Thursday, April 30, 2009

Puddle City and "The Ditch Kids"

One spring a few years ago, probably right after the kids and I "retired" from the daycare job, I noticed boys in rubber boots trudging down our road to the creek. They'd be carrying buckets but no fishing poles, so my best guess was that they were hunting crawdads. Another thing I noticed was their footwear, which was not typical for modern day kids but did jog memories from my childhood. The boys were wearing rubber boots like the ones in this picture.

For some reason, I thought those boots, especially the green version with yellow trim, were made for sloshing through shhhhh, um, sludge in barnyards. It never dawned on me that you could buy them at Wal-Mart or that they are available in kid and adult sizes. Aha! What a revelation when I did discover them at our Wal-Mart! We got a pair for Kate, a pair for James, a pair for me, and even a pair for our niece Victoria. Woooooooohooooooooooo! Do you know how much fun it is to ramble through the backyard and down the edges of the neighbor's field, hunting for giant puddles, sloshing and stomping through the water, and occasionally getting a boot suction-stuck in the mud?

We haven't gotten the boots on our feet yet this spring (although the ones in the pic are really ours, and the puddle is one that always forms at the end of the driveway). Today looks like it could be the day to play in what I think could be called Puddle City! Okay, so Irvington, population 800 on a busy afternoon, is not technically a city, but that could still be a terrific nickname for our little town.

Yep, Puddle City, home of "The Ditch Kids." You see, the story goes that two teachers from our little town were both teaching at a school in the bigger town nearby (population 12,000, which is really oh so much bigger, wink). Mrs. Bennett told me that she and Mrs. Obermeier would inevitably mention the Irvington kids' ditch explorations every spring. One year, as signs of spring became apparent, one of the other teachers asked the Irvington women whether or not "the ditch kids" were out yet. What a perfectly wonderful, absolutely descriptive name for it! If I had the patience to write chapter books, I'd be all over that title! Can't you just see it?

The Ditch Kids and Their Puddle Town Adventures
Speaking of children's book adventures, James and Kate and I started reading Roald Dahl's The BFG last night. Oh, my, oh, my, we are going to have fun with that story! James actually guessed that BFG stood for Big Friendly Giant, and Kate giggled through the descriptions of how human beans taste, even though she didn't "get" all of the jokes.
Well, time for me to do a few more things and contemplate whether our afternoon should involve rubber boots and puddles or a quick trip out of town to the nearest Lowe's or both :)


Deb said...

Ahhh 'Gumboots'.....well, here in Kiwiland that's what they are called. In the UK they are 'Wellington Boots', Wellies for short lol!

Funny you should mention footwear - I have a couple of blog posts related to the subject.I have a couple of gumboot stories that I could share...although one involves me being a member of the fashion police brigade, so maybe not. I was reminded of it while shopping the other day ;o)

Listen to this (no images on the full version I'm afraid).... but try to remember it was the 70's (in little old NZ)!!

Have fun stomping through the puddles

Maggie said...

Stomping through puddles sounds wonderful, especially in those boots. Enjoy Puddle City and The BFG. Roald Dahl must have been a very interesting man.

Deb said...

Oh my - I forgot to say enjoy reading BFG. I love Roald Dahl...oops, I mean my kids all loved Roald Dahl.
I think I still own a copy of Roald Dahls Revolting Rhymes, among others.

kelleysbeads said...

I have a copy of the BFG in my front seat, just waiting to be read to the kids. Still debating on whether the boy child is really old enough (he's 6) since I didn't read it till 4th grade. Roald Dahl is the best!

And awesome title for a should sell it :)

angelinabeadalina said...

Hey, Deb, I started to write "gumboots" and then decided I wasn't sure that was the right name, LOL.

Yeah, K, Katie will be 7 in a few weeks, James is going to be 8 in June, and I know they didn't get all the jokes or subtle remarks. I figure they'll end up re-reading it sometime or another least, I hope they are like me and learn that favorite books are like old friends that can be revisited :)

Interesting man, no joke, Maggie. Can you imagine the imagination?

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James knows that song, Deb!! And somehow, the link started on youtube and then went to Electric Man 2, which is where James told me he'd heard the song!

Laurie Whitney - Mermaid Glass said...

We call them 'barn boots' and everyone at our house has a pair but me. I just go barefoot when I'm hunting tadpoles in the ditch!

rosebud101 said...

Ang, Now, again, you are showing us all the wonderful memories you are giving to your children. I think that's what really terrific Mom's do! How fun is that? The Ditch Kids sounds like a great children's book series!

Diana Ferreira said...

I could definately use a pair of Wellies here. We got our first winder rains this past week. The sky is tinged with a yellow hue now and dark grey clouds is laying heavy above our roofs. Soup time has hit the Grieguszies household bigtime. Yesterday was mushy pea soup, today we will eat chicken soup. Luckily both me and the darling beloved love soupy food!

My hiking boots will have to do duty when we go and pick the first wild mushrooms soon. I hope we can find some, after all the destructive forrest fires we had a couple of months ago.

Squast the gumboot said to his twin ...

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