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How I Became Bravewarrior

Shauna writes about a variety of topics in various genres, governed by whatever motivates her muse.

How I Became Bravewarrior

I actually wrote this as a short story. It came to me at the spur of the moment, as do all I write. I must mention, this is not fiction; it's true. Pursuant to my writing it, I asked my brother and a few select friends to read it and the response was resounding: it's not a short story, it's the prelude to a novel. This inspired me to do so, although it's going to take some time. However, I thought I'd share this and get feedback from the HubPages Community, of whom I've grown to respect and love. Please let me know your thoughts.....



Ancient trees

Ancient trees

Path to Imagination

Path to Imagination

The Setting

The year is 1966 and I’m nine years old. My best friend’s name is Imagination. Up ‘til now, I was an Air Force Brat, never living in one town or one state, for that matter, long enough to make friends. When I did, it hurt too much upon parting. So I went into myself and became my own best friend.

There was an empty lot across the street from where we lived in Philly. We called it Michaud’s. Judging from the slate slab in the center of the lot and the broken pieces strewn throughout, a family named Michaud must have lived there at one time, losing their home (and perhaps their lives?) to fire. All that was left was slate, blackberry trees, honeysuckle bushes and the best tree-climbing trees I’d ever encountered.

Once a year, the carnival would come to town and park itself in our beloved Michaud’s playground. It came to life, albeit a different life, with color, laughter and carnival music, but it wasn’t as memorable as what Michaud’s was to me then, and today, in the 'favorites' of my memory bank.

Michaud’s was a setting for mystery, wonder and imagination. There were concrete steps, directly across the street from our row house, leading up the hill to the mystique of Michaud’s. On either side of the steps were brambles of blackberry bushes. Directly to the left, beyond the brambles, was a huge blackberry tree, with limbs so heavy with fruit, I could reach them without standing on my tippy toes. The bramble on the left, nestled at the bottom of the hill, became a ground fort for my brother and me. More importantly, it was where I’d transform into a Cherokee warrior or a squaw, depending on who I felt that day.

My brother and I have Cherokee blood coursing through our veins—not a lot—but enough that the spirit has guided me throughout my life. And his.

Upon reaching the final ascent, the mystical world of Michaud’s opened up to a vast playground for my imagination. Directly to the right, was a chain link fence defining the property line of a vast, grassy, treed landscape at the rear of an insurance building’s property. We called it 'the insurance lot'. We’d have rumbles there, where basically you’d tackle and be tackled without benefit of a football, climb trees and play hide 'n seek. The fence was trellised with sweet, wild honeysuckle bushes, from which we drank often.

Directly in the center of Michaud’s was a huge gray slate slab, thought to have been the foundation of a once thriving home. Leading up to what I imagined to have been the kitchen, were red square pavers. On the far left of the property were huge trees where the 'bad boys' of the neighborhood built a formidable tree house. You had to be invited; don’t dare let anyone catch you helping yourself to the view, or you’d pay dearly!

Adjacent to the far left of the property, and at the bottom of the hill, was a concrete wall; backdrop to the Iroquois Apartment building. It was there I spent many hours playing handball and pitching pennies.

Looking straight ahead, at the forefront of the property (or perhaps it was the rear?) was City Line Avenue, a four lane road dividing Philly from Bala Cynwyd, where my brother and I went to St. Matthias Catholic school. We once had a German Shepard lose her life on that road, but our parents never worried about us because Michaud’s had us captivated, keeping us close to home.

So, now you can imagine the layout. Let’s go back to Michaud’s where the magic of my imagination came to life.

The row house to the right of the hedge is where we lived in Philly. To the far right you can see the Iroquois Apartments.

The row house to the right of the hedge is where we lived in Philly. To the far right you can see the Iroquois Apartments.

Characters Emerge

I was full of spirit as a young girl; mostly ornery, but spirited nonetheless. I’ve mentioned that my brother and I are part Cherokee. Although not full blood, it courses through our souls and is what guides our creativity.

Mine knew no gender. One day I’d be a warrior pounding out war paint from blackberries onto a slab of slate. When I had a substantial amount, I’d paint my face in preparation of battling the elements as Bravewarrior.

On another day, I’d form a bowl out of the blackberry brambles, line it with leaves, and use a broken piece of slate to pound out the day’s meal, as a Cherokee squaw.

