I’M JUST CURIOUS: What to write about

by Debbie Walker

What to write about? I might have an idea for a column and in walks Nana Dee. We start talking about a thought that came to her during the early morning hours. She remembered a few words to a rhyme she knew as a child. This usually leads into a trip on the internet to discover the rest of the words and often the origin, our subject of that day. When I found it they said it was anonymous and written possibly in late 1700. Following this you will find the rhyme as found:

Mother may I go for a swim
Yes my darling daughter
Hang your clothes on a hickory limb
But don’t go near the water.

You may look cute in your bathing suit
Now act just as you oughta
Now and then you can flirt with the men
But don’t go near the water.

That brought back a memory for me. I have always loved the water. I have also always had problems with allergies and along with that came ear and sinus infections. My mother’s answer was “You can go swimming, but don’t go under water.” Not going under water to me meant I might as well stay home. Dad taught me to swim under water and then that was all I wanted to do. It seemed he could hold his breath and swim under forever! I tested myself and my cousins on how long we could hold our breath for a long underwater swim. The part about “hanging your clothes on a hickory limb” reminded me of a story I overheard Dad telling his sister one night. He told my aunt, his sister, there was one spring when his mother was puzzled by the lack of underwear she had in the laundry for her boys.

His dad had come in from a stroll by the lake and he told Gram he had seen the oddest tree, “It is blossoming with boys underwear.” So, with that discovery they went to the boys for answers. The way the story goes: the boys were also strolling one day by the water and decided to go for an unauthorized swim. They hung their pants on tree limbs and swam in their underwear. When finished they hung their underwear in the tree and wore their pants home. The problem was they had by now done this several times.

After their reprimand about the unsupervised swimming, they could no longer go near the water until adulthood! However, I always imagined after all was said and done, both parents must have had a great laugh.

I did break some of my parents rules having to do with swimming because of my being able to hear Dad and his sister. My bedroom was downstairs near the kitchen where they would chat into the early hours of the day. I caution others to remember kids hear way more than is intended for them to hear.

I’m just curious what memories might have been brought to your mind after reading the stories. Share with me, Please! Contact me with questions and comments at DebbieWalker@townline.org. Have a wonderful week!


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