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Author Topic: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?  (Read 15307 times)

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Offline Corley5

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In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« on: March 01, 2006, 09:16:18 AM »
How's your March starting ???  It's clear and cold here.  It was 5 above at 7 AM.  The forecast is for snow late in the day maybe 2-4"  So ours is somewhere between a lion and lamb ???
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Offline crtreedude

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 09:31:43 AM »
The only snow we have is in my Avatar... Feels like late spring - but that is what it always feels like!
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline Corley5

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2006, 09:33:56 AM »
Looks like it's getting deeper too ;) ;D  Any snow capped volcanoes or other Mts in CR ???
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2006, 09:48:21 AM »
Hmmm, 80's today, clear blue sky, birds chirping, grass growing, all is well in this east Texas paradise. 8)
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Offline crtreedude

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2006, 10:03:04 AM »
Even though there are mountains higher than 13,000 feet here, they don't have snow...

Perhaps this is the Golly Green Giant's dandruff?
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline Jeff

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2006, 10:21:52 AM »
Ah yes, the first day of the only month that is 4 months long. :-\  March always seems like it goes on forever to me, maybe because it can break yer heart. It can warm up, have all the snow melt, get you out doing a little yard work then dump a foot of snow and a blizzerd on you.  As a kid in Michigan I use to love March because you just KNEW there was going to be a snow day, or maybe better yet, a mud day. Mud days were the best because usually they were a beautiful warm windy day that followed a big low pressure that rained and thawed all the country roads and made them impassable. The following day the high pressure would dump in with all of its associated winds making it the first kite day of the year.  We had a great big field across from our house where we could have our big first day of kite finding. (yes, finding)

We made our own kites, we had to because we only flew them once, That was part of the fun. You would get them up as far as you could as far away as you could, then when tired of flying, cut them loose. By that time they would be way over the salt river and up over Odell's woods. As kids we had run of the woods in those days. We could jump on our bikes, ride down the big hill to the bridge (our road never go muddy), cross over then ride the trail back to the edge of the woods on the other side of the river to start our scouting expedition for the lost kite.

Before we would take off we would always go to the back hill underneath the big basswood tree and dig worms to take with us because you never ever went to the other side of the river without a fishin pole. We had little tackle boxes strapped to our bikes where you see all those water bottles today. Once ready to go we raced down the hill to the bridge to "get air".

We lived on the Big Salt River. The Salt river lies in the bottom of a steep river valley and dumps into the Tittabawasee and then into the Saginaw which then flows out to the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. Our house was right on the edge of what everyone called the "point"  It was actually the inside of a huge turn of the river valley, not a hill, but the top edge of the valley. We just called it the hill.  Down the side of the point to the northeast was Castor road, which cut into the side of the valley and ran above the river until it reached the bottom where it crossed our bridge. Down the Northwest side of the point laid a large expanse of river flats where the neighbor tried to grow corn every year and where it mostly always got flooded away. This side of the point, was where the whole neighbor hood came sledding on our hill. Dad was a preacher so a lot of times they had young adult parties or youth group outings with bon-fires and cocoa in our backyard as they all would slide down our hill.

Racing down the hill on Castor road on our bikes toward that bridge could be a dangerous experience for newbies. It was a gravel road and it was steep and treacherous for newbies and girls. Girls had better walk a bike down or they could end up like Marcy Hiles. She scraped her face clear off her first time down. Man, the first time we met her she was just a scab with eyes. She healed up and we eventually decided she was more boy then girl so we let her ride down the hill WITH us because anybody that could lose thier face on the hill and still come back for more was alright with us. I'll bet she still remembers that.  Anyhow, a long ways back to "getting air". By the time you got to the bridge, IF you got to the bridge, you could really be cookin if you were man enough to peddle as you went down, (Marcy's newbie mistake) when you got to the bridge there was a rise before you hit the old creosote bridge planking. If you were going fast enough, you could "get air" going up on to the bridge, then you could check tire tracks to see who got the most.  :)

Man, I typed all that? Is it still March? YUP. :-\
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Offline Sprucegum

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2006, 10:35:32 AM »
In like a lion with a limp. just enough so I gotta crank up the snowblower for the first time this year  :-\

P.S. nice story Jeff , I usta get air...

