Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 125, May 5

As a child, I spent summers in Tennessee visiting my grandmother and other family. My sister, cousins, and I loved to cross the country road and play in a slow-moving creek. In order to get to the creek, we had to slide beneath a barbed wire fence. One of us would gingerly hold the fence up while the others crawled beneath it. Those on the other side would then repeat the process for the last person.

Crawling under a barbed wire fence is not for the squeamish. The barbs could and did tear clothing and, sometimes, flesh. Squirming under the fence involved getting up close and personal with the rich Tennessee mud and the occasional cow pie.

I look back on those days and smile, thinking of my younger, intrepid self. Navigating barbed wire fences is not unlike navigating the prickly thorns of relationships. Family and friends, church members and business associates, we all have to find our way through the maze of understanding and accepting each other.

Sometimes we are the ones left behind to hold the fence for another. At other times, we are first in line and, later, take our turn to lift the fence for the last person in line. Either way, we must do our share of the lifting. Patience and loyalty, love and unselfishness are required, with a healthy dose of humor thrown in for good measure. When we fall short, we try again.

So, for today, I am grateful for memories of barbed wire fences and the lessons they taught me.


  1. A 12-year-old friend of ours told us yesterday that she likes barbed wire.

    Barbed wire?!?!?!

    Thanks for reminding me of how we can love the prickly things in life.

    It is true. Several years ago during some very heavy rains, the window wells around our basement windows began to fill with water, because the ground simply could not hold more water. Our windows were, well, not as well-sealed as one might wish, so the water began pouring in our basement. We watched in dismay as the water level against the window rose, along with the water level on the floor of the basement.

    Then I had an idea.

    I grabbed an old laundry soap bucket as I ran upstairs, outside, and into the deluge. My idea was to bail out the window wells, but I discovered once I got outside that the only way for me to reach the water level would be to lie down in the mud. I did so, over and over, as I removed a bucket of water at a time, then sloshed through the grass to throw it. . . well. . . I didn't much care as long as it was away from the house.

    My solution was effective, but I had to stay outside in the heavy rain for a few extra minutes taking of a little of the thickest coating of mud I've had since I was a girl.

    That was fun!

  2. What a great post Mom. I wish I could have known you when you were a little girl.