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Memory Monday-Barbie Goes Sailing

Memory Monday-Barbie Goes Sailing

Memory Monday-It’s a thing…

Over the past week, we’ve had a lot of snow, sleet, and rain where I live. Last week, it seemed like there were winter weather advisories every day. The temperature fell to sub-zero. Now, we are hovering above the freezing mark and all the pretty, white snow is turning to brown slushy mush. The winter weather advisories have been replaced with flood warnings as the snow melts and causes local streams to overflow. The probable flood made me think about the challenges of flooding at my grandmother’s house.

From Granny’s house, we had to cross a small branch and a larger creek to get to the main road. The creek bordered two of our hay fields and then curved back toward the house at the far end of the western end of the field. Along the side of the house, there was a small branch that follow out of the holler (local lingo, not a misspelling) and into the creek. Even with the hayfields giving us some distance from the creek, during heavy rains we would get flooded in (or out depending which side of the creek you were on when the rain started).

To get to the main road, we had to cross two bridges. The first was small foot bridge about six feet or so from the bed of the branch. It was same the bridge I was shoved off of when I broke both my arms. From there, we had a path between the branch and a second hayfield that lead to the larger swinging bridge that spanned the creek. Near the foot of the swinging bridge, there was a small grassy area, sort of like a little meadow, that flooded as well. Once the water retreated back to the banks of the creek and branch, this little grassy area would drain slowly forcing us to walk around edge of the meadow for a few days.

Flood waters cutting off access between Granny’s house and the road happened a few times a year. Winter snow melting, spring rains, and summer thunderstorms could cause a flood at any time of the year. One summer, before school ended for the year, we had some pop up thunder storms and I ended up missing a few days of school. The water finally fell enough that I could get to the road so I was back to school. I got off the bus on this particular afternoon and headed toward my house. Water was still backed up in the meadow, but low enough I could walk around it. I crossed the swinging bridge and noticed something floating in the pooled flood waters.

Once I was close enough to see what it was, I flew into a rage! Someone had taken two of my Barbie dolls and put them in a toy boat and set them adrift in the water. Naked. My dolls were sailing NAKED around a flood pool.

It wasn’t hard to figure out the guilty party once I got inside the house. My cousin Kurt was already doubled over and laughing. I’m sure I threw a fit over the naked dolls. I imagine there was lots of shouting and foot stomping. I remember being mad at Kurt for weeks after the incident. Granny made Kurt go retrieve my dolls and I’m pretty sure she thought the entire situation was funny although she would have never let me see her laugh about it.

I found no humor in the situation at all at the time. Now, I wish I had a picture of the naked sailors.


From the road with Granny's house in the distance.

From the road with Granny’s house in the distance.


About Marsha Blevins, Author

Marsha Blevins lives in West Virginia with her boyfriend and six fur-children. She earned her B.A. in English with a concentration on writing from Marshall University. Two of her short stories and several poems were published in the university’s literary magazine, Et Cetera. She is an active member of the writing group Wicked Wordsmiths of the West and WV Writers. Follow her at on Facebook at, on Twitter @marbleswords.

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