Offline Kevin_H.

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 11:12:31 AM »
mid 70's today, looking great.  Drove with the windows down yesterday.  8)

Gotta small chance of thunderstorms tonite. Nothing like the smell of a spring rain.

cant wait for baseball to start.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2006, 11:39:19 AM »
The Bridge is gone now. Its been replaced with a concrete railed job.  They hauled all sorts of fill in and raised the road level in order to decrease the steepness of the hills on either side and to minimize the times during the year the road would flood over.

Our Bridge was the best kind of bridge. Made from iron girders and rivets. It had high rails that if you were brave enough, you could walk, but you had to also be a little nuts. From the top of the rail to the bridge deck wasn't bad, probably 10 feet, but the other side, that was about 35 feet to the river.

You could lean on the middle rail and kick stones in the water one at a time. There were always lots of stones on the bridge that got graded up there when they graded the road, or carried on up by cars, or if they got low, the ones we scraped up and dumped up there. Sometimes you would just walk down to the bridge so you could lean on the rail, look down in the water to see if the suckers were running yet, and kick stones in the water. If the suckers weren't running there would always be chubs or stone rollers or perhaps a green bass or Northern pike chasing them in the deep holes that formed near the center foundation. Deep for this river meant 5 or 6 feet. There were very few spots that would actually get over your head. We used to swim it all the time. Pretty funny,

I can still here Mom yelling. JEFF! If you are going to the river, get them underwear off!  :D You see the salt river has a grey clay river bottom  in many places and when you would swim in the river, it would turn your white underwear an awful grey color that really aggravated Mom. You best shed the underwear and just wear your cut offs.

Back to the stone kickin. One day after church I decided to walk down to the bridge. Mom hollered JEFF, if you are going to the river... I interrupted her and said I was just going down to see if the red horse were running yet. At this time I was probably, oh, 12 years old. She said JEFFREY! I said honest Mom, I'll be right back.  I had on my Sunday clothes but best of all, I had on a brand new pair of Penny Loafers bought just the day before at Kresge's. I was hard on shoes and Mom told Dad to take me to get new ones for church. I sure wanted penny loafers, they was popular then, but Mom told dad that I was to get tie shoes. Well, Dad let me get Penney loafers and the shoe guy even put brand new pennies in them. So, here I go to the bridge to check on the sucker situation, and frankly to get away from the house for a bit. I can still remember that day, walking proudly in my new loafers, staying off the side of the road where it was grassy so I didn't get them all scuffed up. I do know the suckers were not in because if they had been, I would have left the bridge instantly and come back home for gear, but I didn't. I leaned up against the rail and looked into the water for awhile, just enjoying being king of my bridge as none of my buddies were around that time of day on a Sunday as neighbors lives at least a quarter to a half mile apart.

I can remember seeing this nice round stone there, just perfect for kicking. I figured if I kicked it using the just the very edge of the bottom of my shoe, it would go sailing into the river and I would head on up to the house. Well, I cocked my foot just right so when I kicked, everything would be perfect and let her go.  I can still see my penny loafer sailing out into the air and then landing perfectly right side up in the river some 25 feet below. I can remember seeing it being carried briskly around that first curve in the river going out of site. I don't want to talk about the rest of what I remember that afternoon. :-\
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Offline Tom

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2006, 11:52:15 AM »
March, the month that we started looking for Black Bass on the bed.   A plastic worm or pigskin dragged slowly from the edge of the water to the current in the middle would often be stopped by an 8 or 10 pound bass that was laying against a stob or in a trough to attack the bream on the bed.  I was taught to only take males since the Black Bass were bedding too.  Now, it has become the correct thing to do to catch and release.

