Mud

Mud. No other word draws all five senses together in such a short moment. See it ooze between tiny toes. Hear it squish as bare feet smush into it. Feel it cool and grainy, wet and slippery. Smell its fresh-after-the-rain fragrance. And taste? Why, mud pies, of course, fed to unsuspecting kid brothers and ever-loyal canine companions.

Mud - Copy

            To me, mud tastes like a tomato sandwich, slathered with butter and coated with sugar. The problem began with the fact that this delicious concoction never filled my stomach without a second helping.

            One sunny afternoon, as most teens are wont to do, I lazed in my backyard while eating my first tomato sandwich of the season. The fresh tomato juices mixed with the creamy butter and slid down my throat. The grass, sparkling in the sun, needed mowed with all the rain we’d had recently. Dad would get to it over the weekend, but for now, it soaked through my canvas sneakers as I pushed the swing to and fro.

            Suddenly, the desire for another sandwich, the tomato juicy and the sugar thick enough to chew, beckoned, and with a holler to my mom to please start making one, I ran for the house. In my eagerness, I forgot about the constant mud by the door. My wet sneakers didn’t allow me to slow down, and I slid the last several feet, trying frantically to stop. I did stop, after I crashed through the plate glass storm door into the kitchen. I lay there, sprawled on the kitchen floor, while glass cascaded around and over me. I picked myself up, dazed but miraculously unharmed except a few knicks on my arms.

            Mud. What scenes does it pull from memories long-buried? Maybe a free-for-all mud fight in a neighborhood park. Could be a tire stuck in six inches, getting deeper with each rev of the engine. Or how about rain splashing in a blessed puddle after a long drought. See it, hear it, feel it, smell it, and if you dare, taste it.

            When our senses tingle from an experience, we feel alive. We have a concrete relationship with the event. Maybe this thought caused Jesus to choose to use mud when He healed the blind man, even though He needed nothing to create this miracle. Mud – I can feel it; can you?

 Share your “muddy” story with us in the comments below.

21 thoughts on “Mud

  1. Great post and thoughtful “take away!” I also like your choices for the look of the blog, as well as the font. Very easy to jump right in- not cluttered. Nice work!!

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  2. I love mud! As a kid I remember digging a giant hole in the summer, filling it with mud, and sitting in it up to my waist like a hot tub. I would do that to cool off and make mud pies!

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  3. My husband and I trusted our four children to take care of each other as they roamed out seven- acre plot of land which included some wood land, a small stream, and a grassy field. Suzanne, twelve, kept an eye on her younger brothers, ten, eight, and six.

    They had been anxious to get outside after the three days of rain we had had. I loaded the washing machine, cleaned up some dishes, and worked on preparing their school lessons for the next day.

    A knock on the door surprised me. Usually I heard any visitors as they motored up our long steep driveway. I went out to the kitchen and peered through the window. Four muddy children met my eyes. Not just their hands and feet had disappeared under a layer of light brown shiny mud, but also their faces, arms, legs, and bodies. Every bit of clothing they wore had a coating of mud. They had stopped short of saturating their hair.

    I laughed. What else could I do? They smiled sheepishly.

    “Whose idea was this?” I looked at Suzanne, but the six-year old spoke first.

    “Sissy’s!”

    Another of them explained that the field had been covered in mud, and they had rolled in it. I was amazed that their hair had escaped.

    That was the day I made a new rule. “I don’t care if you get wet or muddy, but you’re going to clean up any mess including washing your clothes.”

    They got out the garden hose. I went back inside. After a while I heard the washer lid opening and then the dryer. The sound of the washer filling up with water next drifted to my ears. I can’t say they never got muddy again, but they always did do their own messy clothes after that.

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    • I love this story, Sandy! Thank you for sharing it! It’s exactly what I was hoping for when I started creating this blog site – the ability to share stories with one another and leave legacies to last!

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  4. I remember the fun of making mud pies as a child, so naturally thought my own children would enjoy the experience. When our toddler son came into the kitchen with a near-panicked look in his eyes, whimpered, and held out his hands for me to clean, I realized he did not inherit the “love to play in the mud” gene.

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  5. When I was little, my Grandpa found me ‘down the lane’ – in a muddy spot between two big gardens Mom and Dad kept. My little boots were stuck so he just pulled me out & carried me into the house, chuckling. For years and years, every time he saw me, he said, “Here’s my little stick-in-the-mud”. I loved it.

