There are some memories that always seem to stand out and will bring a smile to our faces especially the ones when we were kids and no one was watching.
When I was a small child, our family would visit our grandparents farm. Their farm was in a beautiful setting. The large farm house had an oversized wrap around porch that sat on a knoll surrounded by ancient oak trees overlooking the pastures and fields below. It was a great place for kids to carouse around and sometimes get into some mischief.
No One Was Watching
It had been the usual visit to Grandma’s. The weather had not been the best that morning, so my brothers and I were confined to the farmhouse. We were totally bored and were greatly annoying our parents and grandparents as only kids can do. When the weather cleared, out of frustration and the need to get us out of our her hair, my grandma shooed us out of the house telling us to go find something to do. She only needed to open to door. We barreled out of the house like a pack of puppies in search of our next big adventure.
Our first destination was the springhouse next to the pigpen. In the springhouse was a huge frog, at least we thought he was huge because of his deep throated crook. We were never able to see the frog, much less catch him. He would always jump in the water before we could reach the spring house. As you can imagine, we weren’t the quietest when we approached the springhouse. All we would hear was his deep crook and a BIG splash.
We splash around in the cool spring water for a bit. Then laid done on the grass and starred at the clouds pretending to see different animals or shapes. That lasted for about a minute. It was starting to get hot, and the humidity was rising. We discussed how fun it would be fun if Grandma had a swimming pool, but she didn’t… we sighed. So we raced done the remainder of the pasture into the field where the cattle would often graze.
All the adults were busy doing whatever adults do and didn’t seem to notice or have much interest in our general activities, no one was watching. It was a safe place to play, so I’m sure they saw no particular need to pay any attention to our activities.
There was a small creek that ran through the pasture. You could see it from the porch of the farmhouse. We walked along the creek throwing rocks in the water every now and then. We would stop to look for pollywogs and minnows. As we walked along the creek, somewhere along the line, one of us came up with an idea. We could make the creek into a swimming pool. How would we do that? We could damn up the creek at one end, creating a great big puddle of water to play in.
The field was full of rocks so we started to work. We hauled rocks, twigs and all manner of stuff. Then we started building our dam. It was really hard work; however, we couldn’t wait to finish our swimming pool and then we would have a grand time. I can’t tell you how long we worked, but we could see the beginnings of a puddle starting to form. What we hadn’t thought about was what would happen once we contained the water. Where would it go? But that wasn’t important to us at that time. Somehow we manage to dam the creek and then the pasture started to flood. We were ecstatic and jumped right in, splashing about with glee and great abandon. It was a blast. We now had our swimming pool.
Then we heard Dad’s whistle. When Dad whistled it meant we needed to come in to eat, for the night OR we needed to pay attention to something. But it was in the middle of the afternoon. We looked up and saw my Grandpa racing down the front lawn right towards us. He didn’t look very happy. Our Dad was close behind him and he was laughing. We, for the life of us, couldn’t figure out what all the commotion was about. My grandpa finally reached the edges of our huge puddle, now more a pond. Carrying a sledge hammer, Grandpa splash through the knee deep water. He was headed straight for us. He was furious. We raced every which way and heading back to the house towards and our laughing father. In fact, he was doubled over he was laughing so hard.
As I looked over my shoulder, I was horrified and fascinated to see Grandpa smashing our dam with his sledge hammer. The water gushed out on its way down the creek. It was a mesmerizing sight. The swimming pool was no more.
Mom and Grandma, with folded arms, were standing on the porch watching. Dad didn’t help the situation because he was laughing so hard it started us to laughing. Grandpa didn’t see the humor in the whole situation, AT ALL, as he stormed back to the house. We followed him, giving him a wide berth. As we climbed the steps to the front porch, I heard our Dad chuckle and say to our Mom, “That’s what we get when no one is watching”.
After the flooded pasture incident, we weren’t allowed out again without supervision or we were given specific instructions as to where we could go and what we could or could not do. We still had fun when we visited our grandparents farm, but we were never given quite the free rein we had on that particular day… 😀
It’s funny where and how we learn lessons and when those lessons prove to be helpful as you grow. I will never forget my thoughts when I first heard to phrase “They will neglect what you don’t inspect” and “without specific direction an individual will decide their own course of action”. Whenever I hear something to that effect, I smile and remember the flooded pasture incident, truly understanding that if someone isn’t supervised the outcome may not be at all that is expected or desired.
What are some of your memories that bring a smile to you face? What quotes, lessons or phrases evoke a fond or funny memory for you.
Life’s journey continues…