Experiences you will never forget

I will always remember my first real kiss. I drove her home and had just stopped the car in front. I had anticipated that moment the entire night to the point of distraction.

We talked for a bit with the car idling and I said hey. She leaned closer, as I hoped she would, but she turned her ear (and thus her impenetrable head of hair) toward me instead and said “Hmm?”

So I guess I wasn’t going to be suave after all. I said I wanted to kiss you. She kind of chuckled, I don’t know, and looked thoughtful. Then, she said okay, and suddenly her face filled my entire field of vision and we kissed. It was the best moment of my life up to that point, holy shit. She then apologized for smoking earlier.

One time on vacation I was tooling around with my Shitzhu dog on an inflatable boat with about a 4 HP motor.

A dolphin got close so I shut down and sat. For about 30 seconds the dog and the dolphin were inches from each other and eye to eye and nose to nose. Neither was quite sure what they were looking at.

That was pretty damn cool.

I used to be a nurse in a Peds ICU, and yeah, kids die there. Usually it was the ordely’s job to transport them to our in-house morgue, but one time we had a teenager and I was asked to lend some muscles. When we got down there we discovered that there was no room in the inn, every space was occupied, so we hunted around for a drawer with a school aged kid and another with a baby and combined them. As I was putting the baby down crosswise on this cold slab I realized that I was going to remember this for as long as I was able to remember anything.

My dad and I built a road. He had an old road-grader, and that did most of the trick.

Except for a really nasty rock in the middle of the way.

Now, this was in the days when a man could buy a box of dynamite at the hardware store…


GAW DAM, we blew that rock into flying gravel! (And came really close to killing ourselves, too!) Now that was father-and-son good times!

I was free diving and the sand on the ocean floor rose up. Like when you disturb a stingray or something, but as I looked around it was the entire floor. Wonderous! I surfaced to find everyone else already in the dingy and screaming for me to get back in the boat, people on shore shouting and gesturing. I have seen an earth tremor.

Swimming among a group of 13 Spotted Eagle Rays on Friday the 13th.

Being bucked off a horse and landing right on top of a barb-wire fence. I was ten or eleven year old. Landed face first. The wire caught my gum right under a baby tooth and yanked it out clean. I also had some other nasty cuts on my face from the fencing. Then I rolled down a hill and landed next to a cow. When I sat up, I looked at my red shirt that used to be green - it was covered in blood…mostly from my mouth. I climbed up the hill on all fours and waited for my dad to come and get me. My horse had passed him. I will never know why it bucked me off. I was galloping back to the barn at a nice fast pace and all of a sudden it just reared up then bucked and I went flying off. Maybe he got stung by something. I was a good rider. The next day my dad took me riding again.


Fire academy, live interior attack drills. Room well involved, in fact, way too involved for us to be attacking it right at the doorway. I am the second guy on a 2 1/2" hose. All the sudden it got real bright for a second or two and the guy on the nozzle opened it up. apparently that bright light I saw was a small flashover that occurred right as my partner cut loose with the water. The backup team behind us said we disappeared into a ball of flame that burst out of the doorway for a second.

Adding 5 gallons a second of water to that room from the nozzle created a burst of steam that got into every little seam in our protective gear. For about 5 seconds, I thought I was going to die right then and there. Somehow I held it together thinking “every second of this is ALOT less fire in that room, we will be ok” for the next 5 seconds I was pretty sure I was getting a first hand demonstration of what a lobster feels like going into a pot. Then suddenly I felt much cooler and very wet. Our backup team had opened up the nozzle on us to make sure we didnt fry.

I had mild first degree burns from steam on my wrists, and around my neck. We were wearing breathing apparatus or we probably would not have survived. All of us had minor damage to gear from direct flame exposure.

When a friend gave me Martha (not her real name).

Martha was a horse. She was of no particular breed, having come from a PMU farm. The best we could figure was that she was part-Clydesdale and part-Morgan. But my friend could make no headway with her as far as training went. My friend reasoned that perhaps I might be able to–not sure why, but I took a decidedly different approach to the horses on his farm than he did.

