Dec 23, 2011

Rain "Shower"

Kellie Elmore hosts Free Write Friday on her blog Magic in the Backyard. Today's prompt was to create a story either real or fictional to tell around the fireplace to warm these chilly winter days. I decided to share a story of my youth....

I grew up in a rather primitive setting when compared to today's standard of living in the United States. My family of five lived in a small four room house with electricity and running water to the kitchen, but no indoor bathroom. That wasn't added to the home until I was eighteen years old. Just imagine camping every day for years. That was sort of what it was like. The house was warm and cozy, but it would have been nice to have more modern amenities. When thinking about a story to tell around the fireplace, I remembered the time my sister Debby and I played in the rain.

My youngest sister, Debby and I were closest in age and closest in mischief. We were always roaming the woods that surrounded our home. There were many days we would be gone for hours wading through creeks, climbing trees and exploring the terrain of the rocky hills on a farm across from us. In the warm months of the year we spent more time outdoors than indoors. It was perfectly natural to equate a summer rain with a chance to wash our hair.

I am not sure whose idea it was to run outside in a rainstorm with a bottle of shampoo. I am sure it didn't take any convincing to get the other sibling to join in. It was just the perfect day to take a shower. Of course we were fully clothed in shorts and t-shirts, but the falling rain felt delightful. We lathered up our hair with the shampoo and danced in the rain. There was so much freedom in embracing the moment of unrestrained joy. We giggled as we lifted our faces skyward to let the rain run down our cheeks.

This rain "shower" story is one my sister and I hold close to our hearts. We were both teenagers when we washed our hair in the rain, and were well aware of what that tiny house lacked as compared to our friends' houses. That day it didn't matter. It was a magical day of freedom and joy. Rain not only brought water to thirsty vegetation that day but brought water to the spirits of two sisters to help them grow a memory.

Photograph: Murray Mitchell
Free Write Friday


  1. thank you for sharing this beautiful memory of childhood with me Susie. You made me think of my sister and recall the many times we played in the creek and the woods near my grandmas house. What an imagination we had back then. If only kids didn't have xbox and playstations then they would have such memories as well. Almost sad, that imagination is dying :( Thank you for keeping it alive and for sharing this with FWF. I always enjoy reading you, you make me smile. Hope you know that. Happy holidays! xox

  2. Thank you Kellie. I am so glad I could bring such fond memories to you. Happy Holidays to you!


  3. That was a beautiful, touching story. Does Debby blog too?

  4. Thank you Ben. Debby doesn't have a blog.

  5. I feel there is something to be said of our humble environment that we grew up in. In my own case, it made me the free spirit that I am and many times I go back in time to when I roamed free and wild like the wild animals we grew up amongst. These are precious memories that I will forever hold in my heart and try to pass on to Izzy and Bodhi so they too can know the joy of being wild and free. Thanks for sharing our rainshower shampoo...

  6. You blogs never fail to put a smile on my lips....:) it does sound 'difficult' not to have an indoor bathroom... but, shampooing your hair in the rain is some experience... :) I hope, your parents didnt get mad at you girls.... my mummy wudve gone crazy had i done somethin like dat!!!! :D

  7. What a wonderful story..... can't imagine the freedom showering in the wild or having the wherewithall to even think it up!

    What great memories you must have!

  8. Brenda, I do have a lot of great memories and so many more stories to tell.