Today’s challenge subject is “stairs”. I was already thinking about this one yesterday and wasn’t sure what I was going to post. As I was packing up some things to take to the thrift store, it hit me. The 99 steps! Perfect!
You see, in Shamokin (my hometown), we have a beautiful stone staircase that could always be taken as a shortcut from one part of town to another. They were dubbed “The 99 Steps”. I’m not really sure if there are 99 or not, but there sure are plenty of them! As kids, we just assumed there were 99, why else would they have that name?
They really are beautiful. I remember sitting on them with friends, eating ice cream and watching the cars go by below. We would climb up the sides of them, or if in a really daring mood…walk on the stones that jutted above the handrails. Once you reached the top…you always had to turn and admire the terrain that you just conquered.
My father grew up in a house at the top of the 99 steps. I can only imagine the wonderful view that my grandmother enjoyed from there! There is no doubt in my mind that she also had to bandage up my father and his brothers plenty of times from their adventures and races of their own. 99 stone steps + 3 boys = 354624 band-aids at least!
Unfortunately, kids today don’t get to enjoy the 99 steps. They have been closed for years due to disrepair and broken steps. It’s another part of our history that is literally crumbling before our eyes. What a shame it is that they won’t have the chance to smile and remember adventures when they see those beautiful steps in years to come. I can only hope that one day someone will see the importance of keeping and maintaining these parts of our city and we can restore The 99 Steps to what they once were. For now, at least I have my memories. The touch of cool stone on a summer day, the way feet form around jutting stone and flushed cheeks from a race with friends. Love those steps.