Creative Nonfiction Funny Romance

In the summer of 1975, Frank, Scotty, and I moved to La Pryor, Texas. We had rented an old farmhouse out in the country. This house had not been lived in for nearly twenty years, and we would face some unique problems as we made the old farmhouse into our home.

Frank and I decided to make the long drive to La Pryor a week earlier without our eighteen-month-old son, Scotty. Scotty's grandparents volunteered to keep him while we set up house in our new home. Leaving Scotty behind with his grandparents proved to be an excellent decision. Frank drove the u-haul truck with our things in it, and I followed behind in our Volkswagen Super Beetle, which was packed to the roof.

After Frank and I arrived at our new home, it became apparent that one of the obstacles we would face were large wood spiders and their webs, but the biggest obstacles were not having running water or electricity. After spending the night in a motel, and Frank made a couple of phone calls the next morning, we arrived back at the farmhouse to the water running and the electricity on. Once we unpack all of our things, Frank and I drove to his folk's home to get our son, then bring him back to his new home.

Frank was busy at the Field House with Tommy getting everything ready for the football season. They had to inventory uniforms and other supplies plus clean the shower stalls then disinfect them. Sometimes I would walk to town pushing Scotty in his stroller to help them.

On Friday, a couple of weeks after we had settled into our home and after Frank left for work, there was no water when I turned on the kitchen faucet. So, after putting Scotty in his stroller, I walked while pushing him to the landlord’s home. We did not have a well on our property, but the landlord had run PVC pipe buried shallowly underground from his house about a mile away to our home to furnish us with water. Unfortunately, this line had to go under the road, so they ran the plastic pipe through the concrete culvert.

The landlord was not at home, but his wife was, and she told me that she would have him come check it out when he got in. Later that afternoon, the landlord came to our home to see if he could locate the problem, and he found the leak was in the culvert under the road. He told me the well was working, but he had to cut off the valve to our home. But, unfortunately, his next words were not what I wanted to hear. The landlord said that it would be Monday before he could get someone to fix the leak.

Oh boy! I had a twenty-two-month-old that was mostly potty trained, but he still needed a bath, a flushing toilet, and water to drink. Not having our phone installed yet, I decided to put Scotty in the stroller then make our journey to the fieldhouse. After we arrived, I told Frank the dilemma that we were in without water at the house. Frank told me to take the car home and that he and Tommy would find some large containers to haul water in, fill them, then head on out to the house.

I loaded the stroller and Scotty into the Super Beetle, then headed home thinking that the weekend could be a long one. Frank and Tommy arrived at the house about an hour later, and to my surprise, they had stopped by the store, bought sandwich stuff, chips, and canned drinks, plus several six-packs of big boy canned drinks which were not a surprise. We had a wonderful evening, then Tommy left to go back to his place. I got gave Scotty a sponge bath after heating water in one of the skillets. Have you ever heated water in a skillet instead of a big deep pan? Well, if not, it is different but doable.

The next morning, I asked Frank, “Dimples do you have an idea how you and I are going to take a bath?’

Frank answered immediately, “Lou, we are all gonna go bathe in the river.”

Looking at his dimpled smiling face, I answered, “Frank Henderson, I am not skinny dipping with you with our son in the river!”

Well, now, Frank was laughing before he answered, “Lou, I am disappointed, but I guess we could always bathe in our swimming suits. That is unless you wanna change your mind.”

Shaking my head and laughing, I walked right past him on the way to put my swimsuit on then put Scotty’s on. When finished, I tossed Frank’s swimsuit at him, saying, “Dimples put your swimsuit on.

The Nueces River was near our home in La Pryor, Texas.

Once everyone dressed, we grabbed some soap and towels then headed in our car to the river. It was a beautiful hot summer day without a cloud in the sky. The water in the river was beautiful and the water clear. When Frank stopped the car, he, Scotty, and I got out, laid our towels on the bank then entered the water. Frigid! Ice Cold! That Nueces River was like stepping into a bucket of ice water. Frank held Scotty’s hand while I quickly washed my hair and my swimsuit body with soap, then immediately, I bathed Scotty. Scotty and I promptly left the water for the bank to dry off with our towels, but Frank was swimming in the middle of the river, laughing and having a great time when I looked back. I had to laugh but was wondering if he had some insulated skin.

Once Frigid River Man got out of the water then dried off, we drove back to the house. I asked Frank why that water was so cold on the way home, but he did not know. Later that afternoon, Tommy came for a visit, and we asked him about the frigid river water. He told us that the Nueces River was spring-fed which made it really cold. Tommy’s next words to us got Frank chased around the outside of our house by Nancy Lou while hollering, “Don’t hurt me, Lou!”

Tommy’s words, “I told Frank that you all could shower at the fieldhouse. There are lots of clean showers there. So why did you all bathe in the river?”

Needless to say, our next shower was at the fieldhouse. There was no skinny dipping that particular day and Frank cooked supper that night.

June 21, 2021 20:26

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