Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Free Association.”


Anyone who has read here for very long knows that I’m from Small Town, USA.  Make that Southern Small Town, USA.  Home of red clay.

When I was a kid I got into soooo much trouble one day after a big rain.  We had a trench, more like a ditch, that ran the length of our property.  It was full of the reddest clay dirt you’ve ever seen.  Some of the neighborhood kids and I thought that a game of war involving said red clay as mud bombs would be cool.  It was.  Now those are some cool IED’s. We built mortar shells of red clay and lobbed them back and forth at each other, ducking, and dodging, and hiding behind things.  For hours.  It was a blast (pun intended).

The shit didn’t hit the fan until my mother saw me, though.  See, I decided if I was going to get all wet I should probably wear my swim suit.  That brand new one that we’d just bought the day before.  That brand new white swim suit.  Which was now ruined because red clay does not come out.

What I learned that day carried me far beyond that childish mud slinging incident.  You see, one of the “perks” of living in Small Town is that everybody knows everybody.  And everybody knows everybody else’ business.  If they don’t, hell, they’ll make it up.

The thing about mud slinging, though, is that anytime you want to sling it you’ve got to get your hands dirty, too.


A Dog and an Armadillo Before Dawn

DSCF1370 - CopyEvery day, if I’m not already awake before dawn – which I usually am, I’m awakened by a cold snout against my neck.  I pretend to still be asleep and am then pawed at until I relent and get out of bed.

Dottie is on a schedule. She knows when it’s time to eat. Food promptly at 6:00 a.m.; then walkies.  Each day as we walk around the lake I watch the sun slowly rise overhead.  It’s usually quite peaceful.  We hear birds singing, watch squirrels gather their morning nuts, and meet walkers and joggers alike.

One morning, however, before the dawn had begun to crack there was a disturbance.  I wasn’t paying as much attention, I suppose, as I should have been.  Dottie was off – full speed ahead.  The lead tightened and I lunged forward unwillingly. Before I knew it I was on the ground.  I let go of the lead but it was too late.  I’d already lost my balance. Down I went.  Dottie was in the shrubs, tangled by her lead.  Lying in the street, the next thing I saw was an armadillo scurry past my head.

I hopped to my feet, looking around to see if anyone else was about. Whew!  Nobody saw that!  Thankfully, there were no cars coming, else I would have been roadkill.  There were no other walkers or joggers about yet.

The damage was done.  It’s a good thing I don’t have brittle bones.  This is what happens when Dottie sees the armadillo and I don’t:

0620140702That’s the day an armadillo cut our sunrise walk short. No leisurely walk around the lake for Dottie that day.  We trudged back home mere minutes after our walk had begun – in the dark.

And now there are two!  😀   What was I thinking?!?


Do I look like I would do a thing like that?