Water hoses and summer fun

Published 11:00 pm Friday, June 28, 2013

“What are you saying, Granma?

“I said … ‘Do you want to go play under the water hose?’”

There was hesitation and apprehension, “What’s that?”

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“It’s where you turn on the water hose and play in the water.”

My grandson didn’t even answer me – just shook his head, no.

He went in the den, picked up a book and pretended to be reading. But I could see his eyes peering at me over the upheld book. His eyes followed me – a crazy ol’ woman – across the room.

He wanted to go swimming but his friend was sick so my best offer was the water hose.

When I was growing up, playing in the water hose was unbridled fun. I didn’t get to do it often. That would have been wasting water. But, every now and then, it was allowed … or done anyway.

We were left to our on devices for entertainment.

My grandmother kept a water hose hanging on the fence in the chicken yard. If nobody was around, Betty Kay and I would take advantage of the opportunity.

One of us would spray the water high in the air and the other would run under it or through it. We would jump over shooting streams of water, moving the stream just a little higher with each successful jump.

But the most fun came when the grass and ground got sopping wet and as slippery as glass. We’d get a running start and hit the ground in a full-blown slide.

Fanny slides and knee slides were fun but the ultimate slide was the cookie pan slide. There was nothing as daring as running and jumping on the cookie pan and zooming across the wet, slippery ground as fast as greased lightning.

One day, we found an old oscillating sprinkler in the trash pile and got the idea to hook it up to the water hose and play in the water as it chook, chook, chooked around.

We screwed the sprinkler on the water hose and turned on the water. We were having the most fun running and jumping in the sprinkler water until the sprinkler chooked to a stop. Julia Faye tried to get it going again but got her finger pinched in the mechanism and couldn’t get it out.

She started hollering and crying so I put my hand over her mouth so nobody would hear her. She bit my hand and I let go.

Out came my grandmother, my mama and her mama and there we stood with the water hose running full blast and Betty Kay’s finger caught in the rusty sprinkler. Betty Kay’s mama got her finger out and marched her home, dragging her along with a tight grip on her humerus. Mamas could abuse their children back then.

My grandmother turned off the water and “me and Mama” went on to the house where she kept a keen peach tree switch on top of the refrigerator.

Speaking for myself, the switching was worth it for all the fun we had. I couldn’t say for Betty Kay.