March 27, 1998
Some students have to go to a beach or some snow-swept peak to enjoy their Spring Break; others find ways to blossom in their own backyard.
Going home to the Kansas farmhouse where I spent 18 years of my life was nothing new, but taking along five friends helped chilly mornings become afternoons filled with gales of laughter and stories of our childhood memories.
The beautiful spring weather I remember from childhood decided to take its own break, so my friends and family kept wood in the furnace while winter battered at our door. Thanks to old Jack Frost most of my family was kept home from school part of the week. The more the merrier!
Like the diligent students we profess to be, we spent most mornings studying and left the afternoons for relaxing. By the time lunch rolled around, we were ready for something more active than our books. Soon we would start up a game or get all bundled up in heavy coats and boots before braving the weather to ward off an attack of cabin fever.
When we got back from the hike and finished scraping mud off our boots, we all got together in the living room for our traditional never-ending games of UNO, talking and enjoying a few movies. The two sisters from Oregon, Tammy and Wendy Walker, kept my whole family well supplied with fresh chocolate chip cookies which they miraculously produced after a few minutes of mixing and clattering some pans in the pantry.
When the thermometer on the front porch read four degrees and no one could remember whose turn it was in UNO anymore; my brother, Mark, and I tried the family tradition we learned years ago: entertaining ourselves.
After a little rearranging of the living room, I became a three-foot talking dwarf with my brother’s arms acting as my own. Something about having banana smeared in my face got a laugh from everyone. By the time our show was over the living room was ringing with laughter and I was a mess. Never-the-less, there was no boredom in that house.
Between Christiana and my sister, Mitzi, the pregnant mare in the barn was kept under an 18-hour watch just in case the foal should come during our break. Much to their dismay no foal appeared before it was time to turn our cars south and head back to school.
There were no cascading mountains or sandy beaches at our little farm in Kansas, but with friends, family and good healthy fun we had what no mountain or beach can offer. We had the love of a home and one of the best spring breaks of our lives.