August 13, 2008

Visit to the home river and waters of childhoods past

Sunday morning was lovely, and I was restless - I get that way every once in a while.
Mitch & the older boys were busy, so I threw some basics into a laundry basket; camera, diaper bag, towels, a few toy shovels... Tossed a small PB&J picnic in a lunch box, and took off to some old stomping grounds with the three littlest ones in the back seat.
The day was peaceful & good. Probably my best of the summer...
and I plan to have more like it.
It's always something to watch the Mighty Mississippi winding leisurely along.

Beau was taking a nap in his car seat at this point in our jaunt, so Johnathan, Lilly & I stuck close by the car while hopping out to admire the river.
We spotted some clam shells at the bottom of the steep muddy bank.
How very many of them we used to find around the mud & rocks of the river as kids just a few miles down stream from here. I remember first seeing how pretty that irridescant rainbow of color inside them was. (once you cleaned the mud & muck out.)
Another thing that sprung from my memory was the big old oaks all along the river.
The trees of my childhood.
Love those big oaks.

We admired more of them from farm to farm as we continued toward our destination for the day.

My siblings & I ran down this hill many a time to swim, more often than not with a flock of cousins. I particularly remember rolling inner tubes down it, and walking barefoot back up it carefully... the rocks were sharp and poked my feet.

You could never pass by the bright red water pump without stopping first to get a drink, or just for the fun (& challenge when I was small) of getting some cold water pumping out of it.

Often times I think places from our childhood are bigger or glorified in our minds & later on we might find them not quite what we remember them to be, or disappointed to find they've changed...
Neither was the case here. The place remains unchanged.
If anything, it's more beautiful than I realized it was as a kid. The remoteness didn't sink in then - because that's how we grew up. But now I appreciate how clean & quiet it is in comparison to the overpopulated waters we see so much of in daily life, closer to major roads & towns.

The road going in did seem more narrow, although I don't figure it's changed. I'm probably just growing used to the constant widening of roads, and that makes a narrow one stand out more now.
That was the road I once left, flying & flipping through the air on a Big Red three wheeler. :)
The kids swam with giant minnows darting around their ankles. Johnathan wished we'd brought a net so he could catch some. Next time we'll remember to do that.
We burried Lilly's legs & made a little mermaid out of her. Attempted to build sand castles & sculptures, but mostly Beau had better fun doing demo on them.

The kids ate the picnic we'd packed.
A perfect day, and we had the place to ourselves to enjoy it.
Another stop at the pump for a while.
Good that something so simple can still be so fun.
Beau was hard put to go without one last drink.

From there we explored on a bit further, Johnathan & Lilly full of questions about who lived along all the roads as we went, and listing all the people & neighbors they know. They like dirt roads & were good compnay, and Beau was very content with spending the day as we did.

We visited the little bluff area I claim as my "hometown" although actually a township. A very nice little bluff in a very rural area.
Drove by the lake I recall my grandparents landing their plane on one winter to visit us...
Where my dad would take us ice fishing when I was really small & tied me off with rope to something so I wouldn't fall in the hole. (We had a neighbor boy who did fall in his dad's spear hole once.) ... and another lake that I recalled ice skating on at one time.

Eventually we turned around & headed toward home. Stopped & visited Granny & Grampa on the way.
Once home, we had a nice dinner & backyard campfire.

A good day.
Good to revisit those places and recount some memories of them.

1 comment:

  1. What a day. Great to see kids in a river. Roll on Meche Sebe.