I remember a time when I lived down a dirt road. We live fifteen miles from town and in the opposite direction, even further was the lake. I loved that place, and I loved that time.
We had a small home. It was a two-bedroom with a tiny kitchen and a warm living room. There were four of us in the family. That meant someone had to sleep in the bunkhouse. Dad built two bedrooms out there. One for him and my mom and one for me. He also made the third room, which was mom’s sewing room. She made some of our clothes there.
We were a meager family; quite frankly, you could call my parents hippies. Mom made clothes, gardened, canned, and had all sorts of other projects going on. Dad was a carpenter and kept busy all summer, but pickings got slim as the snow piled up in the winter. He hunted to put meat on the table and took all the jobs he could.
I remember so many good times at that little house. I remember listening to story time on the am radio, in the light of the lanterns, on school nights in the winter. I remember the phone with a rotary dial; you only had to dial five digits to call the neighbors. I remember summers when we spent all day by the river making mud pies and chasing water skippers in between fishing sessions. I also remember running up in the hills behind the house all day, only to return at dark, just in time for dinner. Such good times.
It is hard to pick the “best” memory from those days. Today I have to claim the ride in the boat to the lake. Wow! That was fun. I know. I know. That wasn’t safe. It is hard to believe I am alive today with all the things deemed unsafe. Needless to say, we no longer ride down the road in the boat, but that old dirt road brought a lot of good times.
My brother, of course, was captain, and I was the first mate as we bumped along with the wind blowing in our hair. It is funny now to think of all the tangles I had by the end of those days. I would scream and cry as mom would try to brush them out, and then I would beg to ride in the boat with my hair blowing in the wind again the next time.
Dad always took us to do the most fun things. Today, the lake is tops on the memories. How blessed was I?! Sure do miss the good old days. Thanks, Dad! I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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