Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Swimming Hole

When I came out to start my chores for the day, Daddy was coming home.  " Where did you go?  I thought today was Saturday." Daddy had to go and take care of something.  When that was said no more questions were asked.  I started doing my chores and my sister was inside doing hers.  Daddy went to the garden to hoe, hoe, hoe, he was always hoeing the garden.  Said getting the air to the roots made the plants grow better.  When we came in for lunch Momma wanted to know if I had finished my chores.  I had and I asked if I could go to the moss hill and play.  Momma explained to me some of the children that played there had other plans today and I would by myself.  She did not want me to go.

Daddy finished the hoeing and put the tools away.  He came and asked Momma something.  Momma said,  "Everything is ready.  We can leave anytime."  Now I was really confused.  No one had said anything about going somewhere. A little later,  Momma called for me to come inside.  She had a bathing suit for me laying on the table and I saw my sister coming out of the bedroom with her bathing suit on.  Where were we going?  It was too late in the day to go to the lake.  Daddy was changing his clothes and Momma had on a pretty sundress.

Daddy went in a direction I knew well. My cousins lived on the other side of the creek, when we reached the creek there lots of cars there.  We were going to the creek where all older boys went to swim.  I could not wait there was a huge sand bar which held the water back and there were my moss hill friends playing on the sand bar.  The ladies were sitting around sipping lemon-aide, a burlap bag of  store bought drinks were in the creek cooling and several of the daddies were gathering sticks to make a fire.

I had settled in with my friends, playing in the water and on the sand bar.  One of the teenagers let out a yell, everyone turned around to look.  Momma threw her hands over her mouth and started laughing, she pointed and I turned around to see my daddy swinging from a rope over the creek.  He said, " Okay, boys, you swing across the creek and on the way back drop into the water."  The fun started and everyone was watching, laughing and playing.  Daddy would swim over to the sand bar and splash water on me.  He climbed up on the bar and grabbed me.  Off he went with me, and Momma shouting, "Don't you dare go on the rope swing with her."  Daddy just kept going.  Grabbed the rope with one hand and over the creek we went, not across the creek, he turned the rope loose and into the water we went. Water was splashing everywhere and Momma was running to the side of the creek.  "Are you alright?'  I looked at her and said, "I want to do that again."  Daddy was smart enough to know once was going to be all, Momma did not let me get out of an arm's reach the rest of the day.

It was getting late in the afternoon and I was wondering if we were going to leave.  We had animals at home which needed to be taken care of but Daddy seemed very content and Momma was enjoying having an afternoon off and not in the hot kitchen cooking supper.  The ladies started getting out picnic baskets which were loaded with wonderful food.  There were homemade pickles and relishes, potato salads, deviled eggs, baked beans and lots of desserts.  The fire was getting hot and Daddy brings me a long stick to cook hot dogs on.  Momma said for him to stand right beside me, not let me get burned and it would be okay for me to help cook the hot dogs. Momma had spread the blanket out for us to sit on,  and I was making the rounds checking out all the wonderful food and filling my plate like I may never eat again.  Someone had brought a tin of potato chips, how wonderful.  We did not get potato chips very often and this was a real treat. A store brought drink that I did not have to share and I found a Tiny grape in the burlap bag, which was mine, and a Pepsi-Cola for my sister.  After cleaning my plate and having some of my favorite cookies made my one of the moss hill friend's mother, I was told I could not go back into the creek for one hour.  What?  Where's Daddy? He had brought the ball and bat, maybe we could play ball.  I could not find Daddy.

Daddy must be lost in the woods.  Momma said, "Your daddy knows his way around here and he will be back in a little while."    How long has it been?  I am ready to get in the water.  Momma said for me to be quiet and wait for a little while.  I heard someone say, "Here he comes, watch he is going to get the rope and swing over the creek." Who? What is going on.  Oh, no, Daddy is going to be in big trouble.  He is getting in the water and the hour is not over.  Daddy splashes down in the water and throws the rope back to another person who swings out over the creek and drops in the water.  This happens several more times.  By now, Daddy has come to where everyone is setting and has one of the biggest watermelons in his arm I have ever seen.  Some of the others have huge cantaloupes and more watermelons.  Momma hands Daddy the knife and he starts slicing the melons and handing slices of melon in all directions.  These melons are delicious and ice cold.

By this time I had forgotten about getting back in the water until Momma said, "You need to get in the creek and wash off the melon juice, we need to start cleaning and packing up to go home."  Our wonderful afternoon at the swimming hole was coming to a quick end.  While we were driving home, Momma asked Daddy, "Who came out early this morning and helped you put that dangerous rope up in the tree."  Daddy grinned and said "I did that when I brought the melons over to cool in the creek all day."  So, that is where Daddy had been this morning.

                 You looked as if you really did enjoy swinging on the rope.
                                   That was something I used to do all the time with my folk.            
                                                  I am sure Bootsie enjoyed you taking her on the swing
                                                           and then I heard someone snore.
                                                                    I will never forget what fun we had at the
                                                                                swimming hole.