Playing in the Water

Growing up in the country gave us ample time in the summer to roam the pastures and the sparse woods. On searingly hot Kansas days, we often played in the creek. Water provides hours of fun for children. We created holding pools with small dams of gravel and mud to hold the crawdads and minnows that we captured. Wading up the stream, we floated short sticks as our pretend-boats and followed them as they twisted and turned with the flow of the current.

When thirsty, we cupped our hands to scoop up the chilled water that bubbled up through the sandy bottom of the spring. With nary a thought about bacteria, we quenched our thirst. Barefooted, we waded over slippery stones and whiled away the hours.

summer 1953

karen in creek

Karen Martin playing in the creek.

These photos from 1954 show my sister Karen taking the time to smell the wildflowers and enjoying some bare-footing. She was the youngest of five, so amply supervised by older siblings. Later, Shannon was born so then we became the six Martin kids.

toddler shannon and fish June 1963, may be late development

Shannon Martin with a fish.

We were so lucky to have a free-range childhood. I encourage parents to give your child unstructured time in the outdoors to play and explore. I’m sure our mom (Gail Lee Martin) relished some child-free time each day for her own sanity.

This post was inspired by the Sepia Saturday challenge. Their photo to match for this Saturday showed a vintage couple in a tidal area. Since Kansas is a long way from the sea, I used the water theme for my match.

Sepia Saturday 527 - 4 July 2020

This post is a day early for the challenge as I already have a 4th of July post planned for tomorrow. See you then.