Saturday, December 19, 2015

Those mud stirring memories.

Adventure is not outside the man:
it is within.
             David Grayson


My beautiful blue, fun-loving snowshoes have been replaced by my mud-covered ‘Pink Cadillac Boots’. December in my part of Canada is not what I was expecting, nor hoping for. Stepping down from the tractor, and then wading through the mud to close the gate and after picking up the hay bales, that swirling stirring mud beneath my feet begins to stir those memories of long ago.

As a child I loved adventure and as it so happens, playing in the mud. My brothers, sisters and I had always found the most challenging places to play as children. Unfortunately, and now that I think about it, our poor Mom. She probably had no idea how adventurous, and possibly naïve of the danger we had been.

In the spring of the year, we would walk a couple of miles (one way) to an old sandpit quarry, just outside a little village. It was isolated and provided us with hours of fun. Now that I think about it, it was a wonder anyone of us survived. The words adventurous and stupid have a very fine line in its division of meaning, at least in this case.


This old sandpit had a special spot we called the “Quicksand Hole” named no doubt for all those old westerns that we used to watch on the TV, and yes, I do know that you know where I am heading with that name. We would all line up near the edge of the embankment. The bravest (or possibly just the show off), all the way down to the not wanting to do it, but did not want to be called “Chicken” person. My brother T would always be the first in line. I was somewhere in the middle, as I remember.

When it was your turn, you would walk back, and then take a run and a ‘Flying leap’ off the edge of that embankment. Always with your arms up, you would land in the middle of “Quicksand Hole”. Brother T, who had always gone first, would be waiting for the next in line to jump in, close to him so that they could both pull each other out of the waist deep mud. There were always loud cheers and fits of uncontrollable laughter coming from the top of the embankment.

When my time came around, I flew off that embankment. With my arms straight up above my head, I ran as fast I could. There was a huge plop, then that feeling of the cold soothing mud as I sunk deeper, the laughter from the top of the embankment, and then being quickly surrounded by the ones I knew would always save me. These memories are still fresh in my mind.


This, now I think of as craziness, continued over and over again until finally, all of us being exhausted, would all know it was time to walk the long way home. First we had to “Hide the evidence”, as they say. There was always a big puddle of water just heading out of the sandpit quarry, so we would all take a bath in it. It was a given that our Mom would not be very happy knowing what we did to put in our days. Most likely she thought we were not very far away, and playing with friends. She was right about the friends. It appeared they were just as adventurous and as naïve as we were in this game. The long line of children walking the back road to the sandpit would get longer, with every spring that came around. Our secret was out, well not to the parents but out, none the less. I have no idea how many years this adventure had continued. I have a sneaking suspicion someone “Let the cat out of the bag” and it was immediately shut down and rightly so.

The gate is shut. I wade back through the mud. Bossy2 and the other girls are waiting for their morning breakfast and I have a rain hat to share.


Pulling myself up into the tractor, I find myself wondering; What ever happened to that adventurous, danger dodging girl? I guess she “Smartened up” as my Grandma used to say.


(As it creeps ever so closer to Christmas I find that my childhood memories keep spilling out. I hope you don’t mind)

Later

23 comments:

  1. Your story brings to mind some barn adventures that our parents had no idea about - not too far from that same small village you grew up in. Thank you for dredging up my childhood memories as well - tis the season after all!

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  2. Cute story Grace. I never had that kind of adventure with the mud pit. Can't say I'm sorry lol!🛀🏿

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  3. Children are never afraid of the worst that can happen only the best. Great memories! :)

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  4. I LOVE your childhood memories. And marvel in retrospect that any of us survived. My parents told me I couldn't go to a particular playground because it was too far to ride my bike. So I rode to one that they would let me go to, and swam two miles across the lake to the other. Played for a few hours, swam back across the lake and rode home.

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  5. Wonderful adventure, Buttons. Sorry to say, I must have been a real "stick in the mud," as I doubt I would have gone along with you. Oh, I never would have been a tattletale, so don't worry about that. I was too afraid of my mother! My sister would have been there, though!!

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  6. Don't you believe it - that little gal is still inside the big one, waiting for some naughtiness she can join. When I was a child, I roamed free, often (looking back) in dangerous places. I guess I'm still doing that, too.

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  7. That memory spilling is happening over here too. Cherry Missmas Buttons.

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  8. I enjoy your memories :) Mud here for us as well, though I doubt as much as yours. Temps are just not that cold and it leaves the pastures yucky....

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  9. What a great story. Yes, a fine line between adventure and stupid. It's a wonder children survive childhood.

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  10. Mud, I always viewed like quicksand. I was more of a puddle jumping girl!! Christmas always brings memories of my childhood, especially when I visit Santa (wink)!!!!!

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  11. It's neat how you slid into the childhood mud bath from the mud you found feeding the cows. Yes, farm kids were exceedingly fortunate hundreds of times. I know that from experience.

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  12. Today's youth don't realize what they're missing. ;)

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  13. That's a childhood worth remembering for sure, would be nice to hear more of these stories.
    My brother and I spent many happy days scavenging around in the town rubbish dump. Not quite so dangerous as jumping into a mudhole, but certainly as dirty.

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  14. Always a blessing to hear your childhood memories.. they are always interesting...hugs M xox

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  15. Another great story. Always keep them coming.

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  16. I love your memory sharing, tickles my own buds, like mud! My cousins and I got into serious trouble one Saturday as we baked and ate our mud pancakes, sicker than dogs :-) we were...not one happy Mom ;-).

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  17. As a Little Mud Dauber did you ever get in too deep and leave a gumboot behind? Just asking?

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  18. We're in a muddy mess here too, but have been promised a white Christmas. Now that would be wonderful. Oh, the thing we did when we were kids! We had a place too, a huge granite hillside with steep walls down to the ground below. We used to jump from the top and fly through the air into the welcoming, not mud, but snow below. Thanks for that memory coming back to me.

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  19. I love your flying off the bank story! It makes me remember once visiting my cousins, who secretly gave me the bike with no brakes, and then we all lugged our bikes to the top of a huge grassy hill to ride down. Of course I was flying, with no brakes, and there was a stream at the bottom. I went airborn, but still ended up soaked.

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  20. You have reminded me of the days when I would go barefoot and climb out on a beaver dam to try to dismantle it. The dams always caused flooding in the fields and had to be removed. Country girls like getting dirty and wet; right?

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  21. Your post reminded me of visiting my aunt and uncle and cousins in Belleville. They lived at 191 N.Front St. which I think is a car dealership now. At that time, there was nothing behind their house but fields which were being prepared for a subdivision. One weekend, it must have been spring, we were chasing each other around that field, and you know what happened, someone got stuck in one of those sink holes. I had my cousins rubber boots on. They ran to get my uncle to pull me out, but the boots were lost forever. Well, I'm sure when they were digging a foundation for one of those houses, they must have wondered how a pair of boots were buried!!

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  22. Oh Grace, she's still there but more wary of breaking a bone. Merry Christmas, to you and yours. It's been lovely, getting to know you.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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