Spring Rains and Our Bucket List

The rains subsided at noon and Jean and I scarfed down our bologna sandwiches and ran outside with our bucket at 12:05.  The wet ground squished between our toes.  I set the metal bucket down, pulled out an empty pill bottle, perfect for holding dirt, and began flipping over the small pavement stones while Jean dug with her toy spade.  Handfuls of long, glorious worms writhed below each stone, some two or three segments long.  I tossed them into the bucket.  Jean threw in some of the cool mud/dirt she dug up, so the worms could eat.

We had a strict bucket list.  Only worms, dirt, rocks, leaves, grass, and Roly Pollies were allowed in.  No oranges, spiders, or crickets.  We traveled the four corners of the backyard, digging and splashing.  As the bucket filled up, it got too heavy to lift and we left it by an orange tree, running back every minute or so to fill it, yelling what we were putting in it:  “Six worms, two Roly Pollies, eight leaves, and a rock,” I’d yell.  And Jean, who couldn’t yet count, would say, “Six worms, two Roly Pollies, eight leaves, and a rock,” as she put three worms and a handful of leaves in.

After the bucket was full, we divvied up our loot.  I could count to twenty pretty well and was sure we had about ten-thousand worms.  I split the extra long ones so we had even more and shoved them in my pill bottle with a leaf to eat.  Jean got most of the Roly Pollies and the one ladybug that had snuck in there.  Neither of us really wanted the rocks or the dirt, so we dumped it out.

Jean is reaching in the bucket, jealous of my pill bottle full of worms.

I set my pill bottle down and Jean threw her Roly Pollies.  We went back inside.  It was 12:20.

It rained all last week.  The sun finally came out on Friday and we went for a walk.  There, just writhing on the sidewalk, was the first worm Zach had ever seen.  He looked at it.

He's checking the squirmy thing out.

He grabbed it.

After about a minute of getting his fingers just right, he picked it up (about two seconds later, he tried to get it in his mouth).

And then he squeezed it into two worms!

Zach had never had a toy that doubled in front of his eyes! We threw the worm in the grass before Zach could make it triple.

About Jimmy

The stories herein are about a sentimental 80s child who cried at every showing of ET (the sad part where he was lying in the wash) and his families, then and now. His wife, son, parents, and siblings play their parts well. They have their exits and their entrances. Sometimes their exits are sad, but not as sad as ET.
This entry was posted in Elementary School, Life, memoir, Nostalgia and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Spring Rains and Our Bucket List

  1. inkline says:

    I was afraid it would be his math lesson for the day.
    Afraid he’d want to practice subtraction after the division.
    Afraid his problem would be something like…
    There was one worm. It broke in half under the pressure of an infant’s finger and thumb. The little boy ate one half. What’s left?

  2. Dianna says:

    Somehow I KNEW that worm would be headed for Zach’s mouth….ugh!
    Love the story and picture of you and Jean.

  3. terry1954 says:

    what a cool story!

  4. Adrienne says:

    yes, all of us were waiting for the worm to get swallowed…don’t think I ever dug in the dirt as a kid. What a shame.

    • Jimmy says:

      A shame indeed. Dirt and I were fast friends. Armed with a spoon for digging and a recently departed storm, I could spend hours in all kinds of dirt!

      Regarding the worm, Zach was fast, but I’m still faster. I, too, was waiting for that worm to go toward his mouth.

  5. I am so happy he didn’t taste his first worm!

  6. Mom says:

    Great story, Jim, but let’s face it, you were never too fond of Jeanne’s worms.

  7. Maxi says:

    Would love to be a fly on the wall when Zach gets his first look at these stories. Blessings – Maxi

  8. Dor says:

    I’m afraid to admit it, but I don’t know what a Roly Pollie is! What I do know is that you have the heart of a child. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jimmy says:

      I think it depends on what part of the country you’re from. Some people call them potato bugs and some call them pill bugs. They’re hard shelled, dark blue, little crawlers that roll into a ball when you touch them. They’re loads of fun when you’re four years old!

  9. Oh gross! 🙂
    I’m glad you put the worm back in the grass. ha!
    I’m amazed at how you remember your childhood. I have a hard time remembering yesterday.

    • Jimmy says:

      Ironically, I don’t remember yesterday so well either. My childhood, however, is seared on my brain as a series of images, misdeeds, and people. The people sometimes think my memory is faulty (see my mom’s comment above). The fact that I remember it that way makes it true to me.

  10. Hey Jimmy, I just nominated you for a blog award–the Liebster Award. Check out my blog for details. I don’t know if you do this sort of stuff, but if you do, here ya go!

  11. The boys and I make a big deal about heading out after a big rain to do “worm rescues”. Hundreds come out on our top driveway and will certainly cook, if we don’t relocate them. It’s almost as fun as spotting a rainbow after a storm…….but squirmier. 🙂

  12. Eww…worms. When I was little, a neighbor girl used to chase her sister and me and throw fishing worms on us. Bad memory I managed to squelch when my own kids found fascination in digging for worms. I just knew that worm was destined to find its way into your adorable baby boy’s mouth! Fun post, as always! So here’s what I want to know. Who was the photographer that documented all of these story-worthy moments in your life? If it was your mom, she was a way better mom than me! 😀

  13. Mama J says:

    Great post and nice pics! My 3 year old loves worms too. The first time he saw them in a pile of vermicompost, he dug his hand straight in and got a mighty handful!

  14. Ha! Yea that could have made for an interesting math lesson.

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