The Great Outdoors

CAN’T WAIT – Home Country

Mabel Adams was out the other day, with her new walker, the one with the basket on it, and a seat for sitting when she gets tired? It’s a purple kind of walker and she likes it. It has hand brakes, too, just like a bicycle. She was headed for the Curl Up ‘N Dye beauty salon to get her permanent renewed, and she had to pass by the elementary school on her way.

And there were half a dozen kids trying to get kites to fly in the gentle breezes of February.

They can’t wait, she thought, for the stronger winds of March. They’ll run and the kites will billow up behind them, but they’ll have to stop short of the chain link fence, and the kites will flutter down like spent butterflies. She could read their minds, of course. Hey, maybe if I run faster … Mabel smiled and shook her head.

Can’t wait for March. Childhood is like that. It’s a can’t-wait time. When you’re eight years old, time crawls by so very slowly. It takes forever to become eight and a half. Lifetimes. Why, when you’re eight, and you finally make it to eight and a half, you’ve accumulated a wealth of learning and experience in those six months. Well, in those five months, anyway, because you can’t wait for six months, so you declare you’re eight and a half at five months.

Push it. Hurry up. Make the winds of Spring come sooner. Won’t I ever be eight and three quarters? Will my birthday never come? School will be out for the summer in May, but by May, I’ll probably be grown up.

Mabel waved to the kids and they “Hi Mrs. Adams’d” her and went back to their play.

If only, she thought … if only the time went by as slowly for me, instead of racing along.

Brought to you by Slim Randles’ new book Strange Tales of Alaska, now available as a Kindle book on

Slim Randles
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Slim Randles

Six years ago he began writing a syndicated humor column for newspapers called “Home Country.” He’s also the author of 16 books, including three novels and the biography of The Rounders author, Max Evans. One of Slim’s most recent books, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right” has won two state awards and one national award. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer