Puddle Stomper Extraordinaire

Along the Way. . .

Experiences, Insights & Humor on the “Long Road Home”

November 5, 2021

By Steven Maisenbacher

When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles. ~ Pooh Bear

Walks On The Grass

One time along the way in Phoenix, Arizona, the child in me came out to play. It had been hot as only the desert can be in July when lo and behold along came some rain, but it seems that no one told it to stop, so it rained and it rained and it rained, days on end before it finally slowed down to a sprinkle. While the ground was still soaked and everything pretty much flooded it was beautiful temp wise, upper 90’s and just as pretty as it could be. So I decided to go to the yard.

Now I do not know what came over me, but I stomped in every water puddle along the way to the rec yard. See, I have always been a puddle stomper and love the “SPLOOOSH” it makes when you stomp down in them. Smile. So I make it across the compound merrily stomping my way to the rec yard, shorts, shoes and t-shirt soaked to the skin! As you go through the gate to enter the rec yard you pass the offices for the recreation staff, then next to that the barber shop and then a little drainage concourse that slopes down on several sides and meet in a big drainage grate.

It had been raining so very hard for several days that water had filled the pipes from the drainage area and created a pool 3 – 4 feet deep and about 10 feet across, a veritable swimming pool!  Seeing this I just could not control myself.  I took off running from the patio, across the sidewalk, past the barbershop, threw myself through the air and belly flopped right into the pool of water! The feeling was amazing!

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com

But then the rec cops came out. They ordered me out of the “pool” and made me get away from the area, which was a good idea in hindsight because this was the desert and that was a scorpion that just floated past my head. So out I come and head for the track. Man, even more fun! I stomped my way around the entire 1/3 mile track thru every puddle, rivulet and wet spot I could find. When I finally got back around to the office side of the track the rec cop told me I had to leave and go back to the unit. I couldn’t believe it! I had been tossed off the rec yard for puddle stomping, a purely childish but innocent endeavor.  So I re-stomp the puddles all the way back across the compound to the cell block, thinking it was really amazing that I didn’t actually get in any trouble other than being thrown off the recreation yard and sent back to the block.

So I get back to the block, wet, soaked and saturated and the air conditioning hits me. I’m one frozen person so I come out of the soggy clothes and get into a nice warm shower. By then it’s getting near 4 pm count time, so I just go hang in the cell listening to the smooth jazz station out of Phoenix on the radio and reading or whatever. We get counted and immediately after count, when they are opening the cell doors, an announcement comes out of great P.A. speakers in the sky:

“ATTENTION COMPOUND AND HOUSING QUARTERS, THE COMPOUND IS OPEN FOR A 10-MINUTE RECREATION MOVE TO THE RECREATION YARD! REPEAT, THE COMPOUND IS OPEN FOR A 10 MINUTE MOVE TO THE RECREATIOON YARD. THE YARD IS OPEN…TO EVERYONE EXCEPT YOU, MR. MAISENBACHER, YOU CAN’T SEEM TO CONTROL YOURSELF AROUND PUDDLES.”

This was not the first time my childish behavior got me in a bit of a stew, and it sure wasn’t the last time.  But a kid has to have fun sometimes.

© Steven “Walks On The Grass” Maisenbacher, 2021

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an 80-something elder, a child of the great depression and WWII. I have lived a good life doing all the ordinary things valued by women of my generation. Through it all, I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, never quite "at home" in any group, but always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. A registered nurse by profession, I am a lifelong student with a love of writing and interests in history and genealogy. In my golden years, just when I was starting to wonder what I was going to do with the rest of my life, some unexpected things happened that led me down new and unfamiliar paths. I’ve since learned it took a lifetime of experiences to prepare me for the new challenges and opportunities to come. The lessons these new challenges bring comprise the magic elixir that keep me seeking, keep me aware, keep me vital.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: