MY FAVORITE TOY OF ALL TIME

Growing up in Minnesota, summer meant jumping in Bay Lake to play to my heart’s content. One day, my dad came home from the marina with a huge inner tube in our yellow speedboat. Probably made for a colossal tractor tire, I could stretch out on that inflated, rubbery ring and float for ages. Or I would bounce on it with a friend until one – or both of us – tumbled, laughing, into the water.

Steph and Barb on Crystal Lake a few years ago.

My other favorite activity was jumping with my friends on the trampoline on the beach of a nearby resort. Luckily, the resort owners knew my family and tolerated our frequent visits.

When I think back on those times, I wonder if I had an excess of nervous energy or was simply an active kid. I sure liked being in motion, particularly if there was a bounce involved. Maybe all that ricocheting around kept me in shape. I didn’t think of myself as athletic, but in fourth grade I was one of a handful of children at my school to be given the Presidential Fitness Award, a program promoted by President Kennedy. I sewed the patch they gave me on my jacket, not sure what to make of it.

No longer taking my health or energy for granted, I now appreciate that brief, unexpected recognition of what our bodies can do for us. And I still like to float on water, preferably with a cushy inner tube on which I can lean back and watch the sky.

Barbara Terao

Barbara Wolf Terao is from Northfield, Minnesota and now lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest. She’s written a memoir called Reconfigured and posts random observations on her Of the Earth blog. This piece was posted on Storied-Stuff.com on May 4, 2022.

https://www.storied-stuff.com/stories/barbara-terao

5 thoughts on “MY FAVORITE TOY OF ALL TIME

  1. JOAN PREFONTAINE

    58″- 60″ HUGE Rubber Tractor Tire Inner Tube Heavy Duty Pool Cover / Closing | eBay [https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/vocAAOSwCJNhhA4R/s-l400.jpg] 58″- 60″ HUGE Rubber Tractor Tire Inner Tube Heavy Duty Pool Cover / Closing | eBay PERFECT FOR USE UNDER THE POOL COVER WHEN CLOSING THE POOL. Heavy Duty Extra Large Rear Tractor Tube. http://www.ebay.com Fun times! Looks like you can still buy one if you are so inclined…:) ________________________________

    Reply
  2. susanshable

    Nothing finer than the perfectly sized inner tube in the water on a sunny day. We would be have been great friends had we known one another in our earliest days! How happy I am to count you among my friends now. 🤗

    Reply
    1. BTerao Post author

      Susan, you are a dear! And a lion. I am glad to know you, too, and to have the grace and benefit of your friendship.

      Reply
  3. Betsy Fuchs

    I remember floating on inner tubes in the small lake we visited summers when I was a kid. Then I took up swimming and lately water aerobics. But this reminded me of how soothing water can be, maybe I have to get back to simply floating in an inner tube. Thank you Barbara.

    Reply

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