I will remember our first house in Athens growing up forever. It was a duplex and the dude that owned had finished the basement so it was the only duplex in the neighborhood that was two storey. It had a spiral staircase leading downstairs and a small deck off the kitchen up stairs. It was set on a hill so the back of the house and the downstairs was downhill from the front. Our neoghbor was a crazy cat-lady named Miss June who was a smoker and a teacher.

Behind the house was some woods with a creek in them. The woods ran parallel to the back of the house with the creek running the same direction. Going out the front door of the house and turning left took you to the end of the cul de sac. If you passed the house there, you go through a small patch of woods that shielded the homes from the railroad track. This track ran perpendicular to the creek. It had a phenomenal tressel to bridge the creek (it wasn’t anything special to most, but to a 9 year old boy it was fantastic).

Abe and I use to love to enter the woods behind the house, bushwhack to the creek and then make our way to the train track via the creekbed. There was sandbars, logs, barbed wire fence and of course the creek. We could seem to make it to the train track without gettig wet and muddy. This of course, was part of the adventure. We always made it, but we were always wet and muddy. This was not a problem for Abe and I.

What was the problem was that mom was very specific about us not being allowed in the woods. There was nothig inherently wrong with the woods, save that we nearly ruined whatever we were wearing when we entered the woods. This is why mom forbid us in the woods. At the time it was beyond my ability to comprehend why she would not want us in the woods, even if it meant ruining clothes…

We went down to Ron & Deb’s for new years. Deb got the boys cowboy boots. They have been wearing them nonstop. They were trying to wear them to do flooring work at Ron & Deb’s. They also were crawling around on the floor scraping the toes of their boots up. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t want then to crawl around and scrape up their boots.

I then understood the ban on the woods when I was 9.

— Eli

— Eli

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