Close Calls

 Posted by at 12:35 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 172022

I was chatting online with an old friend yesterday, a gentleman about my age, and we got to talking about some of the crazy things we did when we were growing up. This was back when we drank out of garden hoses, carried pocket knives and pricked our fingers with the blades and pushed them together to become “blood brothers,” and popped wheelies on our bikes, long before kids wore helmets and knee pads to ride bicycles. When we got a little older, we raced our old cars and motorcycles like a bat out of hell, knowing we were going to live forever.

My friend asked how we ever survived long enough to grow up, and I told him it was a mystery to me. We had a few close calls back then, probably more than we remember or want to admit, but I guess we’re still around for a reason, whatever that may be.

Besides the mischief I got into that could have turned out bad, I had a couple of close calls from incidents that were not necessarily of my doing but could have done me in that I still remember very vividly.

One I will never forget was when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I was doing something on our screened-in back porch during a summer thunderstorm when a ball of lighting, not a bolt but an actual ball, went through the screen on one side of the porch and out the screen on the other side, passing right past me. I remember all of my hair standing up and the strong smell of ozone in the air. For a long time, I had a picture my mom took of one of the round holes in the screen. Ever since then, I’ve had a healthy respect for lightning.

Another memory is from when I was 13. We had moved to Ohio from Arizona and I was with my Boy Scout troop on a winter hike and fell through the ice as we were crossing a small lake. I remember going into the frigid water and then my head bobbing up and hitting the ice above me, and the hole I went through was several feet away. I didn’t know how to swim but somehow managed to scramble under the ice to the hole and got pulled out. To this day, I hate being on the ice. I was invited to go ice fishing once and lasted about 30 minutes, and was on a snowmobile once with a brother-in-law who drove across the ice on a lake in Minnesota. I was sure glad to get to the other side!

I may not like ice, but I have a deep affinity for ice cream, and the other day I ordered Terry a late Valentine’s Day gift, a Cuisinart ICE-100 ice cream and gelato maker with a built-in compressor. Okay, let’s be honest, I ordered it for me as much as her, but she gets to use it. It arrived yesterday, and we are looking forward to trying it out and seeing what kind of delicious recipes Terry can come up with.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. Is this even legal?

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Undone, the first book in my friend Jason Deas’ Burt Bigsley mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day If people don’t occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you’re doing something wrong.



Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Close Calls”

  1. Look up Kaleb at for his video on how to make ice cream in one of those. He has a couple good recipes.

  2. I remember those insane things we did. My brother and I used to play chicken, racing at each other on our dirt bikes, and the one who swerved out of the way first was chicken. I broke my right arm in a crash because we both swerved in the same direction once.

  3. Of yes, playing mumbly peg with our pocket knives, bottle rocket wars, daring each other to walk across the railroad trestle over the river. Our mothers would have had a heart attack knowing the foolishness we got ourselves into.

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