The joy of mud puddles

A sight the other morning made me stop and reflect on what is really memorable and important in life.
’Tis the season of mud puddles and Ava and Colton, my neighbour’s kids, were busy stomping through the lake at the end of their driveway.
I shouted over, asking them if they were having fun, and their enthusiastic response left no doubt about the joy mud puddles bring.
Mom must have been busy inside with the baby.
I have been cautioned myself to clean my shoes and not track any mud into the house, but remember many a happy hour spent mucking around in the mud.
Our own kids also have enjoyed wide experience doing the same—and at least one set of boots is still stuck out there in Blue waiting for some archaeologist to dig it up eons hence and try to catalogue the meaning of it all.
Down at the debating table at the bakery in Rainy River, we all have learned the value of cleaning off our boots before entering. Everyone, that is, except Ziggy, who, straight from the barnyard, sometimes bring along enough fertilizer on his boots to grow a good crop of potatoes.
He’s playing with fire. I’d wager he wouldn’t bounce more than twice before stopping in the middle of the street if Cookie, the proprietor, catches him just one more time.
As I took my final walk around town before heading for the Orient, I noted other kids were out playing in the mud. Larry, meanwhile, was busy ditching the puddles off his lawn.
“Starting to weep into the basement” was the excuse he offered, but the beatific smile on his face indicated it was simply a labour of pure joy.
Further up the street, Pickle similarly was occupied digging little canals and putting up dikes. I think it was simply his irrepressible Dutch heritage coming to the fore.
I stopped up in Kenora on my way to the ’Peg and even Big Pie was at it. But as a big-time contractor, he was doing it in style! He had the excavator out and was scooping up mud, water, and ice a ton at a time.
“Sweet Charlotte said I’d better get this water off the road so nothing would restrict her on her way out to bond with the grandkids,” he explained.
Seriously? Nothing short of a complete washout would get Sweet Charlotte down below the speed limit.
So, all you kids feel free to muck about while I’m away—and maybe ditch out my garden, too, so it’ll be ready to plant when I get back.

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