No matter whom I chose to be, more times than not, it entailed blackberries, slate, and the magic of Michaud’s.

Some days, I’d imagine myself to be a gold miner. I’d climb the stairs to Michaud’s, grab a piece of slate, then descend the stairs in my search for gold. It was to be found on the lower wall of our row house, surrounding the basement level. The front of the basement was hidden underground, while the rear, which was at alley level, was encased in huge textured stone to help keep the structure safe in the event of snow drifts. I don’t know what kind of stone it was, but it had flakes of gold and silver throughout. There was a set of green wrought iron stairs leading up to a landing at the kitchen door. The area underneath served as the cave in which I mined for gold. I’d imagine myself wearing a wide brimmed brown leather hat, a leather coat and leather pants. I’d take my piece of slate and scrape the stone, releasing metal flakes into the palm of my hand, then round the corner and head back up the stairs to my favorite spot in Michaud’s, where my imagination would and did take me on many journeys.

As a gold miner, I’d craft another bowl out of the blackberry brambles, then set about the task of carefully sifting the flakes of gold and silver from the loosened stone. Then I’d moisten the ball of my finger and separate the gold and silver into two piles. These I would offer in trade to Bravewarrior, into whom I’d once more transform.

The Entrance to Michaud's Still Exists Today Undisturbed

Entrance to Michaud's still exists today (September 2020)

Entrance to Michaud's still exists today (September 2020)

Bravewarrior Reflects

By now you may assume I had no human friends. I did, but preferred my imagination over the bickering and jealousy that little girls seem to thrive upon. As the keeper of my imagination, I was free to be who I wanted to be and travel short distances into long ago times.

In retrospect, it must have been the peace, mystique and magic of Michaud’s that has carried me forth into adulthood, bearing the magic of writing and the power of the mind to travel as only a good writer can transcend.

To this day, in the year 2020, some fifty four years later, Michaud’s still exists, untainted by Man or machine.

I don’t know if anyone really knows the story behind the mystical lot with the slate foundation, but my imagination tells me there’s a connection between the naming of Iroquois Apartments and that magical place.

Some kids were afraid of Michaud’s back in 1966, but it’s where my soul came to life.

I hope 54 years from now another inspired child is compelled to share his or her story and keep the spirit alive.

Peace, Bravewarrior!





Pitching Pennies

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling

Comments

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 05, 2020:

Bill, your comment warms my heart.

I apologize for not responding sooner. Notifications haven't been working since at least yesterday. I had to manually go into my notifications on HP to find this and other new comments and posts.

Thanks for the support. You're the best!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 04, 2020:

A lovely story, told in a manner which made me feel we were sitting on the porch over coffee, reliving profound moments in our lives. Loved this meaningful story. Loved your imagination as a child. Loved that it all led to you being the wonderful person you are today.

love,

bill

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 28, 2020:

Audrey, you just made my day. What a compliment! There are a handful of movies I can watch again and again. I'm glad this story falls in the same category for you.

Have a great week, Audrey!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on September 27, 2020:

Dear Sha

You are a natural born storyteller. An amazing talent. I'm here for the second time. Like a great movie, seeing it once is not enough. I love the name "Bravewarrior."

Be safe, my friend!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 27, 2020:

I'll have to put that on my to-do list, Ann!

Ann Carr from SW England on September 27, 2020:

Yes, now that would be interesting research! I hope you manage to find something.

Ann

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 27, 2020:

Nag all you like, Ann! My muse will whisper in my ear when she's ready.

The fact that Michaud's remains untouched tells me it must be sacred ground, as I suspected. The shot that I posted above was taken yesterday, September 26, 2020. I wonder how long before we moved there in the early to mid sixties a family actually lived there. And what happened to the house that obviously once stood amongst the trees?

If I knew the true spelling of Michaud I might be able to research the history. And was the family name really Michaud? I'd love to know how the legend began besides the one I created with my imagination.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 27, 2020:

The fact that the site remains undisturbed lends to the mystery, doesn't it? Why don't you pick up the enthusiasm you obviously have for this, jot down all the incidents you can remember, and weave a thread through them? I'm sure you'd come up with an excellent novel! If the other one doesn't inspire you at the moment, go back to it when you've finished this one! I'd love to read the novel that emerges.....

