Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Creek

This is a so-so picture of the end of our dock facing out towards Queens Creek. Although rather boring, there are many words--maybe even a thousand--this picture paints. While most artists would be painting a description of the water and landscape in the background, this really strange individual photographer will instead focus on the dock and its surrounding waters in the foreground.

(Please don't start crying--I promise to keep it to fewer than a thousand words. Maybe. Numbers are not my forte, so if I go over it isn't intentional.)

Here are some words inspired by this picture, in no particular order....

The dock, built by my father, is practically as old as Methuselah I am.

See that stuff hanging off the pole on the right? (Not the piece of string which has been there since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.) That's "re-purposed" fire hose, which has been there since the Pilgrims were conducting feasibility studies regarding a journey across the ocean serves as a buffer between a boat and the dock. Please don't ask me where my father acquired this material. Thank you. Very much.

Moving on.

As a young sprite, I would stand on top of this pole and jump or dive stupidly gleefully into the water. Now, the thought of doing that scares the bajeebus out of me.

Why is this frightening? Let me count the ways. None of this bothered me as a youngster because at the time I wasn't suffering from paranoia.

1. There are slimy eels, rabid muskrats, nibbling minnows, fire-breathing dragons, scurrying crabs, and dark, murky water in that creek.

2. Jumping from such a height into water of questionable depth and hidden hazards could cause paralysis or worse.

3. Recently, to contribute to my paranoia concern about swimming in the creek, somebody told me about a flesh-eating bacteria that invades any wounds--such as what might be caused by stepping on an oyster shell--and gobbles you alive.

4. See above, and welcome to Crazy at its finest.

So furthermore and in conclusion, we can say this about all that*:

1. Chesapeake Bay Woman enjoyed many summer days jumping off this dock into the creek.

2. Chesapeake Bay Father had some questionable innovative methods of acquiring building materials for the dock but we're not talking about all that ever right now.

3. As a child, though cognizant of the potential hazards waiting to do me in, I had no fear. As an adult, all I do is worry. Needlessly.

4. Blog Fest Attendees can rest assured that the particular place we'll go swimming is perfectly safe from aforementioned hazards, real or conceived perceived.

*I'm pretty sure this statement alone caused this post to exceed a thousand words, give or take two hundred.

What memories do you have of swimming in a creek, river, bay, ocean, stream or lake?


Grandma J said...

Eels? Isn't that salt water? Eels?

I'm speechless...and just about as brave as CBW.

Grandma J said...

Ok, I'm recovering. My best memories are from swimming in the ocean daily as a child. the only hazard was a little seaweed that would come to shore after a storm. It never bothered me unless my brother yelled, SHARK!

Caution Flag said...

I will admit that isn't the kind of creek I imagined. That's a river, CBW. A big, scary river. I'm so glad I could help you understand where you live.

We used to go to a lake when I was young, but all I remember is the ice cream stand and all the sand. Now I live near some serious lakes, but calling them lakes is like you calling that raging river of yours a creek.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you even took the picture CBW. Every time me and CBS go on the dock you say," Be careful and stay away from the ed of the dock!" I've never seen you set fooot near the "end" of the dock.

From, CBD

Anonymous said...

I have many memories of the "creek" and the rivers. Most of them involve CBW and CB middle sis with a few extras here and there. I think my funniest memory didn't involve swimming....but AFTER swimming. We had gone swimming at night in the Islander pool (which in itself is whole other story *grin*). Of course I wore contacts which I took out to swim. I didn't bother to put them back in and we had to go home in the boat.... in the dark. Well it was difficult for CBW to steer the boat when she couldn't see the crab pots in the dark from the back of the boat. I was up front, squinting my eyes, leaning over as far as I could to try to see the crab pots. As bad as my eyes were I couldn't see them till we got up fairly close...meaning almost on top of them. Obviously it took us quite a while to make it back to that dock in the picture. GOD help us if I had to do that now...we would hit every crab pot in the creek!!!

Lynne M. said...

I have no memories of swimming, wading, or even putting a toe in any creeks, rivers, or ponds. Because, from the time I was born, I was convinced that I would die. Something would get me and kill me and eat me. I still think this way. When I go to Haven or Aaron's beach, I can only sit right above where the tiny waves break, because that way, I can still see my feet and anything coming to get me. If the waves are too big (1 foot or more), I just stand ankle deep. I didn't even get baptized as a child, because our little Beulah Baptist in Ware Neck, did this in the creek out back, NO WAY, I said, God knows I love him. So at least you did have your fun childhood days swimming, whereas my paranoia started at birth!

Big Hair Envy said...

The York river is similar to your creek...murky, and full of unknowns. The weirdest part was walking out to deeper water, and having your feet sucked down by the mud. It was SUCH a relief to get out to the sandy-bottomed area!! You never forget the smell of that mud...

Karen Deborah said...

The ocean, jumping in the waves was awesome unless of course you got pulled under and pummeled. Never di like that usually when I finally got back up I'd come out bawling for a while. I understand, as a grown up not knowing what just slithered by your legs freaks me out, so i am now a pool person. You can see to the bottom in the Carribean and also the Atlantic so they are cool. I loved snorkeling in Colombia.

Annie said...

Well, thanks for asking. Couldn't think of anything much till I was dreaming while preparing the rhubarb for cooking...and then they all came to me...

First there were the lovely beaches north and south of Brisbane on rare occasions...Mum and Dad used to take all 4 of us kids plus dog (and puppies once) to the beach for rare holidays...

then there was a grotty pool on the farm when we shifted from one farming suburb to another ...and there were the murky dams on my husbands family's property...both quite refreshing on hot Australian summer days...

then the wonderful coolness of the spring that fed into the Katherine River when we lived in the Northern Territory...and the hot climb out and up the 60 foot banks...feeling hotter than ever!

Odd pools and creeks on picnics there, with waterfalls, and the backyard pool, and ocean in Darwin, NT, where lurked crocs and nasty lethal jelly fish.

I have only had to fish two snakes, plus toads, and poor little bees lately (why?) out of the backyard pools...argh...

Then back to Brisbane after hubby died, and a pool in the back yard, (that is going green as I chat here) and very quick little , very welcome jaunts to the Sunshine Coast, and the ocean again..very pleasant, where shark nets kept the sharks at bay!! A lovely non-swimming beach to walk the Abbey the labbey dog on though, four doors away from the little beach house where we stayed.

Thinking back, I wouldn't let my kids go swimming in any of those places much these days! But I guess if we never took risks, we wouldn't live would we?

I can't believe you used to jump off that pole! What fun! As kids we have no fear do we?

Mental P Mama said...

We have to swim????

Pueblo girl said...

I'm probably more daring now about swimming in strange places - and lots of other things - than when I was younger, now I don't have my mum watching over me shouting "don't do that, you'll get hurt!".

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Holy mackerel.

Between work, killer thunderstorms and voting in the primary I am plum worn out.

GJ-The sharks are my biggest fear in the ocean too. Remind me to tell you (during Blogfest) about Middle Sister's Friend's experience with seaweed. Suffice to say, it's hilarious but I won't elaborate here.

CF-The definition of river/creek is relative I suppose. We don't have streams, we have ditches(which are probably the size of other people's creeks),creeks (aka rivers) and rivers (aka humongous rivers). Note: This ridiculous string of words brought to you by sheer exhaustion...my apologies.

Dearest Darling CBDaughter: You are correct--the end of that dock is NOT safe due to missing boards, rotting wood and killer carpenter bees. My heart was pounding as I crept ever so carefully to the end of this disaster that's ready to fall into the water thanks to hurricanes and Nor'Easters...just do as your Mother says, not as she does. Love you.

MsSeabreeze- My God you made me laugh with this comment. Although I do not recollect this specific incident, your description is nigh on perfect of any typical night coming back from the Islander in low light wide open. Have mercy we had some fun in that little boat. Thanks for reminding me and for the belly laugh.

Lynne M. - Thank you for making me feel OK about my phobias. No way in the world I'm sticking my feet into that water at Haven or Aaron's because for sure some mutant sea creature that hasn't been seen by scientists since the Mesozoic era will consume me like a tic tac. Amen.

BHE- You're so right about that York River and the mud. WE have the mud here in the creek too. If you dare walk out into it first of all say your prayers because you're liable to be consumed by it. Next, if you are lucky enough to drag yourself from its grasp, you'll smell like hoorah's nest for months. Don't ask me what hoorah's nest is but rest assured it's a mess and it smells bad. Really bad.

KD-You are so right about the Caribbean. Back in another life I traveled there often and loved being able to see the creatures before they attacked. Snorkeling is fantastic..would love to hear more about your experience in Colombia.

Annie-What a wonderful description and glimpse into your life in Australia, I love it. Your words paint such a vivid picture, so much so that I'm breaking out into a sweat at the thought of those crocodiles. Anyway, thank you.

MPM- You don't have to swim, but we will have the opportunity should people choose--and don't worry you can see the bottom and the water doesn't go above your knees for quite a ways out. If you would rather sit on the grassy knoll overlooking the water that's perfectly fine.

Pueblo Girl-Good for you for having the reverse phobia...also for reminding me to perhaps not be overly cautious with my own two children. Sometimes it seems like all I am doing is saying what they need to watch out for and not what they could/should be watching for and enjoying.

OK, it's 9:15, I've written nothing for tomorrow, I'm exhausted and none of this bodes well for a post for tomorrow...yet my Inner Compulsive Poster is forcing me to try.

Country Girl said...

It was really hot and we were hiking on a small trail somewhere in Virginia near where we were living at the time. Our sons were elementary school-age. We came across a sort of swimming hole along the stream we'd been following. And I took off my shoes and my shorts and went in. It was awesome! And then my sons joined me because they saw how happy it made me feel.

Thanks for the disclaimer about the flesh-eating bacteria. Good to know.

foolery said...

My childhood was about swimming. Kiddie pools, irrigation ditches, the creek (which really IS a creek), Black Butte Lake and Lake Shasta, and later, the Pacific -- though not the California Coast, which is colder than . . . um, can I say that here? No? Sorry.

We even used to "swim" in a low spot in the pasture when Dad irrigated. the water might come as high as mid-thigh to an 8-year-old, and we splashed and played and had a ball. But talk about STINK when we were down! Do you know what you find on the ground in pastures?

Yeah, that. ; )