Been There, Going Again Blog Tour Stephen Geez

Please welcome author Stephen Geez to today’s special edition blog! I just added “Been There, Noted That: Essays in Tribute to Life” to my Kindle. Having already read his book “Papala Skies”–I’m excited! Here is Stephen:

BTNT Geez Blog Tour graphic Day 05 (1)

4 Wills “Been There, Going Again” Blog Tour, Stephen Geez

Day 5

 

Greetings, supporters! Welcome to the fifth stop on my 4WillsPublishing Blog Tour celebrating the re-issue of my memoir-shorts, Been There, Noted That: Essays in Tribute to Life. It has updated cover, new graphics, new book trailer, and now a first-ever jacketed hardcover edition. The book’s ruminations range from light and humorous to heartbreakingly poignant, but all spring from my own experiences. Thanks for visiting, trying this sample, and commenting!

 

Soaker

Essay by Stephen Geez

 

Yes, the dreaded soaker.

My early elementary years found me living at the edge of civilization, short tracts of housing plowed through virgin woods, the walk to school punctuated by construction, unfinished roads, myriad excavations, ponds and culverts and all manner of ad hoc standing water, plus our favorite: wide-open ditches. These would freeze and form ersatz skating rinks, lengthy stretches of smooth ice ideal for daredevil sliding, easy and accessible and fun without the danger of drownable depths.

Sure, most kids tended to stay on the path, stick to the walkway, follow the signs—and here I must specify that this type tended to be, well, the girls—but when the greatest risk is but a mere soaker, how can the exuberance of youth dare let so minor a nuisance dampen such thrills?

I recall managing to go for a long time without a soaker. I’d see others earn one in those instants of foot breaking through ice, a leg sliding over the edge, fruitless flailing while water taunts from the nadir of an unplanned slippery slope’s slide. Yes, somebody would inevitably step where no child was meant to step—whoosh, swish, slop, shoe waterlogged, sock sopping, pants wicking water toward thigh-land, and suddenly that way-cool-if-clunky boot would transform from friend to enemy, its dry twin mocking the loser in all its sanctimonious hauteur of proper use. One of those boots could fill with water instantly, leaving the hapless adventurer no easy way to empty it, especially in the suddenly so-much-colder winter freeze.

So the victim of a good snicker-worthy soaker would trudge to high ground and drain as much as possible. If the next stop was school, he would earn a disapproving sigh from the teacher and titters from a few of the dry kids, then have to suffer the awkward discomfort of squish-stepping his way to the very seat under which a puddle would eventually collect, his wrinkly foot wet until time to pull on the betraying boot and head home.

Now, any child in danger of suffering one of these soakers could have carried a small sack with a change of pants and footwear, but nobody at that tender age plans so far ahead. And who really expects to wind up in such an unexpected predicament?

Well, scuba divers do, and skydivers, too. So do hikers and boaters and bikers and climbers and all the adventurers who anticipate needing spare air or extra hoses or reserve chutes or another coil of rope or glue-patches or first-aid kits . . .

And who doesn’t expect any chance of predicament? Those who have no business getting behind the wheel, people saving money on substandard equipment, reckless souls who think life preservers are too much hassle. Worse, these types are often known for talking friends into joining them for that proverbial slide across the cracked ice, people who ought to know better but too often don’t.

See, grown-ups understand that having fun often means something can possibly conceivably worst-case potentially inexplicably go, well, you know, wrong. No matter how many times we step into it, no matter how much we depend on the water to fall just below the tops of our boots, that simply won’t always be the case. Complacency is no excuse, whether borne of experience, false bravado, or an ingrained pattern of habitual miscalculation. Sometimes it’s sheer luck that we manage to avoid a soaker, or even a long series of good-lucks that keep saving us, but sometimes that luck simply runs out.