We had a kite flying yard too, Jeff.  It wasn't as much of an adventure as yours but still a lot of fun. The vacant lot was still there the last time I drove by the old house.  The neighborhood has sure changed though and what was once clean white houses with manicured lawns is now paintless or stuccoed-over clapboard with dying trees and grassless lawns with vehicles parked haphazardly everywhere.

We learned to make our own kites too.  It was difficult to find thin sticks, but we all had knives.  We whittled until the sticks got thin enough or sometimes we could find a piece of bamboo that we could split.  That made a good kite stick.  Then we made a cross and tied it in the center.  Then we stretched a piece of string all the way around the perimeter.  Then we layed this on a sheet of newspaper and cut, with our knife, through the paper just outside of the perimeter string and folded and glued the paper over the top of the string.

It would take a lot of money, but we would go to the Dime Store and buy several rolls of kite string. They cost as much as a dime a roll and we were lucky if we had enough money to get a kite far into the air.  The string was cotton and not too strong.

Affixing a bridle to the kite and finding a stick to roll the line on once it was unrolled we proceeded to the vacant lot.

This was a time of segregation and "colored town" and "white town" had very defined borders.  We lived within a city block of the border and found that, we as children, could play all day with little or no reference to our color.  When it was time to go eat lunch or to go home, we each went our own way, but there was many a football game, baseball game, kick the can and kite flying episode that entailed us all.  

The kites would be put up and it wouldn't be long before we were each challenging the other to get our kites the highest.  It was dependent on the amount of string and we would soon run out.  Someone's kite would break the string and go flip-flopping through the air to places unknown.  Usually that string was rewound quickly and attached to a kite that was still flying.  We would put them into the clouds and all you could see was a little black dot way up there.

A piece of paper would be torn form the edge in a circular path such that it could be hung on the string without coming off.  A hole was made in the center and we would write a note on the paper and send it up the string.  All manner of engineering was developed to come up with the proper "bend" of the paper to cause it to slide quickly up the string.  Some of them would go straight and some of them would spin like a propeller.

There were always some kite makers that would tie the tops of tin cans or pieces of glass onto their kite tails.  Anything sharp would do.  Then there would be great battles to see who could cut the other's kite string.  Of Course it was all in fun and there were no hard feelings, just winners and losers.  The string from these battles would end up on someone else's kite anyway and we all would try to get at least one of them out of sight.

There were all kinds of kite designs.  I never understood how a box kite worked.  We tried to make them but never could get one to do as well as the kite with the"triangles" or whatever you would call that design that is considered standard.

The family across the street had a son much older than we were.  The Daddy's name was Avon Sasser and he had a restaurant downtown in the Arcade Building that he opened up only on the weekends.  It was a favorite spot for families to eat fried chicken for Sunday dinner, if they could afford to eat out.  There was silverware,  pretty glasses and china.  Well , that's not what I was going to talk about.

Their son, Billy, was in high-school when I was in Elementary and he had a MoPed, which was nothing more than a motorized bicycle.  It stayed parked at the curb in front of their house and I always wanted one.  I wasn't going to talk about that either.  

Billy and some of his friends got together to build a kite or kites for a town-wide kite contest one time.  I didn't know that kites could be different than what we made until then.  Their Garage was a huge affair, wide with many stalls.  It was what I would call a pole barn today, but then, it was a garage.  Billy and his friend set up shop in that garage and made some of the prettiest and biggest kites I've ever seen in my life.  They weren't even solid.  I'd never heard of such a thing.  The episode probably lasted only two or three weeks but it seemed like a life-time to me and I spent many afternoons with them , in that garage, watching the construction of these kites.

