The Unseen World

You Can See What You’ve Been Missing

Back on January 18th, we had our first snowfall of the winter that actually stuck to the sidewalk. Of course, we’ve had many more since. One thing I have always found interesting is the snowprints left behind by people and animals. I call this The Unseen World, but there’s nothing really supernatural about it. I just find it fascinating that all these people and animals are constantly coming and going every day without leaving any visible trace (if the owner picks up after Fluffy, that is). However, if you get a day with a little bit of snow, you can see how many people and pets have actually walked by.

Snow days like this allow me to see what my crazy dog Skittles is always sniffing at on our morning walks. I’m no Dan’l Boone, but I find it interesting to try to figure out which tracks belong to which animal. The differences between squirrels and rabbits are usually pretty obvious. Especially once you see Rocket J. Squirrel scampering up a tree, mystery solved. Our neighborhood has had a number of other wildlife species as well. Foxes, coyotes, raccoons and even turkeys, for crying out loud! I’ve always thought it would be hilarious to put on some Bigfoot Boots and go for a walk in our neighborhood. Then, sit back and wait for people to see the tracks in the snow and freak out! Especially if it looks like Bigfoot was out walking his dog!

One thing I have always wondered about is whether or not animals can actually see ghosts. When I see those footprints in the snow, it always makes me think about my Mom and Dad. Have they joined me unseen on my morning walks with Skittles from time to time? If so, it certainly would explain a lot. There are many times when that dang dog zig-zags all over the place for no apparent reason. I like to think my Dad is tossing her some invisible Milkbones, just to mess with me. Good one, Dad. Or, maybe Skittles is just playing with one of our family’s dogs that have passed over the Rainbow Bridge, Lady and Mindy. It could be that my dog’s not so crazy after all.

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Christmas Eve Bowling

What’s Your Holiday Tradition?

All families have their holiday traditions. Our family has Christmas Eve Bowling. It all started back in the sixties, when my two brothers, sister, and I were just little bowlers. A few years earlier, Christmas Eve had become the big day around our house. Keeping four hyper kids from doing midnight recon missions on Christmas Eve proved to be too much of a challenge for my Mom and Dad. The solution was to move the main event to Christmas Eve, after dinner. Even with the earlier start time, I can only imagine the pandemonium my parents had to put up with. That’s when they hit on a brilliant idea. Take the kids up to the local bowling alley and leave them there!

And that’s just what they did! I was about eleven years old when Dad took us up to the Fantasy Lanes on the east side of Detroit and left us there one snowy Christmas Eve afternoon. Then he hurried home to help Mom finish the holiday preparations. Being the oldest bowler, I was left in charge of these temporary orphans. I really don’t remember much about that first bowling competition. There’s a good chance that I threw my weight around a little, drunk with my Dad’s gift of Christmas Eve Authority. As we grew older, the tradition eventually faded away.

However, when my oldest son Jeff was three years old, and my brother Steve’s son Bret was two, we decided to start it up again. Since then, this annual bowling event has grown in size to include my other brother and sister, their kids, and their kids’ boyfriends and girlfriends. Since Mom and Dad have passed on to that big bowling alley in the sky, they are surely attending in spirit. Smiling down on us, as we continue the cherished tradition of Christmas Eve Bowling. A few years ago, one of Dad’s trophies was added to the competition. The Jerry Walker Lambert (J Dubbs) Trophy is fought over every year with great relish. Merry Christmas, Mom & Dad! We love you and miss you!

In recognition of the holiday season, this blog is going on hiatus until after the New Year. Please check back on January 3rd for a new posting. To you and yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!