Monday, March 10, 2008

What have I created?!

Guess what my grandson has discovered! Mud puddles! Thanks to his tomboy Grandma who used to love to play in mud puddles herself when she was a little girl. We had a lot of them around, too, growing up in the Olympic Rain Forest area of Washington State. So far he's only stomped in one and splashed mud all over himself and me. That isn't saying he hasn't tried to stomp in a few more, but so far I've caught him before he's waded in. But, oh! That little boy has a wicked arm and just loves to toss rocks in to them. The bigger the splash, the more his pleasure. And we have lots of time to toss rocks into mud puddles. Lots of time.

Back in the days before the Department of Environmental Quality and all these other ecological-minded organizations came into being -- long before they were even thought of -- a lot of people used to burn their paper trash in their back yards. Some people had old galvanized metal drums they'd use as burn barrels, some with screens over them to catch the sparks or cinders, but most were just open. My Dad usually found a somewhat isolated area of yard at whatever house we lived in at the time, cleared away a bare spot, and we'd use it as a burn heap. With a family of 6, we generated a lot of trash and it was usually up to one of us kids to pile it all up and set fire to it. Could you even imagine that open heap of trash burning, let alone kids being allowed to burn it?! Maybe we were more 'grown up' when we were young, more responsible, than children of today but I know my parents never gave it a second thought. And none of my brothers or myself ever managed to burn down a house or nearby bushes or even nearby grass. We knew we had to keep it under control, and we did. I used to love to burn the trash. No, I'm not a pyromaniac. No arsonist blood courses thru my veins. I just liked fire. I liked the way it hypnotized me as I watched it. I loved the beauty of the flames. On a cold day, I loved the heat it generated. I loved roasting hotdogs or marshmallows over the flames if we had any extra on hand...our Mom never minded us snatching a handful of either to cook over the fire. They never tasted quite as good as those roasted over a wood campfire, but they still tasted mighty fine! I know this is a childhood joy of mine I'll never be able to share with my grandkids. I know it's no longer 'ecologically friendly'. And I find that sad.

But there are still real campfires we can share with them. I'm looking forward to that. And rivers and creek beds where we can let them throw rocks out to their hearts' desire. Where they can wade out and catch crawdads and salamanders. Those are some of my childhood experiences I can share. I'm thankful for those, at least. And I'm thankful I haven't lost my tomboy heart, that I still enjoy playing in mud puddles. Only now I have the added pleasure of playing in them with my grandson.


Dee said...

Hahaha! I love the mud puddles stage. Goodness, it's so fun and can be such a problem too. lol Dylan sounds like such a delightful little character.

I know what you mean about fire. We didn't have burning barrels, but we young'uns used to build big ol' bon-fires and would sit for hours roasting weenies, marshmallows and telling spooky stories or just watching the fire. I miss those days sometimes. And you're right, I wouldn't have an open fire for anything now, much less let a bunch of young'uns tend it. ~woe!~ lol

Thanks for sharing your memories, they brought back some happy nostalgia to my heart. :)

Wishing you a wonderful week!

HORIZON said...

Oh l bet D's mum and dad love those puddle jumps too-lol. You might just be in trouble there Kris!
Nice to be visiting today. We have a barrel up back for burning but use it for wood and garden stuff. We just have to be careful of our neighbours laundry and the way the wind blows. Oops
Love the baby pics. My friend is having her baby around the 18th of this month- not long away now. l'm trying to knit a wee cardigan- I'M not the best knitter in the world though. There is a club across the water where lots of women get together to knit/craft. Would you believe its called 'Stitchin and Bitchin'! Arghh!!
Love the cd 'life for rent'- will go and put in on just now.
hugs and bests xx

Alaine (or Lanie) said...

we had a burn barrel at our last house (out in the country) and we had bonfires almost every week with friends over. I miss that stuff so much. The smell of a campfire is one of my favorites. I hope Nicole remembers those times. My parents still have a firepit but we don't get to use it much since we're all so busy. There's nothing more relaxing than sitting around a fire with your loved ones watching the wood glow, the sparks, crying with smoke in your eyes (ok - I don't miss that part!).
Noah still loves to stomp in puddles and slush. I let him unless we're on our way into church or something where I don't want to be real dirty :) I used to LOVE playing in the puddles and especially the streams of water that came with the melting snow. I'd make my little "boats" out of paper or woodchips and follow them along. Gosh I miss being a kid.

Loretta said...

We had that old drum when I was a child and I loved to burn stuff. It never got out of control. I would be scared to death to let my grandsons burn anything. My son in law has one now. I guess that's one of the many good things about living in the country. I still love to burn leaves. You can't beat the smell.

verabear said...

That inner tomboy should never go away. :) Mud puddles, water puddles, playing in the rain, i miss those.

We used to burn leaves in our yard too (when we had them), and it's only now that awareness is being raised against burning...

Please visit my blog as I left a tag there for you, I know you're not too fond of those but check it out anyway? :)

Jane Doh ! said...

That reminds me of Mitchell in the middle of Winter when he was about 3...I discovered him in the backyard jumping up and down in a huge puddle of water, covered head to toe in mud. I ran back inside and grabbed my camera...he was having such a blast. I have that picture somewhere :)

Judy said...

Oh, you reminded me of MY favorite activity in days of yore (okay. i still do it).

Stomping on that thin layer of ice that covers the puddles.

I love that!

I did not have a mud-puddle-stomping grandma. I think I missed something.

Liz said...

I think we were more responsible because we were allowed to do more. We were trusted - after we'd been shown how. Parents are more cautious these days - thanks a lot to'government' warnings that do tend to engender fear and over-protection.

George loves leaping in piles of leaves (as I do!) and bouncing around in them. He's still not a water baby yet.

Alaine (or Lanie) said...

you've been gone a while - maybe Baby Boy Cooper made his entrance? I hope all is well!