The one that impressed me the most won a medal at the contest.  It was round, or rather as round as they could make it.  It had sticks that were crossed to look like an octopus and intermediate strings and structures in-between.  It was covered with a special paper that we used to use to decorate our bicycles with when we rode in parades.  I don't know what you call the stuff.  You can find it hanging from the ceilings at dances and political rallies.   It's about 2 inches wide, highly and brilliantly colored and crinkly.  You can actually "stretch" this stuff.   Well Billy started covering the kite with it in strips that went around and around. They didn't form a solid surface but had spaces between the strips.  He used lots of different colors and finally hung a tail on it.   It was huge.  It took two of them to hold it.  I remember that their was a problem with the string in that it wasn't strong enough.  Nylon fishing line was popular then and I think they used that on one of their old fishing reels to get it in the air.  

I got to see its maiden voyage.  They put it in the air, in the street in front of the house.  It missed the cross wires from the power pole and the limbs of the oak and the Eucalyptus next to the sidewalk and flew unhesitatingly about 75 feet off of the ground.  We neighborhood kids were amazed.  Sometimes, things are so fun that all you can do is clap your hands, dance up and down and  yell and scream a little bit.   We young ones took care of that part for them as they flew the kite.  There was almost a disaster as it came down and it got hung on a wire in front of Mrs. McManus' house.  We just knew it was all over, but these boys were a lot smarter than we were and got it down.

Not long after that, I heard that the kite contest had been held at the Delaware school yard and Billy and his friends had won a medal for this kite.

I made kites for my sons as they were growing up.  We would fly them in the front yard.  I don't know that they remember it, but I had as much fun as they did.  It just seems that a home-made kite is more fun to fly than one that you buy from the store.  Those store bought ones had pretty pictures of super man and stuff on them.  I guess that is what the dime was paying for, but lots of mine were made of comic strips.  You talk about color, Man!  I had it.

Here is a side note.  One of the worse cuts I ever got was  from splitting bamboo for a kite.  I had gone into the house and gotten Grandmomma's good butcher knife and was standing out back at the garage with the bamboo in my left hand and the butcher knife in my right and was trying to get the knife to split the bamboo by slicing it from end to end through the knots.  It made it through the first knot and than the area in between knots came apart very easily.  I wasn't prepared and the knife came down on the side of my left hand cutting a large circular cut right at the middle knuckle.  To make matters worse, the edges of the bamboo were sharp as razors and my right hand hit them as the knife was going effortlessly down the stalk.  I ended up with both index fingers sliced to the bone and blood gushing everywhere.  I dropped everything and ran, screaming, for the only emergency technician I knew.  Grandmomma took me to the bathroom and, with much effort, got the wounds to close.  I sported band-aids for a few days after that and recovered from the switching not long after that.  You see, I wasn't supposed to be in grandmomma's kitchen messing with her knives.


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Offline solodan

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2006, 12:07:20 PM »
Somewhere in between  a lion and a lamb here. 30 degrees and a light dusting this morning, so it could be march or it could be july :-\
A week and  a half ago it was 70 , a week ago it was 20 and we had a fresh foot of snow. I have seen it in the 70's every month of the year, I have seen a foot of snow fall in every month of the year(except august).
some days you can wake up and decide what type of weather you want. less than an hour drive you can be near sea level or almost 12000' above sea level. So basically I live between the lion and the lamb.

Offline Part_Timer

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2006, 12:38:28 PM »
60 today and maybe 2-4" of snow tomorrow

stuffy nose all month long
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Offline Jeff

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2006, 12:49:28 PM »
Part Timer have you considered a humidifier in the house? We broke down and bought one three weeks ago and Man, what a difference. I usually suffer bad with stuffed up nose this time of year, but the humidifier seems to have made all the difference in the world.
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Offline crtreedude

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2006, 01:28:56 PM »
Humidifiers will cut down on getting a lot of colds too because your nasal passages get cracked without it.  I don't suppose any one wants to hear this - but the humidifier was something we didn't ship down. 
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline Jeff

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2006, 01:32:22 PM »
 :D  Fred, are ya lookin up? Do ya see that great big bough above ya loading up with snow, growing ever heavier and fuller, starting to bend, and eventually dump...
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Offline crtreedude

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2006, 01:40:16 PM »
Is it the banana tree?  ::)
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline Coon

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2006, 04:08:43 PM »
Came in like a lion here  over six inches of snow and lots of wind too today.
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Offline Tom

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2006, 04:17:42 PM »
According to the weather news this afternoon, A strip through Wisconsin, Michigan and New York to the Atlantic is due to suffer from three or more inches of 'wet' snow this evening.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2006, 04:50:53 PM »
HEY! Whaddaya doing listening to my weather? ;) I was avoiding it. I been watching these high clouds filtering in and had an idea something was behind them.

