just trying to get us "little kids" out of the way before moving onto the "northern territory" with Wendy, but I didn't mind because I was one of the cool kids that night.  Chris touched my big toe and I giggled.  He slowly drug his fingers up my foot and touched my ankle.  I felt my face flush red and tried to hold my breath.  He stopped momentarily at my ankle and then slowly started up my shin. "CHICKEN!!" Yupp... I let him go as high as my shin... I was so cool!!  Next was Edie.  She was so brave!  She allowed Chris to get just below her KNEE!  I lost the game for sure now.  But that was alright,  I wanted to see how far up her leg Wendy was going to let him go.

Chris, at this point, feigned a dire thirst and sent Edie and I on a search for a can of Pepsi. Edie and I both knew exactly what was in the frige to drink, yet we scoured through it hoping to find a can of pop to please Chris. We returned to the living room where Chris and Wendy were, empty handed, heads hung low. In his final attempt to get rid of us, Chris asked if we would be willing to walk to the little store to buy him his ever desired can of Pepsi. 

Now, on most occasions a walk to the little store was no big deal we did it all the time.  However, it was like 9:00 at night, dark.... and there was about 8" of snow on the ground.  Unfortunatley, Edie and I were willing to do whatever we had to do at this point to save face after losing the game of chicken.  We pulled on our snow boots, tucked our hair into stocking caps, zipped up our puffy snow coats and headed out.  We didn't even change into regular clothes.... we simply put our snow gear on right over top of our night gowns.  Chris was thoughtful enough to supply us with one flashlight, low on batteries of course.

I do believe that Chris thought we would go outside, maybe walk a few blocks and then turn around.  He was simply trying to buy a few minutes alone with Wendy to continue his pursuit of Northern grounds.... I am pretty sure she let him go WAY north of the knee, and Chris wasn't thinking about babysitting anymore.  However, he didn't know my sister Edie very well.  When she said she would do something, she did it.  No matter how much I weenie whined she drug me along on a lot of her adventures... this was simply one of the first traumatic trips we took together.

By the time we reached the end of 95th Dr... I couldn't feel my fingers.  It didn't help that every time a car passed my sister would drag me into the ditch where we would dive down and "hide" in case it was our parents coming home.... like they weren't gonna miss us once they got to the house and realized we were gone.  Not sure her logic on that one... but I always did as she told me to.  By the time we reached the little store, my toes were so cold they were burning. 

My heart dropped when the lights were off and the door was locked to Rodlands Grocery Store.  We had walked all that way (about 2 miles) for nothing.  I remember crying as we trudged through the snow back up the hill toward 95th. 

We quit diving into ditches on our return home hoping at this point our parents WOULD drive past us and pick us up. Not very many cars were on the road that night but each approaching headlight gave me hope that we would be rescued from this pointless mission. 

Sure enough, when we were about 3/4 of the way to our house, our aunt Bonnie passed us on her way home.  She quickly pulled us in from the freezing night, and warmed us up by the heater.  We were both shivering, teeth chattering and soaked through to our underoos.  A few phone calls were made, and we were tucked into a warm make shift bed on the floor.

We went through a lot of babysitters in our childhood, but I am certain that Chris Mitchell was the only one that was fired, sent home without pay and never allowed on our property again.  Our Aunt saved our lives that cold winter night, or at least it felt like it at the time. 

I swore I would never play "big kid" games and never ever follow my sister on any other adventures again.  Ha... That was the first of MANY times I would swear off trouble on 95th Drive.... All the way into adulthood, I would follow my sister anywhere.  And honestly, 9 times out of 10, her roads led us to trouble.  They also led us to adventures and memories worth blogging about.

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