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  6. Hi Cathy (I finally made it here!),

    Loved your blog and that you are writing one. I’ve subscribed to it so I won’t miss any. Mud. What can I say about mud! The first thing that came to mind wasn’t truly about mud at all, but rather that “mud” is what my boys and I always called Pintos and Chesse from Taco Bell because it was shorter and easier to say! Once we actually ordered it that way at the drive-thru before realizing they wouldn’t know what we meant, lol. We still do call it that sometimes! But the image that came to mind as I was reading your story was about the day my husband and all three sons went outside after a mighty rainfall that left huge puddles in the street and yard. A mild flood. We jumped around in those mud puddles and splashed each other, laughing and being silly. Normally I would never have stood for that and it would have irriated me, the mess of it all to clean up — clothes, tracking mud in the house, everyone needing a bath and the bathtub needing a bath too afterwards! But the memory of us all splashing around in the puddles so happily is a precious memory in what was otherwise a difficult marriage. God’s grace in the midst of battle to help us through. Ha, God used a storm to save us from another storm!

    Oh I do remember making mud pies too, at my grandma’s house as a child. I hadn’t thought of that in a long while! Thanks for the memories — and I’m glad you didn’t get hurt going through the plate glass window!!

    God bless and thanks for this blog. I look forward to the next one!

    — Julie (Leafy)

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    • Hi, Julie! (Glad you made it!)

      Thanks for subscribing; I so hope you enjoy your time here!

      I think it would be hilarious to pull up to a drive-thru and order, “Three muds, please!” Ha-ha! And the grace through the storm…how often we receive that grace without knowing it. Memories to heal, memories to make us smile, memories to point us to the Maker of them. Blessings!

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  7. Wonderful story, Cathy! Enjoyed the mental images of mud, a lazy summer day, and tomato sandwiches. Nothing like the first fresh tomato of the season! We used to eat them warm and not in a sandwich. Sorry, no mud. Glad you survived the crash with just a few scratches.

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  8. Oh, Cathy, your site is so lovely. It feels homey and comfy.

    Mud.

    When we built our log cabin in the woods 14 years ago, we didn’t have grass for a while. Seemed like it was years. Probably only a few months. I remember how I got annoyed every time I walked outside. Especially after the rain. Red Georgia clay. Looking back, it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I guess it’s all in our attitude.

    Sooooo proud of you!!!!!

    ❤️❤️❤️

    I’m smiling — big time!

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    • Oh, Julie, thank you for coming to join those of us who love the stories memories bring!

      Wow, attitude…that’s the ticket. I must admit my attitude about mud is not so forgiving right now. We have a very muddy driveway which means lots of muddy shoes coming in my house, especially ones with deep tread. The floors constantly needed swept and mopped. I tried the “take them off at the door” approach, even putting a towel there to set them on. Nope. I guess I need to switch my grumpy attitude to gratefulness for the ones in those shoes and the energy to clean the floors.

      Thanks for the encouragement. You were my inspiration and taught me much about how to bless others through a blog site. I’m smiling, too, thinking of you. Blessings!

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  9. The first thing I always think of when I think about mud is my trip to Guatemala in 2012. On our third day of our mission work, we were going higher up the mountain than the previous two days, which meant we had to go in several pickup truckloads. I happened to be in the second group to go up the mountain that day and our group leader took the opportunity to lead us on a small hike down to a little stream with a waterfall. It was the middle of a hot humid July in Guatemala and it had rained the night before so the mud on that mountain was thick and sticky as glue. I can vividly recall at several points having to stop and knock mud off of my shoes on that hike as they would get so caked with mud that it would weigh my feet down, or they would just get stuck in the ground. But boy what a gorgeous little waterfall that was! Worth every bit of mud that had now ruined my fairly new shoes. Kind of reminds me of God’s plan for us: we often have times where the mud in life will weigh us down or try to stop us in our tracks but if we keep on walking, eventually God will lead us to beauty in the end!

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    • Beautiful, Andrea! I love the part about the “mud in life” weighing us down! I couldn’t help but laugh when I read “keep on walking,” because all I could think of was the Veggie Tales song, “Keep Walking”! Do you remember that one? And how Holly and Sarah made an answering machine message for me with that tune and the words, “Keep talking, but we won’t pick up the phone!” 🙂 Such a wonderful thought you drew from your experience! Thank you for sharing!

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