When I announced that I was going to extend my consecutive posting streak from 367 to 441, an obvious consequence was that this number would be one of them. Although the number has no significance to me, I know that there are others that take significance in it. Therefore, to appease, I am going to use some innuendo-ish words, even though this post is NOT about what some may think given the title and number.
Well, since I will have “references,” I may as well become a Deadhead for this post… with my favorite song from the group. The stories themselves will connect to this theme, now that I further consider this post!
The idea for this place had sprouted in August of 1996. Weissland had taken up its dominion from Knollcrest Drive and shifted to Cripple Creek North. For two years, residency was built in this place.
To the south and east, this place had ideas churning in the late-young professionals’ heads. An acreage for Weissland, in a serene area.
Ninety-nine. Not the Toto song, mind you. Instead, the second half of a difficult school year. Throughout the year, mornings occasionally drove south and east to this plot before doubling back to school. Along the grey Seventieth Street, a right turn went up a seemingly high hill, down said hill, and around to a plot full of weeds and wood. The dominion began to take shape.
As I was promoted to middle school, we camped out at the plot. Where the master bedroom would become, tents were set up. There was a pizza party, a walk on the mile-long track of stones (er, pebbles), and me recovering from some growing pains in the legs. Even at 09:30, the sun was still out on this June evening. But dinner didn’t agree with Levi…
A few weeks later, the travel to this place was by bike. I complained all the way up the stony path from 70th, and to think that I would later develop into such a cyclist. Navigating the plot was somewhat treacherous as giant weeds were around, and many of them were spiny. Not to be touched with hands!
As the roof was set, golden coins fell. A dreary, grey summer afternoon became a treasure hunt: a race among my three siblings and me to collect as many of these coins as we could. As other acreages popped up in this vicinity, this was repeated, but of course, that may have been trespassing… though we never got busted.
The abode was completed on October 1, 1999, but it was just the beginning.
Over the next few summers, projects of landscaping were started. All of the weeds and dirt that was in the yard was to be replaced with sod, and trees were to be planted. This involved long afternoons (as it was in my teen-age mind) with a hoe, a sharp tool, or down on knees with protective gloves. Sometimes I managed to turn it into a game.
The grey of the stones was eventually replaced with asphalt to make bike riding much easier… and also give me a fighting chance for being a one-man marching band on Independence Day. That happened to be one of the last times that I would ever play my trumpet, as I headed into high school and band failed to fit into my schedule.
Speaking of high school, the number 420 appeared in one of the intramural bowling team’s names: the 420 Crew. I have no idea how that got past the censors, but I had no idea myself what it meant at the time. It was not my team, but another.
Some of these weeds, however, were related to the number. The dogs, during the summer, sometimes seemed more subdued than usual. We found a few wild weeds with the distinctive pattern. But, we simply destroyed them. They did not go into brownies, and they did not turn into a wisp. We aren’t intending to get into trouble.
And as the spiked weeds began to die out, and I gained appreciation for what we had gone through, the trees provided a forest on the west side, almost in the exact spot where we once held a bonfire on dead tree branches. The circle of life…
Today is the four-hundred and twentieth day of Mission 441. Twenty-one days remain.