Puddle Stomping In the Rain

I have always been a California boy. I was born here, went to school here, worked here, and will most likely die here unless I am traveling at the time.

For some reason the women I have attracted have never been from California. My first two wives were from Michigan and my current (and last) was raised in Oregon/Washington. My sensibilities tend to gravitate towards football games, hot buttered rum drinks, and over-eating when the rains come. This is obviously not too healthy, but the “rainy days” are few and far enough between that the lifestyle never gets too sedentary. Of course ski trips and other “outward bound” trips break up the winter. My skiing career started when I was 5, walking up the hills and skiing down. What I was never able to embrace was the all day, grey day in March when there is no football or baseball, and our basketball team reaked.

The mother of my children, although we split up 7 years ago she is still a dear friend, was from Michigan. She was born in Kalamazoo, which is a name I have always loved just for the sound of it. “Tippy-canoe-and-Kalamazoo-Too.”

We had kids. We had great kids; they were into everything. They attended Adalante Spanish immersion school, the both got their kiddy black belts in Okinawa Karate, they played some music, held interests in teaching and journalism, partied like their parents, loved and helped people like their pastors, and were generally just great kids.

This happens to be a very rainy day. It somehow reminded me of some of the most wonderful things that my Michigan wife and I did with our Kids.

There was an area down from where we lived in the hills, down by Middlefield “little Mexico” where the fields were not as well grated, and there were big depressions in the turf, where huge lakes (at least 8″deep) would accumulate during a good rainfall. Kip (Mom) would dress the girls all up in their finest Muck-luk attire (boots, hoods, slickers, goggles, astro-handwarmers, etc…) and we would head for the puddles. It didn’t matter if it was raining 1″ an hour at the time. It also didn’t really matter how cold it was outside, but being California, it was usually still mid ’60’s when we were out.

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