Some say we should never take a chance, never chase the fun, never even need to wear the boots. Just stay home, they say, the world is a dangerous place. They plop themselves in front of that television plugged into a tangled mass of sparking extension cords, smoke-detector batteries long dead, extinguishers languishing unbought on store shelves, loved ones never having developed a plan for escaping fire.

I say slide down any ditch that’s shallow. Carry a change of clothes if the water’s just a bit deeper. When it’s so deep you might fall through, use the good sense of a smart ice fisherman who monitors conditions, takes ice samples, wears the right outfit, carries the needed gear, and pre-plans all manner of rescue contingencies.

I have another bit of advice, too: Know where the tops of your boots are.

I did get a soaker once, and it caught me completely by surprise. Still, I survived an awkward foot-squishy day, and though I’ll never know for sure, I suspect it might have played some small part in keeping me healthy all these years since.

So get out, enjoy life, and indulge your childlike sense of adventure. Yeah, soakers can be a drag, but if they really get you down, buy bigger boots.

Or simply change your perspective. Remember, if that’s the worst the world brings your way . . .

Well, sometimes a soaker can be part of the fun.


 

Author Bio: Writer, editor, publisher, TV producer, music composer, entrepreneur and more, Stephen Geez has long honed a keen eye for the foibles of human nature. His writing since taking undergrad and grad degrees at Michigan includes novels and short stories in various genres from literary to mystical adventure, non-fiction covering academic to how-to, commercial arts spanning corporate training to consumer advertising, and web-based content including the collections at StephenGeez.com and GeezWriter.com. Easing gingerly into his second half-century, he can’t hop, skip, or jump like the old days, but he never stops noticing and taking notes.


 

LINKS:

Trailer 

Amazon  

Barnes & Noble

 

Prizes up for grabs…   (Visit the 4WillsPublishing website for more details!)

*For each day: 1 hardcover edition of Been There, Note That.
*During the entire tour:
$25 Amazon card.

This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.


 

Thank you for dropping by! D.L. Finn

 

58 thoughts on “Been There, Going Again Blog Tour Stephen Geez”

    1. What a wonderful comment, Soooz! Thanks for taking the time. Sometimes these click with people, reminding them of a time or experience that’s poignant. I’m glad you liked this one!

      1. We aims to scratch! Thanks. I like to hear when someone catches the itch. 🙂

    1. I’m always happy to see people “getting” the bigger message in these. You summed this one up perfectly, Karen. Thanks for sharing that with us. I’m glad you thanked our host, too. DL is aces!

    1. Mae, I suspect you’ll keep finding that wonder for many years to come. Thanks for the lovely sentiment. I accept your congratulations and wish you great luck in your own endeavors. Glad to see you stopping by!

    1. You make me laugh, John–quite a change from biting nails during your fictional thrills. I never wore galoshes. We all had those big rubber boots (black, but girls could get pink ones) that pulled on over shoes and pant legs. You could step deep, right up to the top lip. After that? Well, it took your galoshes till May to dry out, but that’s Texas time. In Michigan we didn’t dry out till July! Thanks for sharing that, John. These little essays are about minutiae that’s not important, but I try to find something that matters anyway. Enjoy your springtime!

      1. Or the suburbs 20 miles out, anyway, during the big expansion of the ’70s. The suburbs are doing very well, but the city has vast areas that are essentially dead, scary to drive through, but some thriving neighborhoods and a rockin’ downtown now. Your idea of a soaker must be when the ‘canes blow in and make everything wet! Thanks for the comment, John.

      2. I meant I grew up in Detroit and got soaked in holes fill with slush. My old neighborhood is still alive but barely. (Joy road near Southfield) My high school which was new in 1955 is closed. Frank Cody High)

      3. Small world, John. Last month I was in Detroit and drove down Chicago Blvd from the Southfield service drive. Actually, that neighborhood looked surprisingly good. Beem Weeks was with me, and we commented on that. I’ve heard that area produced at least one great writer! Thanks for the comments.

