Little Yellow Bucket

September 23, 2010

I grew up in a “broken home”, as they call it. My father was an abusive drug addict who terrorized my mother, myself, and my siblings. I was often left alone to deal with my own problems in life, like school bullies, my anxiety issues, and my loneliness of not having any friends. My sister and I didn’t get along, until our teen years, so I could not confide in her. My oldest brother, my hero and closest sibling, couldn’t take the abuse of my father and my mother’s unwillingness to let go of the scumbag, so he ran off into the US Army. My mother was deep into a co-dependent relationship, being the punching bag to my “father”, emotionally and physically. So, she could not be there for me or my sister. And the rule was that my sister and I were not to tell anyone, for fear that we would be taken away by child services. :-/

So, I needed an outlet for my pain, hurt, and confusion. Some children lash out or act out, when they’re in an abusive situation at home, or get into various types of trouble. My way of dealing with it, was to grab my pail and shovel and rush out into thunderstorms…

It started when I was six years old, until the age of nine when I found out the reality of what I was doing. But before then on plenty of stormy days, I would grab my little bucket and plastic shovel, put on a very thin plastic raincoat, with no shoes on, and run out into the streets. I live in the city, but the storms in Philly are often pretty brutal. :-p

I’ve been in storms, where I had to hold onto the bucket so it wouldn’t fly away, in the high winds. I’ve ducked flying trashcans and lawn chairs that flew from the neighbors’ front porches. I’ve been in side-ways flowing rain and rain-filled winds so thick, that I could hardly see two feet ahead of me! I was just a very skinny kid then, yet I was never afraid. :-)

I enjoyed it so very much! The rain would be two or three inches high, flowing down my neighborhood street, like an river. No one would be out there, just me alone, in the thunder that shook the ground and made my ears pop. I would play with my bucket in all of that rough rain, laughing and screaming, getting soaked to the bone! :-D

It stopped when I learned that I was putting myself at risk for getting struck by lightning. In Pennsylvania, it’s quite common for people to get hit (if not killed!) by lightning, especially in summer storms. I was just VERY lucky to have not gotten hit, as the trees in my nearby park were being struck down in almost every storm! :-o

But as a kid, I was often oblivious to danger… I also use to hunt down centipedes in my garden, as a hobby, because they smelled nice and minty. I didn’t realize until I was twelve years old, that the mint smell is their poison and centipedes normally sting people who bother with them! And I was a giggly and rude little girl, who would snatch up rocks in the garden and roughly pick up the insects… it’s a miracle that I had never gotten stung by an centipede. :-/

As an adult, I still enjoy the wild power of rain storms. But, I no longer go out into them and play, now that I know of the risks. Still, I miss the feeling of being one with nature, in that way, of being in the middle of high-winds and sideway rain. But, I’ll always keep my memories of those little yellow bucket days. It’s one of my happier memories of my childhood, believe it or not. ;-)




  1. Aw :) That’s a sweet story.
    Sometimes risky situations leave some of the best memories ;)

  2. Thanks! :-)
    And you’re right… I was a very naive kid, and didn’t realize I was at risk, but those times are some of the best memories I have. :-)

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