Now I'll stop nagging!

Ann

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 27, 2020:

Ann, I love your idea for the title. That actually gives way to this becoming a novel. As it stands now, given the current title, a short story or what I've posted here is about all the life it warrants.

I'll take your thoughts into consideration. However, I have a novel I started several years ago that has only made it thru chapter 16. I can't seem to find the inspiration to pick it back up. One of these days (or years).....!

Ann Carr from SW England on September 27, 2020:

What an interesting, magical account of an important part of your childhood. When I read the words 'blackberries, slate, and the magic of Michaud’s' I thought that would make a good title for your novel! It has a good rhythm.

An imagination is always inspired by something and your ancestors are without doubt the key to yours. Thanks for sharing this; it is a delightful read, Shauna. Also a superb response to Bill's challenge.

Hope you're keeping safe and well.

Ann

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 17, 2018:

Thank you, Linda. In retrospect, I don't think this has the makings of a novel. However, I do have 16 chapters that I've posted called "The Gifts of Faith" that I would like to turn into a novel. Sadly, I began chapter 17 a couple of years ago and haven't gotten any farther, although I have written the ending for a writing class I took a few years ago. Working full time has really put a damper on my muse. So much to do but so little time, as the saying goes.

I'm really glad you took the time to read this one. It's a true story.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 16, 2018:

I just stumbled upon this today; what an amazing story-teller you are. I do hope that you have not given up on your dream of turning this into a novel. This is wonderful!

Robert Sacchi on March 06, 2017:

You're welcome. Thank you for posting.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 06, 2017:

Robert, at first I thought that may be the direction I'd take, but once I wrote this piece, I decided it's as long as it needs to be.

Thank you for the comment.

Robert Sacchi on March 06, 2017:

I enjoyed reading this Hub. I can see many possibilities for a novel. Have you completed your novel?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 27, 2016:

Nadine, thank you for the awesome comment/compliment!

Actually, this story isn't fiction at all. Everything about the story is true. The setting, name of lot across the street from where we lived in Philly and the characters I became are all real.

Not too long ago I Google Mapped our address in Philly, panned around and found Michaud's is still there! I was thrilled to discover that special part of my childhood still exists untainted.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 27, 2016:

You writing skills always amazes me. To write an autobiography is often only useful to do for the author and his and her family, but to write your story as fiction, and change names and sometimes places, now that can be just as rewording. Go for it!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 05, 2016:

Audrey, thank you for your awesome comment! When I was young we moved alot. My imagination was my constant companion as the result. This story is absolutely true. Who knew at the time that I'd grow up to embrace writing and use Bravewarrior as my pen name? I certainly didn't!

I would imagine your mother kept the difficult aspects of her life from you, for reasons of her own. We, as children, can be so selfish. We don't think about what guides peoples actions, we only see the result.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 04, 2016:

Oh, Sha, I dearly love this short story about how you came to be 'Bravewarrior.' A courageous description of the woman you are. I have 'Blackfoot' coursing through my veins on my mother's side. What a woman she was. I didn't appreciate her as I was growing up. Sadly it took a life-time to understand her own difficult life.

Your friend, your imagination, has honored you. You not only tapped into your imagination, you have glorified this magnificent part of your mind. I hope that I will one day accomplish the 'magic' that you have applied to your wonderful writing.

Thank you Sha and a very Happy New Year to you.

Audrey

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 16, 2015:

Shyron, how exciting that you have access to your ancestral history! Both of my mom's parents were part Cherokee. All I know is one of my great great grandfathers was a Chief. One of my aunts tried to research and document the family tree but somewhere along the line a link was dropped and she couldn't complete it. Sad.

I'm glad you enjoyed this and can relate to it. It's really cool that you found genuine arrow heads in your youth. Do you still have any of them?

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 15, 2015:

Sha, I can relate to this as we my cousins, brothers and I played in the woods and used bow and arrows we found many arrow heads and I too am part Cherokee. My great, great grandmother was in the trail of tears and I found her Dawes Roll number that allowed some of my cousins to get scholarships, to universities.

I find this inspiring and interesting, I too believe in the magic from the Cherokee blood that flows in my veins, and I can understand.

thumb up, UABI and shared.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 08, 2015:

Al, your comment (and assessment) means the world to me. Hopefully I'll get back to writing soon. Right now I have a bunch of other life stuff that needs to take the front seat for a while.