  1. I’m with you, Stephen. I think fun’s worth a soaker now and then. I was a tomboy-daredevil-adventure seeker as a kid, so you bet I was one of those kids who got soaked. I haven’t outgrown that kid completely but I am better prepared for adventure now.😉 Another great story! Thanks for hosting, Denise!

    1. Gosh, you said it, Vashti. I once took one of those personality evals, and it came back as reckless risk-taker because I’m an avid scuba diver with a long history of whitewater canoeing (like, more than a hundred rivers), rafting, skydiving, and more–but I’m a safety freak thoroughly trained and equipped and prepared. Get out there and dance, but always have a way back to safety, and accept you might have to dry out or show off that goofy scar from that time… Glad to hear you’ve not outgrown that adventuresome kid, and I hope you never do. Thanks, VQ, and ditto our gratitude for DL’s hosting.

  2. Amazing how memories can be shared experiences–despite time and geographical location. We all have these sorts of memories. We just forget they are there in our heads!

    1. I keep them on the inner-head shelf where the cobwebs grow ever-obscuring. I do enjoy hearing from people when one sweeps aside their cobwebs long enough to think about what life brought their way. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Know where the tops of your boots are? What is that suppose to do for you? I’m one of those who likes to be prepared, so do tell.

    Being a girl I was more on the cautious side. I vaguely remember (I say vaguely because this incidence was told to me) one particular Easter morning. My mother got me, my sister and my brother all dressed up to attend Sunday services. There were puddles in front of our house after a rain. We didn’t want to get our new shoes wet, so our brother, who was not much older than we were, picked us up and carried each of us across that puddle. The neighbors saw it and told our mother what was going on.

    My brother took chances; we girls did not.

    Thank you Stephen for another hilarious topic.

    1. I love it when these essays spark memories (“noteworthies”) and they share them with me. Knowing where the tops of your boots are tells you how deep you can step before life brings you a soaker. Of course, that requires paying attention (or caring). Sounds like your brother loved his sisters. Thanks, Shirley, for your support.

  4. Hi Stephen. That was another great read, and it brought back a lot of memories of when I was young and doing exactly the same thing. Lol
    DL, thanks for hosting this stop on Stephen’s tour. 😀

    1. You made me smile. It’s funny how many experiential commonalities most of us share. I am grateful for your visit and comment, and for thanking our fine host.

  5. Hi Stephen, Your story made me smile as it conjured up a flood of childhood memories. I remember biking through a massive puddle at the end of my street and getting soaked up to my knees – did it worry me, no way, I went back and did it again, and challenged my friends to see who could make the biggest splash. Our mothers were less impressed.

    1. And you made me laugh. You reminded me again of that disapproving look teachers had for students (read: boys) who showed up with soakers, major mud, missing coats (lots of stories there), and other evidence of making the trek to school an adventure. I’m glad you exercised your childhood right to get jiggy. I’m especially enjoying how many “girls” are recalling similar tales this week. For the last (next) two days on the tour, I selected essays that are more serious, so I’m especially curious to see how they’ll be received. Thanks, Wendy, for taking all this time to show support. I’m glad this essay tickled your memories fondly remembered.

    1. Thanks, Patricia. I heard the term used a lot in Michigan, and also in Tennessee when we would visit relatives. It certainly is self-explanatory. I’m glad you found it interesting. Thanks for the visit!

    1. Thanks, Marlena. I always enjoy seeing you around the story dispensary. Yeah, D.L. earns major (not minor or even regular) kudos for hosting today!

  6. Loved it, and think it’s great advice! We all need to take a moment to get out there and experience life. 😀 Thanks for sharing and enjoy your tour, Stephen! Thanks for sharing and big thanks to D.L. for hosting another great author!

  7. Another great excerpt, Stephen. I’ve slid down many a ditch but it was in the California desert. Thanks for the memories and the wisdom. 🙂 Thank you D.L for providing the beautiful site for this posting.

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