Eventually our bridge started to get the worse for wear. there were places where the planks were starting to get bad and you could look through to the river so they decided to fix that up. They brought in and installed big strips of steel where your tires ran. This was a one lane bridge so they only needed two runs of steel. You know the kind, with the little stars on it, like what you see on the truck tool boxes you can buy now days from Tractor supply. These only slowed the inevitable. The bridge got so you had to come up on it slow because the ends of the metal started to curl up. I was never old enough to drive a car over it but Marcy Hiles' brother was, and he used to "get air" with his old Chevy, until the day the curl in metal caught the undercarriage of his car and put him into the windshield. Thats the day they closed the bridge. They brought in loads of dirt and dumped them at each end, then they tore up those steel strips and you could now see why they had curled. The decking was completely rotted away underneath and that let the metal start pushing down, raising up the ends of the metal.

We didn't care. Now we lived on a dead end road with a bridge that had no cars crossin it. Our own private Bike Bridge.

 In the 3rd and 4th grade I attended the North Bradley country school. It was right at the end of Castor road. Castor road ended where it hit bardon road and the school sat there on the top of the T. A 2 room school house with 3rd grade on one side and 4th on the other. Our playground was a bare rimmed Basketball hoop on a pwer pole, a steel swing set, but best of all, 40 acres of pine plantation! To get to the school I had to walk down the hill cross our bridge (it was still open in those years) walk on up the hill on the other side, walk down past the Geneva township cemetery that was on the corner, as castor road turned abruptly at the top, and followed the edge of the river valley, leaving enough room between the road and the drop to the river flats for the cemetery and the old methodist church. The old church was purchased by the new church across the road. the church of god where we attended when my dad was between ministries. They turned it into a fellowship hall. The upstairs was a rec center and it had one thing. A POOL TABLE!  ;D  Anyhow on down past that was the T where school was.

Every morning I had to cross the old bridge and almost every morning I would stash something under it in the I beams so it would be there when I got out of school. Either a fishing pole and worms, or a BB gun or sling shot. In those days, a 10 or 12 year old could run the river banks and live the life without worry. As long as we were home for supper. Today you wouldn't dream of turning a kid lose the way we were. We would pack up our "gear" sometimes on Friday night and be gone until Saturday night, seeming like we were a million miles from home. Down the hill, across the bridge, ride bikes and supply's back along the river until we hit Odell's woods, then walk the river bank until we got to "the beach"  The only stretch of unwooded river flats down in that area. It was on the inside of a river bend and silt would deposit on the inside, but there was a heck of a hole on the outside of the bend. A perfect place to camp and fish. Quite a hike, but in reality, it wasn't but 200 yards from our house as the crow flies. It was easy to hear mom if she came out to the edge of the hill and hollered to make sure I wasn't wearing good underwear. Ain't that a predicament when yer on a camping and fishing expedition and all your buddies hear that echo from somewhere above and through the tree tops. :-[
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Offline snowshoveler

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  • Knotty Knot Sawmill
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Re: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2006, 05:55:03 PM »
new guy here ,but ill tell you about where i live 
here in Nova Scotia its 14 below. bear in mind thats celcius but its still darn cold.
we had 3 months of november and now i guess we will have at least a couple more months of february. hardly any snow or frost for that matter unil about 2 weeks ago and then ...brrr someone left the freezer door open.
i hate winter,im to small to retain any heat.
later chris 
International T5 dozer
JD M tractor
MF skidloader
Jonsered chainmill
Vintage Belsaw


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