Thanx for your support. Much appreciated!

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on July 08, 2015:

Wow, I'm learning a lot about you. I see why you care so much for the environment. Very well written and portrayed. You are quite creative. I like that in you. Keep it up and voted up!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on June 06, 2015:

Thank you, Akriti!

Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on June 06, 2015:

Excellent post.

Voted up.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 25, 2015:

Thank you, Liz. My imagination was free to roam in the lot in front of our house. I'd go there pretty much every day. I can still see it in my mind as clear as if it were yesterday.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on May 24, 2015:

Wow, Shauna! This was an amazing trip down memory lane. You described it so well, I could imagine playing there myself!

What a great time you had in that place. I love your line of, "...travel short distances into long ago times." What a magical description!

Voted up ++

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 20, 2015:

I agree, John. It would require too much to expand this into a novel. After posting it and letting time give me the answer, I've determined this piece is what it was meant to be: the explanation of how I chose my pen name.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 20, 2015:

Yes Shauna, I think it's fine just as it is. I was wondering what aspects you would keep as fact and what introduce as fiction...probably changing names etc.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 20, 2015:

John, at first I thought it could morph into a novel. Now I'm not so sure. I'm not prepared to write an autobiography and that's what it would have to be, I think. I kinda like it as a stand alone. What do you think?

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 20, 2015:

I just came across this Shauna, I guess Audrey must have shared it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story from your childhood. I had a lot of make believe adventures as a child but more so in the company of others than alone. I have always enjoyed my alone time however, especially now as it gives me uninterrupted time to write. Well written and voted up. Is it still going to become the basis for a novel?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 19, 2015:

Audrey, I find that now I'm in my twilight years, I've reverted to being on my own and resorting to my imagination. I went through a period in my early twenties where I needed lots of people around me. I think I just needed to validate who I am. However, looking back, being able to provide my own entertainment has led me to be a strong woman who can depend on herself. There's a downside, too: letting others in is not so easy.

Thank you for reading and relating. I greatly appreciate your input.

Audrey Howitt from California on May 19, 2015:

I love this narrative--it so reminds me of my own childhood--exploring on my own and sometimes with friends, but mostly on my own--I often returned with all kinds of treasures!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 08, 2015:

Then let's make up for lost time and become friends now, Angela!

Angela F from Seattle, WA on March 08, 2015:

You and I could have been friends/co-conspirators as kids...truly. :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 24, 2015:

Thank you peachpurple. I love lions!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 24, 2015:

you sound very brave like a lion to me, nice to know you

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 22, 2014:

Barb, those were the good old days. Today's kids have no idea what they're missing!

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on September 21, 2014:

I had to read this to find out how you chose this name. Your friend was your imagination and it's that creative mind that lead you to you to your name and being a writer who can reach people on the page and through the internet. Reading about you child play actually makes me miss those innocent times of being outdoors all day, creating, inventing, running, biking.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 26, 2014:

Aviannovice, sorry to say I've never had either of those products. It's nice you grew up in the woods. Plenty of places to let your imagination run free. Thanx for stopping by!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on August 25, 2014:

Sounds like a fantastic place to allow yourself to be who you are. I grew up in the woods of Maine, and later lived in Wilmington, DE, as an adult for a number of years. I had been to Philly several times--I liked the Superior Ravioli Co. and DiBruno's horseradish cheese spread. I really miss that cheese spread...

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 30, 2014:

Cool!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 30, 2014:

Cool!

Debra Allen from West By God on July 30, 2014:

Thank you, you just gave me another idea to write on my memoirs.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 30, 2014:

I love Maryland crabs. We'd have them quite often when we lived in Philly. Sorry, about reiterating the true story thing. It's been a while since I've re-read this story.

Thanx for stopping by Debra!

Debra Allen from West By God on July 30, 2014:

I know it was a true story. You said that in the beginning. I have been to Philly. I grew up in Maryland and we also had blackberries and honeysuckle.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 30, 2014:

Debra, this is a true story. It's how I spent much of my childhood when we lived in Philly. The blackberries were delicious and so were the honeysuckle. You practically had to hog-tie me to keep me indoors. Even in the winter!

