Ponds, Creeks and Mud Puddles Made Good Swimmin’ Holes

Written By Galen White

I really ain’t got a clue as to why I’m talkin’ ’bout this particular subject, ‘specially at this time of year. Could be ’cause I ain’t got much of a clue about anything at all, or it could be ’cause I just couldn’t get it outta my mind. It’s like that tune you get stuck in your head where you end up hummin’ or whistlin’ it all day long. It just won’t go away.

In my search for something to write about and for some strange reason, swimmin’ kept comin’ to mind. Maybe the tadpoles swimmin’ around in between my ears were usin’ ESP and controllin’ my thoughts. Or, maybe it was just the swimmin’ my head does at times. As I said, I ain’t gotta clue.

One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was swimmin’. Whether in Uncle Lonnie’s pond, on of our own ponds, or down at the branch or creed, there just wasn’t anything that I would have rather been doin’. In all honesty, it didn’t take much water either. If the water was deep enough to cover my toes while standin’ flat footed, it was deep enough for me to “swim” in. Of course, I didn’t do many dives or cannonballs, but I could belly crawl and flip flop in two inches of water better’n most!

And yep, I hear you. I admit a mud puddle worked for me as a swimmin’ hole many, many, times. Hey! If you don’t believe I could swim in a mud puddle, you shoulda asked my Mom. She would look at me after one of my swimmin’ forays and ask who the heck was I. She claimed she couldn’t recognize me with all the mud I was wearin’. While the puddle might only be two inch deep and a couple of feet across the top. I made the best of all of it.

There were times, I suppose, that you would be hard pressed to call it a mud puddle; it was more mud than puddle. Still, it was a heap ‘o fun to me.

Now, as much as I  loved to play in mud puddles, it wasn’t much fun to accidentally slip down in one. You see, intentionally fallin’ in is fun. Accidentally fallin’ in ain’t. There may not be a whole lotta difference in the outcome of either one, but I’m sure you’ve been there, done that.

Most of those times when it was accidental were also the times when my mom had me dressed up to go somewhere. You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout; ironed shirt, starched jeans, polished shoes, clean and hole-free undies. If I heard my mom caution me about clean underwear and with no holes once, I heard it a thousand times; “If you get hurt and have to go to the hospital, you wanna be sure you’ve got clean underwear on! Folks are liable to talk about you if you don’t”.

Kinda ironic today, ain’t it. I see folks walkin’ around every day with torn and dirty undies. I can see ’em ’cause their britches is hangin’ half way twixt their knees and rear end. I don’t know about you, but my mom and dad both would still be whuppin’ on me if I wore my clothes in such a manner. Shuckin’s! There’s no way I’d ever wear my britches like that ’cause it’s downright embarrassin’!

Anyway, clothes really ain’t got much to do with my swimmin’. And that’s the way it was back in the good-ol’-days for clothes didn’t have anything to do with it back then. Heck! I was almost 12 before I knew what a bathin’ suit or swimmin’ trunks was. Skinny-dippin’ was the only way to swim back in those days.

Now, my folks made sure that I had on something if the mud puddle was located in the middle of the dirt road that ran in front of our house. Usually it was some old jeans. But the ponds, creeks, even in a mud puddle down in the pasture, called for “au-natural” attire.

 

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Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.

 

 

 

 

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