There is a beautiful simplicity to living in rural Maine that I love so much that I chose to lay down rural roots so that my kids could experience it too. While waxing poetic about the glories of nature right outside my dooryard, I had this jarring realization that when I was a kid, rural was synonymous with BORING and so my friends and I would end up doing stupid things that landed us all in hot water with our parents.
I never broke a law (unless you count sneaking out of my house in the middle of the night one time) but even so, I’m no stranger to the concept of most of the things on this list. And chances are, if you grew up in rural Maine, neither are you.
1. You’ve used a riding lawn mower for non-mowing related transportation. And you probably did not get pulled over.
2. As a kid you played outside unsupervised and did insane things like run with sticks, climb trees, poke a bees nest, climbed into old refrigerators, or played hide and seek in a culvert.
3. You may have purchased a pack of cigarettes for your mom with pocket change and a hand-written note from her saying it was totally legit.
4. You probably knew an older kid who stole a car and went for a joy ride.
5. At some point, someone suggests that you soap a car window. Or stuff a banana in a tailpipe (sorry uncle Johnny!)
6. At least once you nearly got run over while riding your bike on an ATV trail, dirt road, or logging road.
7. You’ve been to a pit party.
8. Speaking of illegal parties, you know what Chicken Fest was and may have attended one.
9. Smash bottles in a parking lot. Or smash pumpkins at Halloween time.
10. You played Ding Dong Dash to annoy the neighbors.
11. You have a friend who claims he tipped a cow, which is really mean by the way.
12. You and as many friends, as would fit, would pile into the car of whoever got their drivers license and cruise Main street. For hours.
13. You were told that snipes, or some other made-up creatures, are hiding in the woods and tasked with the job of catching one. OK, snipes are real, but not the ones my dad described to get us out of the house!
The thought of most of these things scare the wits out of me now that I am a parent, but I survived with my wits and bones intact.
What kinds of things did you do as a kid that didn’t make it on this list?