Debra Allen from West By God on July 29, 2014:

This is a cool story of imaginable times. I loved how your story flowed in and out of the blackberries and around the slate stone. I like the name Bravewarrior.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 25, 2014:

Oh, I was wondering what the reference to smile was. Why can't you call me Bravewarrior, Prey?

prey from places you should hope we never meet on July 25, 2014:

simply, you bring light to me when you write. I however cannot bring myself to call you brave warrior

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 20, 2014:

I'm not sure what you mean, prey but thank you!

prey from places you should hope we never meet on July 19, 2014:

love the smile, more of us should act and write with one

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 27, 2014:

Thank you, Thelma. Right now I'm working on The Gifts of Faith (11 chapters written so far and posted on HP). That will become a novel, although right now it's slow going.

One day I hope to get back to Bravewarrior. I'm not sure which direction I want it to take, which is another reason I haven't done anything with it. It'll hit me one day and then I'll roll with it!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on May 27, 2014:

What a very interesting story! I would love to continue reading when you have published this novel. It´s good to know how you became a bravewarrior. This would definitely be a prelude of your novel. Thanks for sharing.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 06, 2014:

Rachael, I'm not familiar with those parts of Philly. But it was so long ago when I lived there, I may know them and just don't realize it. I'm glad you're finally settling down. Moving a lot takes a toll after a while. I moved a lot too, but I've been in Florida now since 1976. I don't plan on going anywhere!

Rachael O'Halloran from United States on May 05, 2014:

bravewarrior, this was a very interesting and compelling story. It is always interesting to me to hear how writers choose their names, or as life would have it, how names are chosen for them.

I was reading over the comments and I also have a Philly connection. I lived there in my teen years when we moved from Virginia to Philly from 1960 to 1975. We lived at F & the Blvd, then moved to Holme Ave down the street from Nazareth Hospital. My husband is from Our Lady of Angels parish around 50th & Master St in West Philly. When we married, his assignment was moved to NJ, then NYC, and the traveling never stopped. We went to Florida for 1 yr then back to Philly from 1981 to 1990. We lived at Grant & Academy near the NE Airport. I had an aunt who lived in Wynnwood, but she died 2 years ago so now there is no family left in Philly at all. In 1990 we went to Delaware and then out to CA for a few years, to Las Vegas, NV, then Santa Fe, NM. I’ll stop there. We moved a lot. My father worked for the government for a number of years before going private sector. My husband worked for a different branch of the government. Whenever the job moved them, we were offered the chance to move or stay. It was better to move the whole family.

We are moving back East at the end of this month to Virginia and will split time between there and Florida to be near our children and grandchildren. It will be our last move, we are sure. Anyway, I don’t know if you know those areas of Philly or not, they’re a little farther away from your neighborhood. I enjoyed reading your story and the comments here too. lol

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 03, 2014:

Marlene, I'd bet that many military brats had to go inside themselves in order to combat the loneliness. In the end, we are resilient human beings. That has served me well in my adulthood.

I'm glad you related to this and that you enjoyed the read. Thank you.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on March 03, 2014:

This is really interesting and "deep". As an army brat myself, I can truly relate to some of your experiences. When I was a child, I was my own best friend and my imagination was quite vivid. I wrote a lot back then. Thanks, bravewarrior, for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 18, 2014:

Crystal, I'm sure it has factored into who you are whether you realize it or not.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on January 17, 2014:

I very much understand living in the imagination as a child. And I too have Cherokee blood - you've got me thinking about exactly what that means and how it has factored in the development of my personality and spirit. Well done Brave Warrior!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 14, 2014:

You're too funny, Made. I was pulling your leg, of course! :-)

Madeleine Salin from Finland on January 14, 2014:

No, they never won. Of course I was the winner, and it was always the same poor, little girl in last place. :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 14, 2014:

Made, did your imaginary friends ever win the competitions? :-) I lived outside when I was a kid. Trying to keep me indoors was like putting a cat in a cage!

Madeleine Salin from Finland on January 14, 2014:

I can relate to this hub. I used my imagination all the time as a child. In the winter I hade skiiing competition with my three imaginary friends. I loved spending time in the woods that surrounded our house...

It's very interesting to read your story and how you got your name, bravewarrior. Wonderful hub!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 03, 2013:

Linda, you are so right. Will it be written in my white man's time? Hmm... something to think about. We shall see!

