Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tender Years: Water Well



"A grownup is a child with layers on."  - Woody Harrelson


Peeling back the layers.





On Cooks Road, as elsewhere, we lived outside the city limits.  There was no "city" water.  You had to have a well and a pump to have water.  The old McWilliams place we rented, had a well in a small tin shed.  A few feet from the shed, was the concrete cistern that held the well water.  There was a wonderful galvanized pipe that ran from the shed to the cistern.
On many, many days when there was no one to play with me, I found all the fun I needed right there!  The small pipe hit me just above waist high.  It fit my hands perfectly.  It was the perfect place to flip over and over!  It was also great fun to climb up on the shed side of the pipe and try to walk it the few feet over to the cistern.  Of course, any time Mama caught me, I was in great trouble because I could cause the pipe to break off of the well, but back then I couldn't see the harm and ignored her continually.

As much fun as playing on the pipe was, the greatest fun was on a good windy day.  I'd take the small square lightweight baby blanket Aunt Norma had made me, use a safety pin to put it around my neck, climb up onto the top of the cistern (all four-five feet) spread out my blanket cape and fly off and into the deep, thick San Augustine grass.  I know I flew!  Really flew!  And I loved the wind, as it was my friend that let me fly!

In my dreams at night, I didn't need the blanket cape or the cistern to launch off of.  In my dreams, I could will myself up into the sky and float/fly over my school campus, or around our house.  It took a lot of concentration to come in for a landing on my feet, and quite often I cut a flip or two, but it never hurt.

Mattel Liddle Kiddles Doll in a ring.  I had one, did you?


What about you?  Did you have anything you loved to play on/with that you knew you shouldn't?  Did you ever fly in your yard or in your dreams?  Please share with me!

Barbara

P.S.  I feel I must clarify, as some are getting the wrong idea.  The well had an electric pump on it.  The well itself was simply a pipe in the ground.  The water came up, went into the tank and stayed there, until we turned on a faucet in the house.  We did have running water and we did have indoor bathroom.

25 comments:

  1. YES! I loved to climb things and one day my brothers and I rode wayyyy off from our home to a place called Little Mountain, way out in the country. We climbed a microwave relay tower that belonged to a phone company. It was a big no-no, but in our minds it was an "oh yes!", so we climbed it. We only did that once that I can remember.

    Another thing that I loved to do, that I may have mentioned in previous comments, was to play with the treadle sewing machine at my Aunt Mae's house. I imagine this machine had belonged to my great-grandmother. I loved to press the pedal and hear the whir and see the needle go up and down. I always got in trouble with my mama for doing it, but that didn't stop me from messing with it every time we went to her house.

    Another thing that I liked to do was to try to sneak upstairs at Aunt Rose's house. She was really a cousin, but because she was so much older than my mother, we called her "Aunt". This house had initially belonged to her father, the brother of my great-grandfather. She didn't want any of us kids going up there, so I knew there had to be good stuff up there! She would always catch me and warn me that the goblins would get me if I went up those stairs. Enough said...for that trip. Now, I always get an uneasy feeling when I go upstairs and can't stand being upstairs in old houses alone. :) I don't fault Aunt Rose for that, though. She was trying to protect cool stuff, probably lots of family treasures. I'll never know.

    I flew lots of places...on my bike. :)

    I enjoyed your post. Have a blessed day!

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    1. Some great memories! Thanks for sharing them with me! We had two round chairs that were on full swivels. I loved to sneak into one of them and get it going round and round, faster and faster.

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    2. You're welcome and thank you, too.

      Oooh I loved anything that spun around. Sometimes I would just stand and spin round and round by myself. I especially loved doing that in my red granny dress. It would fly up and out like the parachute that we used in PE. :)

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  2. I can't imagine not having water in the house. How did the toilets operate?
    We used to fly all the time in the school playground, and of course I have dreams of flying to this day. Like you, the flying bit seems to work well, but the landing is the tricky part. I wonder why that is?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No, we had plumbing and running water. We just had our own well, we weren't on any city system. The well had an electric pump.

      Perhaps deep down inside we know we aren't really meant to fly.

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    2. Jeffrey,

      Have you ever heard of outhouses? You don't need running water for those.

      Sunni
      http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    3. We never had an outhouse, but I have used them a couple of places in my lifetime.

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    4. I've heard of them, of course, I just wasn't aware that they were still in use.

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    5. Last time I used one was at a camp house 20 years ago at Bush Lake on the Neches River.

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  3. Pumping a well for water does not sound like fun.
    Flying was fun as a kid. It loses its appeal when you're an adult trapped in a plane during high turbulence though.

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    1. We had an electric motor on the well. Indoor plumbing and all. It just wasn't part of the city system.

      I've only flown a few times and luckily none of those were in bad weather.

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  4. The only related thing I recall was jumping off my neighbour's back porch and hitting my tailbone on a (water?) pipe that stuck up out of the ground. That caused me grief for weeks. I had to take a cushion to school to put on my seat so I could sit comfortably :(

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  5. Why do kids always climb to a high place to test whether they can fly? If you really could, you could "lift off" from the ground.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps we are all really gliders, without motors. :O

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  6. Ah, a child's imagination...

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  7. We lived in a housing scheme so didn't have a lot of yard space to do much of anything. Sounds like you had lots of fun though.

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    Replies
    1. I suppose there are benefits to most any way of life.

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  8. I am loving your childhood adventures!!

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad, Paula! I know they are rather simple remembrances, but it was my hope that their very simplicity would strike a chord with those who visited.

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  9. I love all your posts and trips down memory lane. Kids always think they can fly. I'm not sure why that is. It's a shame we lose some of that imagination after we grow up. I still have some pretty crazy dreams though and I'm in my sixth decade of life. I hope that never ends.

    We had a well growing up too and for a while we had no inside bathroom and had to use an outhouse. In one house we lived in, my daddy ran a pipe from the well to the house so Mama could wash dishes in a washtub. Water had to be heated on a hotplate. We had no stove at that time. It was a pretty primitive existence back then, but we got by and eventually had running water in the house. Later a bathroom was added on too. It was nothing deluxe, but we thought we were living like kings then. All that makes me extremely thankful for what I have today and I've learned to never take anything for granted.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. I think beginning with less is a blessing. One that too many don't get any more. You can't truly appreciate just what you have if you have never been without it. Also, because so many have never done without, if calamity strikes they will have no idea how to do things the way people did before all the modern conveniences.

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  10. The big forbidden thing was to walk to the bridge over the railroad tracks. Back then you could dangle your feet over the edge, throw stones, etc. It felt dangerous

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    1. There is a railroad trestle over Village Creek that boys used to go up on and jump off. Yes, it is dangerous.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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