31 Letters – Day 7 – “Adventures”

Day 7 of our 31 Letters Literacy Project is inspired by this little poem, by 20th century haiku poet Chiyojo, about a Dragonfly Catcher:

Dragonfly catcher,
How far have you gone today
In your wanderings?

Of course, Chiyojo is asking a child this delightful question… because a child’s life (and imagination) is filled with adventures and wanderings and make-believe.  This simple question captures that world.  Do you remember adventures from your childhood?  Ah… think back.  Think like the child you once were.

Now capture an adventure in a letter to your children/grandchildren/niece or nephew/special child.  Your words.  Your wanderings from way-back-when.

I remember my first ice skates.  They were white figure skates, but I used them to play hockey.  I still remember tossing those long, tied-together ice skates over my shoulder and walking what seemed like miles to the nearest pond.  This is my letter to my grandchildren about my wanderings:

Dear ___________________,

Hi, my darlings!  In this letter, I am remembering what it was like to be young… and filling my days with adventures.  Some of my best adventures involved ice skating.

There was a pond that we passed on the way to school each day.  From the bus windows, I saw that pond change as the seasons changed.  In the spring, it rippled with the wind and happily reflected the new leaves that smiled into it.  It was deep blue in the summer, welcoming birds to take their daily dips.  It was dark gray in the fall, and surrounded with glorious yellow and orange and red trees.

But in the winter, that pond danced with joy.  It seemed to love its ice-blanket and the brilliant white snow that hugged its banks.  Most especially, though, that pond loved the children who came each day to ice skate.

I couldn’t wait to get home from school each day to grab my ice skates and head to that pond with my friends.  I still remember tossing those long, tied-together ice skates over my shoulder.  I had those rubber blade protectors to keep them from stabbing the sharp ends into my jacket.  We walked to the pond… past farms and along a winding road.  The pond, I think, belonged to someone.  It seemed to be part of someone’s property, but it was very close to the road and no-one ever chased us kids off.

The great adventure was the walk to the pond.  We never knew how many kids were going to be there or who would be there.  We didn’t know for sure until we actually saw the pond.  Some days, the pond would be very busy with kids… other days, it was empty.  It was on the empty days that we had our greatest adventures.

You see, I was a girl.  I had white figure skates, but I wanted to play hockey.  When there were just a few kids on the ice, me and my friends could play hockey with the boys.  Someone always had a hockey puck.  Oh… I forgot to tell you that I also brought a hockey stick to the pond, too.  Almost every time I went.  Just in case.  Hockey was like escaping into another world.  It was fast and rough and the boys didn’t care if we were girls.  They knocked us down and pushed us into snow banks and made us play.  One day, I got knocked to the ice so hard that it knocked the wind out of me.  I remember laying on the ice, scared out of my wits, wondering if I’d ever breathe again…

The boys didn’t care.  They kept right on playing. We didn’t have nets or scoreboards or referees.  We just had skates, our sticks, a puck, and our rules and our imaginations.

Just as it was getting dark, we’d tie our ice skates together and head back down that winding road toward home.  The street lights would be on as I trudged into my home, cold and wet… back from a great adventure.

At night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I would think of the next day.  I would think about hockey and the great maneuvers I’d make.  I would wander back to that pond with the ice blanket and snow banks and boys and girls like me… and I would be the hero of the game!

Oh, man, would I be the hero of the game!

I am smiling right now, thinking back to the girl I once was… and all the hockey adventures I wandered off to, in real life and in my dreams!

I’d love to know all about your great adventures and where your imaginations wander!

Love from this very grown-up girl (who’d love to play hockey with you some day),
Grandma Couto

Yep, that's me in my ice skating skirt in the middle of the summer!


Remember that LITERACY is all about WORDS. Get your words on paper, into a mailbox and into the imaginations of the children in your life!


MAIL TIDBIT of the Day: In 1673, Governor Francis Lovelace of New York established a monthly post between New York and Boston.  The post rider’s trail was known as the Old Boston Post Road and today is part of U.S. Route 1.

31 Letters – Day 7 – “Adventures” was last modified: March 7th, 2011 by Sharon Couto
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31 Letters – Day 7 – “Adventures” was last modified: March 7th, 2011 by Sharon Couto