Swimming in the creek

A friend and I were talking last week about things that we did as children that we hoped to hell that our children wouldn’t do.  We had little fear and I’m sure our parents thought we were doing things just to deliberately piss them off.  Which is probably what many of us think about our kids now!

The creek when it was flooded in 2011

The creek when it was flooded in 2011

The town that I grew up in had a creek outside of town.  When it flooded it cut off the town from three directions..rendering the place an island.  Most of the time though it was a creek that at it’s deepest point near the bridge was only about 2 metres deep.  That of course didn’t stop us from jumping out of trees into the water.

The rush of free falling from the tree was amazing, and for those few seconds it felt like I was flying.  Of course the adults in our lives all told us we would break our necks and die if we continue to do it.  This, as does most warnings from the ‘rents, just made us want to do it more.

The smell that came from the creek was pungent.  It was no doubt because when it wasn’t flooded, the creek was stagnant.  One of our teachers banned all show and tell stories about swimming in the creek because she said it make her skin crawl.  We all just thought she was a lame city slicker.

The creek bed was thick and clay like.  It would stick to everything and turn rock hard if it wasn’t washed off straight away.  We would stomp along the creek bed barefoot to make boots to walk home in.  It was much easier than trying to put shoes back on.  Even though the creek was only about 200m away from the edge of town, after a day of swimming and being in the sun it always felt like a marathon effort.

My friends and I would often go walking down to the creek after school, which had a road through it when the creek was low.  It was a pretty decent walk, and the school often used the road for cross country.

One warning that my mum (if we had stopped at my place after school that is) always gave me if I went down in my uniform was ‘don’t go swimming’.  On one walk we came across what appeared to be a small puddle.  We had all be given the instruction not to get our uniforms wet.  It’s only a puddle, I said, we’ll be fine I said.  I went first, took two steps and ended up neck deep in water.  It was hilarious…until we realised my school uniform was saturated.  We ran around trying to dry it, and stayed out as long as we could but I had to drag my sorry arse home.  Thankfully I got nothing more than a shake of the head and instructions to hang my clothes out so they would dry at least.

I miss the days of carefree swimming in the creek and not caring that our feet were so badly caked with mud that we weren’t sure if we could get it all off.  I miss the days of having no responsibility.

Did you have a creek or local swimming hole near where you grew up?

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10 thoughts on “Swimming in the creek

  1. Me

    We didn’t have anything like that but I loved reading about what you did when you were growing up near a creek !!!
    Have the best day !

  2. Emma Fahy Davis

    We didn’t have a creek near us, but your post reminds me of long, lazy summer holidays when my mother would throw us out the door at 8am and we’d stay out until dusk, coming in only to raid the cupboards. Those days were so carefree, we worried about nothing more than whether the boy across the road was going to get us with his Nerf water pistol. Oh to have that freedom again!

  3. Rita

    No, I didn’t have any creek or local swimming hole near my house when I was younger. But, loved reading your post! What great memories!

  4. Alison

    Your creek reminds me of the River Cart, which ran down the back of the high flats where I grew up. We were constantly playing in and around it, easily skipping the half arsed fence the council put up at it’s higher points, though nobody wentt swimming, it was too cold, weedy dark, muddy, rat infested and mysteriously filthy for that.

    One night a teenage Hector jumped in The Cart from the bridge, a twenty foot drop at least, to escape the wrath of his father. Amazing he survived really considering it wasn’t that deep at that point. The local boys used to build rafts and now and then you would see a couple of them whizzing past – terrified but acting cool – clinging to the beams, being whisked towards the Pollok Estate and destination unknown.

    I remember once, at the steepest point of the bank, it crumbling out from under me as I plowtered around there, and falling straight down, only saving myself from tumbling down into the black, weed infested water by grabbing a handful of plants sticking out of what was basically a cliff face at that point. Mental. SO glad there is nothing like that in these parts. And one boy did die though I didn’t know that at the time. Drowned, poor soul. Not sure why our parents didn’t tell us . Then again, considering we roamed the streets in packs from morning till night unattended The Cart was probably the least of our worries!

  5. Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy

    We didn’t have a local creek or swimming hole, but I do remember we had a lot of bush and my friend, her brother and I would always take a packed lunch and go walking and riding deep into the bush and came across little ponds where we’d catch yabbies. There’s no way in the world I’d let me son wonder through the bush like we did, but it was so normal and riding our bikes around the neighborhood. It just doesn’t happen these days, I rarely see children out in their yards anymore.

  6. Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    No swimming hole where I lived but I do remember riding around for hours on my bike all around my hometown. My parents would have no idea where I was – I really hope my kids don’t do the same when they get a little older!

  7. Zanni Louise

    There is such a freedom in being a kid! I have similar memories of being wild, and free as a kid, roaming properties and making cubbies in the bush. I can never imagine letting my kids do the same! But I guess we survived 🙂
    Thanks so much for linking up for Sunshine Sundays, and bringing back memories of my own childhood for me. x

  8. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen

    Yes, we had a creek just down the road, and our school holidays were spent there every day until dark. When I think of it now, it does make me wonder if I’d let Bell do the same, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t But, different times I guess. x


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