Stuck in the Mud

If there has been a theme of the week, it is that I don’t want to do anything. I don’t think there is anything wrong with me except that I’d like to be on vacation more than I would like to be at work. If given the choice, I would choose a tropical locale by myself for vacation. Just saying. I feel glacial, like I need to slowly move from one thing to the next… or not at all. My feet have lost their hustle. I just want to be.

This may come as a shock, but the world doesn’t stop for me. I’m not independently wealthy. Shit still has to get done. I need to get unstuck. All of this reminded me of the time I was stuck in the mud.

In the Spring of 1983, I was a tender age five and was growing up on a country gravel road. By spring, it was probably late May and the snow was just completing its final melt in Minnesota. (I don’t really remember what month it was, but I do know it was a wet soggy mess time of year.) We lived on a sweet little horseshoe road where I lived on one end and my best friend lived on the other. It was 1983 and small-town America, so we were allowed to walk back and forth to each others’  houses.

On this specific day, Brooke and I had spent the afternoon playing Barbies at her house. We packed up my Barbie and her accessories in the hard plastic hat box that to this day holds all things Barbie at my parents’ house. I’m not sure what possessed us, but we decided to forgo the straight line direct route between our two houses and take the entire horseshoe.

We trudged up the hill of the long way. As we turned the bend of the horseshoe, the ground got sticky. Without abandon we continued on. As the mud oozed over our feet, I lost my left shoe. It was sucked down in the gooey mess. This lost shoe was likely to be my mother’s defense in her murder of me. Lucky for all of us, I found it. Unlucky for me, I couldn’t get it to stay on my foot so I carried it. Luckily I was so filthy by the time I got home, I’m near certain my mother didn’t know this meaningless fact until…well…right now. Unluckily for Brooke and I, my mother didn’t appreciate messes.

When we were in the thick of the mud, we knew we were in trouble, but we were together. It didn’t matter that we were stuck. My best friend was by my side and we were pulling each other through. Laughing the entire time.

Our arrival at my house was not met with any joy that had been displayed on that muddy mess of a hill. My mother isn’t prone to anger, but being a mother now I can see how she was justified in her visceral reaction. She cleaned us up and sent us to opposite corners of the living room as punishment. I had never stood in a corner before and I don’t think I did it after. I wonder if she and her best friend laughed after the fact or if they drank wine to quell the rage (I don’t think wine existed in the early 80s… at least in that form.)

Decades later, I remember the delight of our adventure and the granular detail of the joy we shared. I wish I remembered what caused us to take the long way. Had we been older (or contemplated the consequences of our choices) we likely would have turned back at the first soggy step.

I’m not sure what is making me feel stuck/unmotivated/desiring to glide vs. put in the hard work. This may be the first soggy step and reason would tell me to turn around and head back to what I know and a path that has worked in the past. I think I’m going to trudge through this one and see what is there. It might be more trouble than it is worth or in 20 years Iw ill still be smiling about the experience.

4 thoughts on “Stuck in the Mud

  1. I remember this incident well. Knowing what I know now as a Mimi, muddy boots, shoes, hands and faces are a minor mishap. Had I been then who I am now, I may have said, “Lets go back out and roll in this mud and make mud pies and have a mudball fight.” Wouldn’t have that been fun?! And then had a wonderful shower afterwards with hot chocolate to follow.


    • What a great piece of advice for the mom in the trenches. What would grandma do? I know it can’t always be that way, but sometimes it can. I love you! And you will always be the perfect mom for me.


  2. I swear we are sisters from another mister. I also have my own stuck in the mud incident. It was my sister, my cousin and I. I freaked out about my boot getting stuck in the mud so I shook mud all over the three of us.


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