Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Pond/Spa Retreat

When I was 19, Dad and Mom sold the home where I'd spent 18 and a 1/2 years of my life. I was away at college. The house was packed up, my stuff with it, no good-byes. When I returned to visit my parents it was to my grandmother's house where they were living while the new house they were building was being built.

Every time I'd drive past my old home on the way to my parents new place, my heart would yearn for what once was and dreams that somehow, someday, I'd be able to buy back the place, never letting it leave the family again.

Years passed and the dream became a nightmare as the new owners divided up the land and sold some of it off and took the home that held so many memories making it into a bed and breakfast sort of place. A new garish addition was added, the barns, sheds, shop, and garage were made into apartments. What once was, could never go back.

A few years ago the place went up for sale. My family was having a family reunion at the time. We persuaded the realtor (a family friend) to let my mom and all of us girls go through the place. For old times sake.

It was tremendous fun. The owners hadn't changed much since we'd lived there. (Except the hideous addition that stuck off the side). Most of the wall paper was the same, things that dad had built were still old room still had the wall paper on the wall that I hadn't let mom change. It had been my brother's room. I adored him. I loved the nautical wall paper. I didn't want frilly girly paper.

I'd hammered in huge nails into my walls and had hung a hammock at one point. The holes I'd gouged in the walls were still there.....

Outside as we looked around, our attention was drawn to the pond up the back behind the barn. What we saw put us all into hysterics! Who were the new owners trying to kid? Placed around the pond were lounge chairs...... and fake deer placed strategically here and there. As if this were some sort of a spa/oasis!

This was the pond! The pond whose waters came down the draw. The waters that carried cow poo and who knows what all with it down to our pond and then on through our pasture then onto the neighbors! The pond that the sides and bottom were so sludgy and muddy, the water so thick, you couldn't see anything in it!

This was the pond whose waters were so filthy we'd learned at a very young age that bathing suits were pointless! When you got out, the amount of dirt caught between our skin and the fabric of our suits made it look like we still had a suit on when we peeled our bathing suits off!

No, it was much easier to just strip off your sweaty hot clothes and jump in buck naked. (You knew this right mum? You knew that your daughters would drop their chores and their drawers for a quick dip before sneaking back to our posts? You just turned a blind eye right?)

And now the owners were trying to make the pond scum look like a pool side retreat! In a country out in the middle of nowhere sort of way.....

The funny thing was, as kids, this was exactly how it looked to us! We didn't care that it was filthy, slimy, and disgusting. It was our very own backyard swimming pool. Our spa. Our get away. Our retreat......... till mum bellered out our names making us return back to what ever chore we'd tried getting out of, pretending we'd just gone to the bathroom or some other excuse we'd cook up, not realizing that our sopping wet hair running muddy rivulets down our backs was a dead give a way as to what we'd been up to.


  1. oh i love it. fun fun fun. i love reading about your childhood memories. no wonder you are so fabulous!

  2. you're so lucky you had a pond in your backyard. even if it was filled with cow poop- :)

  3. In some creative way, I am going to incorporate, "drop their chores and their drawers" into a conversation today. It's just so poetic that I know my kids would love shouting it from the rooftops.

  4. I love it! I love the pond/spa. I love what kids can think of when trying to get out of chores.

  5. A pond in your backyard! One more reason that I'm envious of those raised on ranches. :)

  6. I'm with Lyndee: "chores and drawers" "chores and drawers" "chores and drawers" I'll be chanting it all day. :)

  7. I love Hannah's comment.

    Now I wish I had a pond- not for the kids...for ME! I think I could handle "dropping my chores and drawers" for a little spa day right now.

    I also love that you had a hammock in your room.

  8. I've done that. Gone back. It's odd. So odd. Our LA house, 40 years without us? I went back there and same thing - things my dad had built. Same this, same that.I think that life confuses me. I'd probably reacted better to it if there had been a couple of plastic deer in the back yard . . .

  9. There is something amazing about going back to the places we grew up…the memories just seem to be there waiting.

  10. Misty, They were good ones. Most of them. Some I'll never tell. :D My mum reads this ya know. ;)

    Hanna, I was lucky wasn't I? It's not until we're older that we realized how good we had it. Remember that Miss Hanna. :D

    Lyndee, So, how did the "drop your chores and your drawers" turn out for you? Hopefully as exciting as it was for me to live it! (Secret: If I lived out in the boonies like I used to, I'd still do it to this day. Don't tell anyone I told you that!!)

    Chastina, Amazing the amount of work a kid goes to getting out of doing chores isn't it? I used to put in more effort and work getting out of my chores than the chores themselves!

    Melissa, And a private personal ice rink in the winter!!

    Anaise, Keep saying that and you'll find yourself out in the back in your pond!

    Natalie, I love Hanna's comment as well. Good girl, that one.

    You and me both. Think anyone would notice if I tried that in the ditch next to my house?

    Yeah, the hammock lasted all of a day or so before I got in trouble....

    Kristen, Naw! What you need is plastic pink flamingos. It really took me back seeing all the stuff that was the same.

    Anony, Many memories waiting to be written down and many memories I thought forgotten...... triggered by a moment and remembered.

  11. Rachel, I LOVE reading your memories! And that was a goal for me this year - to condense my journals and get some memories down for my kids and grandkids to read (I have a blog created for it, but haven't started writing!! :O). Once again, I'm inspired. PS I hate to admit it, but I did skinny dip once with a cousin of mine in the pool in our back yard (at night... mom would have FLIPPED if she found out! - SHE COULD NOT KNOW!). Perhaps I should write about THAT! ;D

  12. Walking back in time is so great. Walking back in time with family and actually go somewhere to experience it? Super awesome. How cool!

  13. Corine, Ooooh the stories we could tell eh? What our mum's don't know.... And now that I'm a mum, makes me wonder what The Native's are keeping from ME!!

    Jody, It really was a fun experience walking through with my mum and sisters. A lot of memories down that lane.


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