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on December 03, 2013:

I understand Shauna that timing is everything, especially when writing an autobiography. You will be lead by warrior guides as to when and how. When it is time, I will be excited to read it. Hugs :-)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 03, 2013:

Linda, I have let this one fall by the wayside in favor of The Gifts of Faith. You can find that ongoing short story here on HP. I do hope to get back to How I Became Bravewarrior, I just don't know where I want the story to pick up from yet. It will be an autobiography. Not sure I'm ready to go there just yet.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on December 03, 2013:

Hi bravewarrior-what a wonderful imagination and great adventures you had at Michaud's. Times sure have changed with all the technology. I don't think kids get to use that imagination piece the way we did as kids. By the way, I never liked hanging out with gossipy girls either-you and I would have had a blast together. Thanks for sharing your story of how you became brave warrior. I could definitely see this becoming a novel. Hope you've continued the adventures.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 11, 2013:

Mary, who knew my experience at Michaud's would develop into my pen name as a writer! It's really pretty cool when I think about it. Had I known I would have taken my Kodak Instamatic with me into my imaginary life. But then, warriors and miners more didn't carry cameras with them, did they?

I'll have to expound on this one of these days. I've thought about it - just not sure which direction I want it to take. Then again, when I write the direction seems to take on a life of its own.

I'm glad you like this and commented. I will definitely have to revisit this story and carry it forward.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 11, 2013:

Crafty, I googled my old neighborhood not too long ago. It was one of those sites that gave you a live view and you can pan the camera around. I was pleased to see Michaud's is still as it was when I was a kid. Now I'm convinced more than ever that the area is some kind of Native American sacred ground. Either that or the spirits won't allow anyone to build on it. I'm relieved it still lives the way it did so many years ago.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 11, 2013:

Gail, we were fortunate to grow up in the time we did. Imagination and exploring is what it was all about. As long as I was home before dark, all was ok. And that was when we lived in Philly! Times have changed. I'm thankful for the use of my imagination. You have to know how to use it in order to become a writer, right?

Mary Craig from New York on October 11, 2013:

Okay, where do I start? First off I guess, definitely a book! With a captivating story like this touching just a tiny spot in your life I know an autobiography would be great, or a novel if you prefer anonymity ;) Your writing style is easy to read, interesting, and just flows...all good things for a book. Your story was interesting and relate-able, at least for those of us who remember "playing outside" and "using our imaginations".

Certainly would have 'called on you' to play in that field or anywhere!

What a wonderful way you came upon your "name" here! Looking forward to learning more.

Voted all but funny, and sharing. Since your pictures aren't originals I'm pinning too.

CraftytotheCore on October 11, 2013:

What an awesome story. Michaud's sounds a lot like the field by my home when I was a child. It was an empty field and every year the carnival would come. Until a plane crashed in it. From then on, it was a sad place, so the town built a park and a sports field. It's amazing now.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on October 11, 2013:

Shauna,

This was totally captivating and brought back so many fond memories of my own imaginative play as a young child. I was not a military brat but my family moved frequently so I knew how to keep myself entertained in between making new friends, and also played with my younger brother a lot.

Children of today aren't allowed the freedom to roam and explore their neighborhoods because the parents are too afraid for their safety but that's a terrible loss because I believe kids are meant to be explorers. It stimulates their imaginations and helps develop their brains.

Am voting this story up across the board except for funny and sharing.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 16, 2013:

Welcome to my world, Liz! :-)

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on September 15, 2013:

I had always been meaning to ask about bravewarrior name and now I know. What an awesome story. I've always had a vivid imagination as well and would create adventures in the woods behind our house. So nice to learn this about you!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 06, 2013:

Kim, thank you so much. Hopefully I can spare some time from earning a living to do just that!

ocfireflies from North Carolina on July 06, 2013:

bravewarrior,

I can definitely see how your piece could operate as a prelude to a novel. While my childhood was not in the same place as where your childhood took place, I feel a kindred spirit. Wishing you the time you need to write your novel.

Best Always,

Kim

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on June 25, 2013:

Mike, you are so right. Most kids today can't even spell imagination, let alone know how to cultivate it! You bring up a very good point that I never thought about until now. If kids can't learn to dream when they are young, what do they have to strive for as they grow older?

