I remember playing as a child on top of the chicken coop on the ranch where I grew up. It was built on skids, and was really more of a mini-barn than a chicken coop. We must have been seven or eight years old then. It was a lot taller than we were, us four, my sister, I and two friends. The thing was secured to the west fence with barbed wire, so that the strong Chinook winds wouldn't blow it over. Sort of dangerous for us kids. One of us fell off and got tangled up in the barbed wire on the way down. Some nasty cuts. Then somebody found a rotten egg.

I remember the hill we lived on, how good it was for toboganning. One Christmas, some cousins were out and after dinner, in the dark, we decided to go sledding. We had a riot. The hill was steep enough to be exciting, and the adrenaline rush was enough to convince us to lug the toboggan back up the hill for another ride. A gravel road rounded the hill below us, and most of the time when went over it. We're lucky there wasn't somebody out driving around, checking cows or something, because they never would have seen us sliding across the road in front of them. We wouldn't have been able to stop either; toboggans don't have brakes, the best you can do is bail off. We went inside for hot chocolate.

I remember when my best friend from elementary school died. The last time I had seen him, it had been a happy accident. We were both in town with our parents, and came upon each other in a little food court in a small town mall. A koosh ball was transacted. That was the last time I ever saw him. He died after flying out of a truck when it was broadsided in an intersection. I remember the sorrow, the pain, and the loss.