cloudy day part one

days like these always take me back to summer days of my childhood. dull dark clouds would threaten rain from morning and a chill would be in the air, so we wouldn’t take to the lake first thing like we always did and we’d even be caught in a rare appearance of pants and tennis shoes.

it was a good time to take a bike ride and explore all the trails … “the trails.” none of them exist anymore. they’re all subdivisions. we had so many trails that ran all around in and around the woods. they were well worn and just big enough for a bike tire in some cases. i don’t know how or when they were created, because they just always were there. i don’t know if it was so wise to be riding on some of them with a 10-speed huffy with pink handlebars, but i did it and it was fun as hell.

there were hills and curves and twists and all sorts of crazy ways to go. you could take it fast or slow and you could stop and hide. there was a rhythm to it all. there was this one shitty part that actually was bogged down in sand (why was there sand back there!?!) and really hard to get through, but it was right at the end, and spit you out back onto the exit to get on the street. there were trails behind all of the subdivisions and the grade school. you could have races and time trials. you could make up all sorts of games and whatnot, and we did. it was a good way to spend a cloudy, coldish afternoon.

sometimes, we’d get into the lake anyway and brave the chill and the wind. what was great and wonderfully surprising was that the water always seemed super warm on these days. it was always like bathwater. not to mention there was always super big waves that crashed into the shallow end (it was all very shallow, but it was fun to mess around in the waves). the problem was having a very dry towel waiting for you when you got out, because being wet in the wind always made for cold times. then it was time for a sweatshirt and sweatpants for sure.

then a game of spy or something that involved running around the yards — all the yards butted up against one another. there were (are) no fences and everything was free game. no one was going to tell you not to go into their yard. baseball, football, soccer, spy, hide and seek, kick the can, ghosts in the graveyard and all sorts of made up games.

what thrilled me was when the clouds got a little darker and the wind got a little stronger and it was clear that a storm was coming for sure. i could feel the electricity in the air. i wasn’t sure what was coming, other than some quality time inside with friends. maybe some video games or some MTV. but in the meantime, it meant that i just got hyperactive to my very core. it was indescribable. i couldn’t even articulate it to anyone. i just wanted to scream so loud. i wanted to run around and dance. i wanted to do cartwheels and round offs. i wanted to hear the thunder and see the lightning and feel the rain. and sometimes i did all of the above.

i feel the same way today. i love it when it gets a little quiet and the sky gets a little darker (my mom would anxiously say “the sky is getting black over there …”) and then the wind picks up and maybe the sky is a little bruise-ish … gray and green and slightly yellow. it’s going to get good then. and my hair stands up and i get nervous but in a manic way. a “i want to laugh and scream and get sort of hysterical” sort of way. a “hit me!” sort of way.

so, days like today always make me think of my days in wind lake. they evoke a very specific scene from a very specific point in time. even from a very specific point in my yard. back yard, looking up toward the road from inbetween the two trees that are on the west side of our yard. whatever. hang on summer, i’m not done with you yet.

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