Well, it’s really more like a jump in the hay. Get your mind out of the gutter! This isn’t really a confession. It’s more like a statement of gratitude for my upbringing.
When I was little and my grandfather was still alive, he and my grandmother had a small farm of sorts. They had cows, some of which were a rusty red color with white, curly (almost permed-looking) hair on their foreheads. I loved feeling the texture of their soft, curly faces. Chickens roamed free and made their nests wherever they wanted. We knew where all of the nests were, and I absolutely loved going to get the eggs. It was like a treasure hunt. These chickens roosted in a cedar tree that had its lower branches cut off so that it had an actual trunk. My grandfather had taken a long plank of wood and nailed little steps on it so they’d have a ladder to get up into the tree. I was at their house one time when a solar eclipse occurred. Would you believe those chickens, one by one, marched up into the tree to roost right in the middle of the day?
One of their barns had a small enclosed section that held nothing but hay. When my cousins would come to visit, we’d climb up onto the barn loft and jump down into the huge section of loose hay. It’s a wonder we didn’t kill ourselves or at least break a bone or two.
And when it got hot in the summer and we needed to cool off, we’d walk along the edge of a field of beans to get to the creek, where we’d swim until we got too tired. If you stood really still, the minnows would muster enough courage to swim up to you and nibble on your legs!
I wish every kid could have these kinds of experiences growing up. What a full childhood I had.