For a number of years the home of my niece, Machelle Moore, and her husband, Steve had no sidewalks or patios. While it looked nice because of the grass, it was really problematic in the winter…when they had to shovel the grass to have any kind of a walkway from the street to the door. For the last four years, they have been talking about adding cement to the south side of their property. Last winter finally pushed that idea from an option to a necessity. I’ve shoveled grass, and I can totally understand why they decided that cement was no longer optional. Having no sidewalks means that all that dirt is dragged right into the house. Steve and Machelle were determined not to spend another winter that way.
In April, Machelle asked Steve to come and look at what she had in mind. Steve was a little concerned, until she showed him her plan. This was not going to be a short term project. In fact, it would take almost the entire summer. Steve and Machelle normally like to do a lot of hiking in the hills looking for Indian arrowheads and other artifacts or camping with their family, so there were going to be some sacrifices, although they did indulge in their favorite pastimes too, but this would be a working summer. The yard had 16 sprinklers that had to be dug up, and capped off or moved to a different spot. That was the longest part of the project, and it all had to be done by hand. To me that part of the project would be the most daunting. I would have no idea how to go about that, and I don’t think Steve and Machelle had ever done anything like that either, so it was a big challenge for both of them. Nevertheless, I think they did a great job.
One thing that Steve and Machelle found out about this project was that there was a lot of digging. They hand dug out the front part of the new sidewalk to their fence themselves, and then Machelle’s dad, Lynn Cook and brother-in-law, Josh Griffith helped with the back. In the end, they decided to contract the cement work out, and they were not sorry that they did, because it turned out great…right down to their sons’ handprints in the cement. They were so glad that they worked together on the project, because they saved $5000 by making part of it a do it yourself project. Machelle is so proud of Steve’s ability to do anything he sets his mind to. They had never done sprinklers before…or a jack hammer to get rid of the old stuff, or a cement cutter. Still, it was fun working on their own project and it all turned out so great, that they have to pinch themselves to believe that it is their yard, but the greatest thing, especially with winter approaching…they can shovel the snow like normal people now!! Today is Steve’s birthday. Happy birthday Steve!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
There are few things that spell summer better for little kids than water…whether it is a wading pool, the local swimming pool, the lake, water pistols, or running through the sprinkler. Kids just love the hot days, so they can get wet to cool off. Lots of adults feel the same way too, as a matter of fact. It’s just what summer is all about.
While watching some old home movies the other night, I saw Bob and his sisters Debbie, and Jennifer running through the sprinkler. Jennifer was just a little girl of about 3 years, and I’m pretty sure it was her first experience at running through the sprinkler. She was obviously enjoying herself, but that doesn’t mean the water felt like what she expected either. As she started into the water, she skirted the edges of it at first, almost as if trying not to get wet. I know that feeling. It happens when you get caught in a rain shower. Even though it is hot outside, and the rain has a cooling effect, it still has the ability to almost feel like needles hitting your skin…ok, dull needles that don’t hurt, but still each one creates a little shock. That is how Jennifer seemed to be feeling.
That first time feeling of running through the sprinkler is a one time event. Once you know what to expect, you never get to feel that way again. That doesn’t make running through the sprinkler any less fun, just not so surprisingly shocking ever again. Knowledge comes with experience, and once we know something, we know it forever. There is no way to go back to that innocense and be surprised by it again. I’m sure that the next time the kids ran through the sprinkler, Jennifer didn’t skirt the edge like she did before.
I am reminded of a picture I have of my oldest grandson running through the sprinkler, and I’m thinking how cute he looked. Christopher was clearly ducking his head to the side to avoid the water that was hitting him…and yet he liked the whole feeling, of coolness on a hot day. Even with the wading pool and other backyard pools that are available, kids have loved to run throught the sprinkler since they were invented. And, I can relate to that. Once you have tried it, you will like it. Even as an adult, it isn’t the end of the world to have to run through the sprinkler to get into the house. I mean, after all, clothes dry, but the fun of running through the sprinkler will stick with you for a long time.
With summer comes the need to keep cool. Kids have the unique ability to set aside things like concern over wet clothes or ruined makeup. They simply don’t care about those things. If given the chance, they will run through the sprinkler, clothes or bathing suit…it just doesn’t matter. And, who needs to ask for permission every time? Just tell mom that you were walking by and simply got wet…yeah, right!
Why is it that something that brought such pleasure as kids, seems to be something that we cringe at as adults. Just getting caught in a sprinkler or rain storm as an adult sends us running for cover, but as kids we relished the chance to do the exact same thing. And, as adults when we get caught in that situation, it doesn’t matter how hot we are, that water feels so extremely cold! What has changed? We are the same person…only older! I don’t get it.
As kids, all we can think about is finding a way to get out of the heat. Even end of school picnics can incorporate a type of sprinkler. How do you cool down an entire class of kids at the same time? You call in the fire trucks, of course. Now I wouldn’t want to be hit by a fire hose head on, because it would seriously hurt!! But, you spray that same hose into the air, and it becomes some of the coolest “rain” you ever saw. It becomes just like a downpour!! What better way to soak an entire class of kids!!
And of course, there is still the more conventional way of cooling off…the back yard pool, or as it is with little kids, the wading pool. It is in the wading pool that many kids find that you don’t need the water to be deep necessarily, just cold. Add a few toys, and you have an afternoon of cool fun.
Yes, kids get to have all the fun…without all the inhibitions. Looking back on those years when my sisters and I were running through the sprinkler, I can remember what it was like to be a kid. Sometimes, I wish those days weren’t in the past, but then I look at what I have now, and I realize that I probably wouldn’t want to go back there…even for the fun of running through the sprinkler without worrying about my makeup.