Down Memory Lane or Daisy Pass Fast
**Daisy Pass-Yellowstone National Park
The beginning of a friendship; of a journey:
Now, as friends telling friends about a friendship, we
sometimes look at the bright and shiny part of a person.
We see each other as we are, as we want to be seen- not as we
could have been; not as the trials and the tragedies and
the broken hearts. Not as the mistakes we made, but as the
sum total of all of the good things that we have done.
This describes the friendship between ‘Michael’ and ‘Sandy’.
We valued our friendship, and we valued each other; the
unique qualities that each of us brought to the friendship.
We respected our similarities; we accepted our differences.
We were intrigued by each other’s stories- the good, the bad
and the ugly.
And, to be honest, the things we’ve
done, the places we’ve seen, the mountains we have climbed
have not always been so very pleasant. When I think
of the deepest valley, the darkest cave, the scariest roller
coaster, the wildest bull ride, the coldest winter;
I think that we, Michael and Sandy, see eye to eye.
And our story begins:
Hi, Michael, my name is Sandy. How are you doing today?
Oh, you are from Canada. Isn’t that nice. Where did you
come from, Sandy? Oh, you came from down on the farm.
Yep, that’s where I came from, too. Did you have any
neighbors, Michael? I didn’t either.
From time to time we meet some one who travels with us,
laughs with us, talks with us and walks on a tight rope with us.
My friend, Michael, is one of those tight rope walkers. Since
Michael is a world traveler, there were times when I lost track
of Michael. It was always my mission to ‘Find Michael’. Have
you seen Michael? What is Michael doing now? Where in the
world is Michael? These were/are frequent buzz words in my
Today’s to-do list: Google ‘Michael’.
Tomorrow’s to-do list: Call up the first five ‘Michaels’ on list.
Next week: Call the real ‘Michael’
Next month: Book a flight to Texas.
The following month: Have dinner with Michael.
Well, that dinner never came. The flight was cancelled.
From time to time, we did visit by phone. And, we did
talk, and we did laugh, and we did tell about the latest
tight rope walks.
It is now the year 2007:
I don’t think that I had talked to Michael in 13 years. That is
a very long time. I googled ‘Michael’ and found that
he was now a writer of civil war novels. I was hot on the trail.
He was a curator of a museum. He lived in Guam. He got his
Master of Divinity. He previously had lived in Texas. He even
lived in a commune in Los Angelos, CA.
I would call and ask for ‘Michael’ and his room mates would
tell me in a foreign language and very broken English, “He not
here right now; he be right back.” Perhaps, this was not where
‘Michael’ lived after all. Michael never apologized to me about
the careless telephone receptionists. He had never lived in Los
Michael tells me that he ‘googled’ Sandy S. Zoo and found
her. They exchanged quite a few e-mails and then, after
some time, Michael recalled a feeling that maybe this wasn’t
‘Sandy’ after all. It might have been the sweet little laugh or
the jokes that she told that were in poor taste. This was NOT
One day, not so many months ago, Sandy did another search
on Google.com. Humph! Look at that! ‘Michael’ works for the
‘FBI’ or something like it. She got right on the phone.
Wanting to surprise him, she had planned to start the
long-awaited conversation with: “Remember when those
hikers went skinny dipping?” or how about, “Do you
remember ‘The Grizzly Bear Story?’ as told by ‘Roger’.”
or “Do you remember the elk and calf visiting our tent
early in the morning?” or “Did my snoring really keep
you awake all night?!” or perhaps, best of all,
“Do you remember when we cross country skied down Daisy
Pass?” “Do you remember…?” On my first try, I only said,
“Oh, I am sorry; this must be a wrong number….” On the
next try, I left a nice message. ‘Michael’ called me back.
There was SO MUCH that I wanted to tell ‘Michael’. Where
do I begin…
I did NOT want to remind ‘Michael’ of the dreaded ‘Wild Berry
Pie’ or the hikers who streaked across the glacier. I had hoped
that he had forgotten. I tried to forget, but some times, I
would wake up in the middle of the night thinking…..”What
were those hikers thinking?!” That without a cell phone or a
phone booth, we couldn’t or wouldn’t dial 9-1-1?!
Well, when I finally called the right number, and when I
finally heard ‘Michael’s’ voice, he had the very best line.
“Sandy, you haven’t changed a bit.” That made my heart
flutter a little bit. Through hell and high water, I hadn’t lost
my sense of humor. I was ‘o.k’ in Michael’s eyes. Nothing
We talked about a lot of things…life and love, mid-life
crises, puppy chow, dirty laundry, and favorite movies.
And then, we said, “Goodbye” and promised to keep in touch.
And, we will and we do.
Today, I receive an e-mail from ‘Michael’ saying,
“…and, we were going down Daisy Pass without a care in
the world, and no brakes either.”
The memories came galloping back into my mind.
We were cross country skiing down Daisy Pass and it had a
pretty good slope to it. The snow was soft and fluffy.
The scenery was just out of this world. We wanted to show off
to our friends and be the first ones to the bottom, and we
were. But, the way to the bottom was tainted by a poor
braking system and the excessive vegetation. We did not
score high in terms of skill or accuracy. We scored high
in terms persistence and sheer will. We narrowly escaped
a trip to the E.R. , wherever that was. I am sure that
it was more than 30 miles from Pebble Creek.
We laughed each time we fell and, each time, we picked each
other off of the forest floor. It was as dangerous, or more,
than our ditch diving escapades.
We both have families with children, and nieces and nephews.
It is best not to know how we accomplished ditch diving and
also that you not ask how far and how deep ‘Michael’s’ best
jump was. Let it be.
Memories deteriorate fast when one reaches 39 years old.
The details of yesterday’s adventures become blurred.
It is the marriage of fact and fiction, with disbelief
woven into the tapestry.
“I can’t believe we did that!’, was a common expression.
“Mom- tell us about the time that you and your friend,
Michael, had lunch on a glacier by Going to the Sun Road.”
“Tell us about the time that you swam past the herd of
moose to get to the island where you jumped off of
the huge boulder….” “Did you really eat ‘Wild Berry Pie’?!”
“I can’t remember,” she responds. That was a long time
“Tell me the story one more time, Mom!”
“That sounded like so much fun!”
It was fun.
Those were the very best ‘Days of Our Lives’.
Thanks, God, for a good day; for a good life… and for
joining us on those hiking trips. We kept those guardian angels
Sandy S. Zoo ©2008 Hugs to you both, Michael & Chad!