So Martha became my project, and she, in turn, decided to become mine.

Martha taught me about large animals. I knew dogs and cats, but this was a horse. I learned how to groom her, and how to clean her hooves. I learned how to ride her bareback–not easily, as I often fell off. More than once at such times, she stepped on my foot (though realizing what she had done, quickly moved her hoof). She learned that a saddle was not a bad thing, and she learned that I was not a bad guy. She grew to trust me, and I grew to trust her.

After we got used to each other, I had so many good times with her. She and I explored the vacant fields near the farm, we’d go wading in the creek (where she could have a nice drink of water). At the green apple tree we always passed by, she’d get an apple or two. And we’d open things up where we could. Have you ever ridden a galloping horse? I have, and it was aboard my Martha.

Dumb move on my part, but I once took her out to the middle of the concession road and told her to go home, a distance of two miles. She got us there at full gallop. The dumb move was that I had no helmet or other protective gear. But gosh, we flew! (If she had missed a footing, I would have been toast.) My friend said that he saw us coming down the road, and was amazed at how well we were working together. He later said that he knew that he had done the right thing by giving Martha to me.

And after every ride, Martha would get a couple of carrots, or some apples, or (on particularly hot days), a bottle of beer. Just one, but she loved it. I’d remove the tack, and groom her down, and she would go out into the paddock and roll, ruining my grooming. I only laughed. We had had a good day, and if she saw me standing by, she would soon be at the fence looking for another carrot or apple.

As we all do, Martha got old, and was humanely euthanized a few years ago. I miss her. I don’t think there will ever be another horse like her. But I well remember the day when a friend gifted me the best horse anybody could ever have.

I’m sure everyone has dozens of these.

I will never forget the first time I fired a rifle. I went to a rural gun shop with a friend so he could pick up his new SKS, and when we went out to the range behind the shop (read: field with a berm) there was an old guy with a pile of weapons. He was handling an M16A1, and after talking to him for a bit he offered to let me shoot it. Since ammo was actually cheap back then he waved away my offer to go buy some in payment.

When I pulled the trigger the first three rounds kicked the rifle back into my shoulder harder than I expected. With a huge grin I emptied the rest of the magazine into the target (and the berm around the target) and handed the rifle back. Though on a student’s budget I had my own firearm within the month and still put holes in paper whenever the opportunity presents itself.

2am on a clear, cold, still November night in rural Vermont, with a first-rate Leonid meteor shower in progress. Looking up, the view of several shooting stars a second - many leaving visible trails that persisted - was spectacular. Unforgettable was watching this spectacle reflected in the mirror-like surface of the small lake we sat next to.

Saying goodbye to my grandmother.

A cute girl form work asked to borrow my pull-over sweater as she was going out for lunch. When she brought it back it smelled so good I buried my face in it. The second time she borrowed it, it came back smelling like an ashtray.

Making out at the base of Yosemite Falls under a full moon. (well, at the viewpoint at the base, anyway)

Most of the ones that pop into my head are not pleasant at all.

I grew up in a small town and went to a very small high school. You get tired of the same people and the same places.

For my freshman year in college I went to a good-sized state university. I remember that first day driving in to move my stuff into my dorm. It felt amazing! New people everywhere, and everyone was starting anew. I felt like the whole world was open to me.

Few times in my life have I been that excited and refreshed.

I met my future wife down the hall within a couple weeks, so it turned out pretty well. :slight_smile:

Watching a guy leap right through a large plate glass window.

Firing an automatic weapon.

Walking on unexcavated jungle pyramids in central America.

Watching Richard Nixon give a speech during his re-election.

Watching the Apollo 11 landing on TV (I was 4).

Going through a window face-first when I was 5 years old.

Losing my virginity in the back seat of a 1982 Chevy Citation.

Watching the Packers win Super Bowl XXXI.

I started listing a couple but there’s so many and they are so sweet and touching I almost can’t bear to share them here.