Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playin' in the Creek

I love this picture. It is a picture of my niece and nephew and cousins playin' in the creek at Chief Logan State Park in Logan, WV. They are playing in the exact same spot where I used to play with my aunt and uncles and cousins when I was a kid.

We used to spend every family reunion playing in the creek. My mom would always tell us we weren't allowed when the day would start but by the end of the day she would relent and we would spend hours wading with our styrofoam cups and catching crawdads, salamanders and minnows.

We would also spend hours excavating and dredging the creek to build a dam so we could have a swimming hole. We happily carried rocks and mud and piled them so we could lounge in the cool water on a hot summers day. We used to joke that they actually forced prisoners to break rocks all day but we did it voluntarily for hours upon end. Most of our dams were complete failures that allowed more water through than they held back but occasionally our hard work would pay off and the water would actually be deep enough to float and swim (in tiny circles).

The best times were when my uncles would join us. They were masteminds at building dams and they ALWAYS got good results. We would be begging to help them but they would make us stay out of the way until the dam was completed. Then we could enjoy the fruits of their labors. They were also in charge of swinging on the grapevines. We weren't allowed to swing on them until they tested them to make sure they were strong enough to hold our weight.

Probably the best day ever in my childhood was the day my mom took us to the park and left us for the day. We walked every square inch of that creek which is about 2 miles long in one direction and then it forks about a mile in the other direction. We were everywhere. At the end of the day she picked us up and we were so dirty and wet that she made us ride in the trunk (it was open) to go home. We only lived 1.9 miles from the park so it was just another fun way to top off the day.

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