Monday, October 31, 2011

Cold Run Creek

courtesy of Bing.com

The first hot day of summer always meant a trip to Cold Run Creek.  In Illinois, the word ‘hot’ was a simpler way of saying: stinking, muggy, miserable, too-hot-to-work.  Going to Cold Run “Crik” was the only way to spend an afternoon until the sun moved behind the tall maple trees to the west.

The creek was spring-fed, straight from the bluffs that hovered over the creek.  Water from the springs was clear and icy cold; it rolled over smooth pebbles, and under towering trees.  Very little sun made its way to the flowing creek.

slow flowing, cool water

We would clamber down from the ’56 Ford pick-up bed, and run across the rocky slopes.  Pausing long enough to throw off shoes and lay the towels over the rocks, we raced into the frigid water.

“I was first!”  “No, you weren’t!  I was!”  Then there would be a splash war.  When our legs were numb from the knee down, we allowed ourselves to leap into the deeper water.  How deep?  Not too deep, maybe three feet.  None of us could swim.  There was a deep drop-off under a willow tree, and it was maybe five or five and-a-half feet.  We all knew where it was, where to stop walking. 

Mom and Dad would go over there, and the willow branches hung over them like a sheer curtain.  They could see us, but we could not see them.  I always wondered about that.

One time when I was new to the lay-out of the creek, I splashed over to them, and stepped off into the deep.  My dad grabbed my floating braids and pulled me up.  They all laughed, so I couldn’t cry.

I wonder how many generations enjoyed Cold Run Creek.  How many children thrilled at that first jolt of spring-cold water on a roasting hot day?  How many lovers knew about the ‘deep part’ where the willow tree sheltered and hid them? 
Those are the unanswered questions that float around the world of Cold Run Creek.

If you are hitting a wall for writing ideas, go here! 

16 comments:

  1. What a great childhood memory. I could just feel that jolt of icy water.

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  2. Great memory, sure many knew of the things or found out over the years, always fun to think about though, who else found then, how they found them, etc.

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  3. We had adventures back then, didn't we? Our moms and dads watched over us, but not like the helicopter parents of today, We learned to make decisions and live a childhood that did not include planned play dates. We just went out with a ball and jump rope and played with our friends for hours. I swam in many streams and creeks myself and was never afraid. It is a different world today.

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  4. I love stories about childhood. What I wouldn't give to be carefree in that creek right now. Love the image of your Dad pulling up your braids, keeping you safe, making you laugh instead of cry.

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  5. That creek sounds amazing and beautiful. I LOVE this post!

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  6. What a lovely post. Well written and vivid. i'll bet you were a darling little one with those braids. :)

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  7. This post sounds like someone visited our neighboring Twin Creek and sorta looks like it too. Nice photos.

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  8. This post brought back summer memories by the bucketful! Our cold spot was various places on the Lewis River. It was always cold, always refreshing. My dad would call my mom on his way home (no cell phones, he had to stop and use a phone at a grocery store!) and tell her to "pack a picnic, we're going to the river." We'd be packed and waiting for his car to pull into the driveway. He'd change into trunks and away we'd go, not heading home until dark.

    Thanks for the memories!

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  9. What a magical place you brought to us. Thank you so much. It reminded me of a river in which my father used to fish. My mother and I wandered upstream looking for somewhere to swim. It all looked too shallow, so I stepped in to walk across and see if it was deeper on the other side. Stepped in and was immediately out of my depth. The water was so clear that it looked shallow. A memory I hug to myself.

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  10. Nice pics. I can't remember warm weather anymore. =)

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  11. Sounds like an awesome place. Beautiful pictures. :-)

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  12. Dear Susan, this lyrical posting brought back memories of my childhood on the Missouri farm.

    We had a wide creek, much like the one in your photograph, that ran through the farm with eddies and rocks strewn so that water danced over them. I so remember lying there with Arthur--the imaginary lion who had accompanied me since my year of seeming abandonment. I would lie against his belly and read or snooze or simply welcome the sun's warmth. Then I'd rise and walk across the creek to adventure on the other side.

    Thank you for recalling all of this to me.

    Peace.

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  13. Dear Susan, It's Dee again, thanking you for commenting on my posting on moderation. Like you, I just can't recognize it when I see it. I think I'm being moderate--finally--only to discover that others look at this differently.

    Ah well. It takes all kinds to make up this global community!

    Peace.

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  14. Sounds like a wonderful place. When we had those hot days in Tennessee we'd take off to the Great Smokies to cool off on a mountain trail or perhaps one of the rivers or streams. It was a great place to just get away and cool down.


    Lee
    A Faraway View

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!