People unfamiliar with Mathews County are usually startled to learn this is a creek and not a river. But everything is relative. Since we have so much water here, our creek is somebody else's river; somebody else's creek is our stream. And somebody else's babbling brook is our ditch.
Earlier this summer, on a particularly busy day in Mathews Court House, I met up with some high school friends. Most likely it was that weekend the swarms of bicyclists were in town, so between that and the Farmers Market and people doing their regular weekend errands/shopping, it took way longer than usual to travel through the court house area.
This set one of the girls off on a rant. I'll call her
Thumbelina since that was her nickname Cathy, and here's what she said:
"Those daggone Come Heres! They don't know how to drive. They don't understand anything about living around here. Nothing! They can't even recognize a creek when they see one. Why in the (insert the expletive of your choice right here) do they call this Rivah Country? This is NOT Rivah Country! They can't even spell RIVER! These are not RIVAHS or RIVERS they are CREEKS, fahgawdsakes! CREEKS not RIVAHs! "
When "Cathy" (who is obviously a From Here and not a Come Here) talks, she's always highly animated and very passionate about her topic. This particular tirade went on for some time, but the point I'm trying to make, I think, is Mathews has lots of creeks that many people would call rivers.
Or was I trying to say something else, such as never--ever--bake two chocolate cakes in one day, with homemade buttercream frosting, and then proceed to lick the batter and leftover frosting right from the bowl, and expect to right a coherent blog post. Because all you'll really want to do is sleep for three weeks after swearing never to eat raw cake batter again.
Actually, we do have a few rivers around here, but we have way more creeks.
In fact, we have creeks I never knew existed. For instance, in yesterday's edition of the Gazette Journal there was a front-page article on the various local bodies of water that are condemned due to pollution/run-off, etc. The list included the following, and I'm putting an asterisk by the creeks I have never, ever heard of before in all my 40-some years, most of which were spent right here in the county:
Barn Creek *
Dyers Creek *
Woodas Creek *
Greenmansion Cove *
Jacks Creek *
Lanes Creek *
Raymond Creek *
Oakland Creek *
Winder Creek *
Hudgins Creek *
Thomas Creek *
Weston Creek *
Hole in the Wall (these last few are more areas than creeks but they're on the list)
For now, let's put aside the pollution/condemned waters issue and just focus on that list.
(If a body of water is condemned, you can't harvest shellfish due to high concentrations of some bad stuff that we'll talk about another day, because I just ate a bunch of frosting and cake batter and am feeling
green around the gills woozy enough as it is.)
This is not an all-inclusive list of creeks in the county, only the ones that are condemned! A comprehensive list would probably stretch from here to Richmond and back. It's amazing. (Unless most of our creeks are condemned, and then that's not good. At all.)
For the one or two locals who read, what are some other creeks not listed above (regardless of whether they're condemned)? Do most of those creeks ring a bell or am I the only one around here who
never leaves Queens Creek is reading these names for the first time?
For anyone else still awake, what's the closest body of water near you, and would you/do you eat anything out of it, like fish or shellfish?