I'm tickled that you're rolling around my site. I've been 'tweaking' so more of my hubs make the rotation gamut.

Peace!

Mr Archer from Missouri on June 25, 2013:

Cheyenne, this is a wonderful read and insight into using our imagination as children. I too had a "patch of woods" across the street from where I lived. In it lived all manner of beasties, including fish! I built forst, hunted with my homemade bow and arrows, and generally lived by the imagination. It is sad that so many of today's children seem to be lacking in that; what will become of them as adults? If one does not learn how to dream young, how will one chase dreams when older?

Peace be with you, Cheyenne. Good hunting and fair winds.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on June 10, 2013:

Flourish, that's my thinking. I just need to figure out where to start!

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 10, 2013:

Compelling, inspirational, full of intrigue. The reader just wonders what direction this is taking. A novel.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 18, 2013:

Thank you Anjili. I'm seriously considering expanding this into a novel. I just need to figure out which direction I want it to take.

Anjili from planet earth, a humanoid on May 18, 2013:

It is great to know your origin. Your life story could fill a whole novel. Keep up with the good work. Voted up and interesting

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 06, 2013:

Kim, I remember the mothers calling for the kids to come home for a meal also. What magical times they were! Now we pick up the cell phone. WTF?

I didn't even include the princess I would pretend to be with a towel wrapped around my hips and another on my head as I danced to the music in my head!

Oh, the joys of Imagination! Those who imagine become writers and artists. Life is sweet!

இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу from Niagara Region, Canada on April 06, 2013:

Oh, Shauna. I love the nostalgia of this piece. A much simpler time it seems compared to now; I remember playing until the streetlights came on, skipping rope or hopscotch, loved listening to all the mother's calling out that it was supper time, or being so absorbed and playing with "Imagination" that the time would seem to fly by. You allowed me to revisit my childhood as well and it brought a smile to my face. Thanks.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 22, 2013:

Anna, it was a great time. That part of Philly offered many natural tools to spark my imagination.

Dream On, we're lucky to have such wonderful chilhood memories, aren't we?

DREAM ON on March 21, 2013:

I loved your story so interesting and filled with endless adventure.Growing up during the summer until school started again we often amused ourselves walking,playing with fake guns where we made all the sound effects no bullets,Later we were lucky to have squirt and cap guns. Playing tag until you dropped,then you walked to the beach for a swim to cool off and drank water from a water bubbler because we had no money.You brought back so many memories wow what good times we had.

Anna Haven from Scotland on March 11, 2013:

Hi bravewarrior, what a great story, it sounds like it should be a book. I loved how the blackberries became part of whatever role you were in. I just wish I had been there to play, I would have loved it!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 03, 2013:

Clara, thank you for reading. Yes, what would today's youth do without their gadgets?

Clara Kish from Mt. Perry. Ohio on March 03, 2013:

Thank you ,Bravewarrior, for ,your wonderful story,yes, it will make an interesting book and I am sure many people would enjoy it . I don't know about the young ones but at least they would know that we had a life before all of the modern gadgets came along.You know ,the ones they think they can't live without.The best to you . Clara

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 28, 2012:

Audrey, thank you so much for the comment. Those times in Philly hold wonderful memories for me. I miss the blackberry trees!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on November 27, 2012:

Hello Bravewarrior. This is marvelous. Such a touching story. Your writing flows making an easy read. I'm glad you've shared these good times. I have "blackfoot" running through my veins. The best of times is still to come.

Only one way to rate this marvelous hub. Up, across and sharing!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 14, 2012:

Poet, I appreciate your comment. I lived the adventures and it was the start of my emotional independence! They were good times and the first day of the rest of my life!

TheAveragePoet from Here and there. on September 14, 2012:

A most engaging and empowering tale, bravewarrior. Thank you for sharing your story, I enjoyed the adventures.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 02, 2012:

Mmmmmmmm!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 02, 2012:

Big smiles coming from my heart, Simba!

Jon from UK on September 02, 2012:

that was following ya Lol

Jon from UK on September 02, 2012:

Gotta be a glitch I just checked and I'm llowing ya !! Muuahhh !!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 02, 2012:

Muuuaaahhhh! That's cyber talk for blowing you a kiss, Simba!