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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Belly Bust
By Ramona Cook
04/06/13


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Children everywhere find ways and places to play. Those who live in remote places and those who live in developed geographical locations all find places to play and to enjoy life. Children are dreamers, they are innovative.

Most children love the water; but what does a child do who lives in the undeveloped areas where there are no swimming pools and no YMCA to instruct them about swimming? I happen to know what some children do.

I was born in the rugged and undeveloped mountains of West Virginia. When I say "undeveloped" I mean we had no electricity and no indoor plumbing. There was no telephone. Our only contact with the world was the radio, and occasional trips to the store which happened about twice a year.

My birthplace is developed now and remains a beautiful place, but it was more beautiful when it was simply natural.

Warm weather was a short seasonal experience. The creeks and streams were swollen when the Spring thaw came and the melted snow followed the pull of gravity rushing to the lowest level it could find, which was where we lived.

We followed the suggestion of our parents that if we wanted to swim in water then we must build a dam and capture the water so that it could be our swimming pool. Rocks and bushes were plentiful so we set ourselves to finding the widest place of the creek to make as large a pool as we could build. This was possible only after the Spring thaw subsided enough that there was water flowing but not rushing downhill. We constructed "diving boards" and we dove and we swam.

I could never learn the art of the "dive" and every time I tried to learn it all I could achieve was "the belly bust." What a splash that made! Not only did it make me an object of teasing with the other children but it made my stomach hurt. So I learned to get into the water from the creek bank. It won for me no acclaim with my peers, but I did enjoy the water and the swimming anyway.

Life is like that; we may not be able to do the fantastic feats, but we need not recluse into total removal of ourselves from engaging in the good things that give us enjoyment.


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This article has been read 198 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith04/11/13
This is so descriptive - so very beautiful. I would love to have shared this part of your childhood. Thank you for taking me home with you . . .
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/12/13
This was an interesting trip to the past. It made me think of the TV show the Waltons. This will be a nice story to hand down to future generations who can barely imagine life back then.
CD Swanson 04/13/13
Thank you for sharing this piece with us and giving us a glimpse into your life. Nicely done, I loved it.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/13
Congratulations on ranking 6 in level two! (The highest rankings can be found in the message boards)