Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday, Muddy Monday

Yes, that was a U2 reference in the title there. I'm not a huge fan, but I liked the sound of it. This is a radar image from about 6pm yesterday.We had a very rainy, very windy and watchful-for-tornadoes Zombie Jesus Day here and it's supposed to continue like this for another 4-6 days. No delicious chocolate bunnies or prettypretty decorated eggs this year; too sick with flu/headcold to think about much other than sleep, keeping up with the laundry and dish washing, and making sure everyone is fed and watered properly. The only real celebratory activity was eating a bowlful of ice cream with homemade dandelion syrup (ooh, it was delicious! will be posting a recipe soon-ish) and watching some of Stephen King's The Stand via Netflix with Corey. I've never been much of a fan of King's writing (multiple false starts to reading several of his works and The Eyes of the Dragon has been the only one I've finished), but I figure I should at least watch this series since I have the chance. One of my best friends in St Louis references it no less than every few hours when anyone around him is sick so I figure at the very least I'll have a better understanding of what he's talking about when he's telling me to keep my Captain Trips to myself. Plus it only seems fitting with all the sneezing and snot and lack of ability to breathe that's been happening here lately.

I do have a kind of funny story about Easter, though, and it involves mud puddles. I remembered it this afternoon during a break in the rain when I took Zombie girl outside for a brief run around the yard and saw the huge puddle taking up literally 1/3 of the yard.

I absolutely adore jumping in puddles, muddy or otherwise. I did not know about this joy, however, until shortly after my 3rd birthday when Dad took me out to the end of the driveway at our house on Gennessee Road. It was early in the morning on Easter and we had just finished checking the oil and other fluids or something like that on Dad's truck. At the time I was an only child and spending time with Dad was the absolute best thing ever. Being that I was largely self-sufficient and super well-behaved (my parents were spoiled having me as a first child), I got a lot of Dad time in the form of working on his truck and even hanging out at the construction site with him at work and using the lumber cutoffs as building blocks. Mom was awesome and I loved hanging out with her, but Dad would do things with me that Mom would never have, like playing in mud and letting me ride the mastiff - named Bumper - at the junk yard. How much cooler can things get when you're 2 or 3 than getting to ride a giant dog around a junk yard!?

We had just gotten done doing something to Dad's truck and he instructed me to stand back while he closed the hood. I don't know if 1985 was an especially wet spring, but I remember not being allowed to play outside for a few days because of all the rain and mud. Mostly because of the mud I think. I really liked making mud pies and Mom really disliked all the laundry this activity could generate. Dad knew about this love of mine (heck, I'm pretty sure he was the one who first showed me how to make a mud pie) and when he told me to follow him I happily obliged. Normally I remember things like this in great detail, but this one is one that is a bit fuzzy. I don't recall the exact details of how Dad taught me to jump in the puddles at the end of the drive, but I do remember how amazingly awesome and fun it was!

The feel of the mud between my toes - I never wore shoes unless I was forced to, still don't - and the huge splash I could get were pretty much the most fun ever. I had soaked my clothes in fairly short order and splashed most of the water out of the puddle when Mom called to us that we needed to come inside and get ready for church. I'm not one much for organized religion, but at the time church was not something that was optional. I had to go and I had to be dressed up to do so. Most of you can probably see where this story will end from here knowing this.

Dad and I trudged up the drive and back into the house to shower and put on our Sunday Best. This week it really was Sunday Best for me, too, as I had a brand spanking new white Easter dress with lots of fluffy frills and trim and matching white patent leather dress shoes. They were the first dress shoes I ever remember owning. I used to love dressing up in frills and shinies, girly as all get-out. For a brief period of time prior to and including part of my kindergarten year of school, it was actually the only way my parents could keep me clothed. Except for shoes. They came off as soon as physically possible. Mom chose these particular patent white dress shoes with this fact in mind and they had buckles placed in such a way that I could not get them off by myself so once they were on I was stuck with them. Bummer.

Once we were all dandied up it was time to get in the truck and go to church. I don't recall what exactly happened or how, but I ended up heading out the door first and I think Mom asked Dad to help her out with getting a huge crock pot of something delicious out to the truck to take with us for a supper after the service. As I stood next to the truck unable to reach the door to get inside, I looked around the yard and spotted another mud puddle next to the back door. Now, at this time, we had the chicken coop right next to the house at the back door and the location of this puddle meant that it undoubtedly was made up of a good percentage of chicken poo and not just good old dirty mud. The fact that this was a chicken poo puddle and not an actual mud puddle did not occur to me; it was a puddle and Dad had just taught me how to jump in puddles for fun.

I don't think I have ever heard Mom scream with quite that much disappointment and confusion. I was standing there in utterly ruined brand new white dress and shoes now almost completely covered in chicken poo water and stained beyond repair. Boy howdy, was I proud of myself! The fun lost a bit of its awesome, though, when Mom started asking me why I would do such a thing and in a brand new dress at that. I was truly confused why she was mad because "Dad showed me how and it's fun, Mom!" He forgot to tell me that jumping in puddles was not something to do in good clothes or while wearing shoes. I ended up going to church that Easter Sunday in a regular frilly dress that was stained from mud and earthworm collecting and Dad got an irate lecture about giving me all of the rules beforehand. Eventually we decided that mud puddle jumping was something I could do only if I wasn't supposed to be wearing shoes and I continued with lots of happy puddle jumping for years following using that rule, but Dad still has not lived down the time he taught his little girl how to jump in mud puddles but forgot to tell her about not doing so when all dressed up.

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