September 12, 2005


I remember long ago, when Pa had taken me out to the field to "help" while he repaired some fenceline. As the morning went by, thirst started to grow, so he took me down to the creek (pronounced crick) to get some water. Nope, it ain't what you may be thinking... we didn't just start guzzling out of the creek.

There were little springs all throughout the fields, and farmers ran tile down to the water's edge. These tiles (if I remember correctly, there were five) were the source of some of the best water I've ever had. Pa showed me how to cup my hands and drink, but it wasn't long, and I would just stick my head in the springwater as it fell to the creek. That was some good stuff... nice and cool.

After Pa died, we moved off the farm, to a farmette outside of Roscoe. About a mile or so away, there was a forest preserve. We used to spend hours there running through the woods, pretending to be all manner of things. Didn't take long, and we located a couple of springs there that you could drink from. The best water ran from between the rocks of a cliff, about two feet above the stream's surface.

So it took me back a bit, when I was asked to bring up bottled water during my last advisory meeting. At first, I started making fun of the guy who requested it, but then I saw he was serious. I could only think, WTF? Part of his complaint I could see... the water in the plant does indeed taste a little funky at times. But I fill up my water bottle a few times each day, and I've never had any real problem with it. Nothing extra floating in it. I just couldn't fathom someone bitching about "impure" water. 'Course, my mind runs a million different directions, thinking of the springs on the farm, and other things, including health problems. But mostly, the farm.

Soon, it will no longer be a part of the family. So today, I sit here listening to Johnny Cash (my father's favorite... and one of mine), remembering. Thinking.

It's not that I don't think, or haven't thought, of the place for the past twenty five years. I drive past the place a few times each year. Many good memories are there. Well, as many as you can get out of thirteen years.

The house and buildings have been sold off long ago, but the largest part of the acreage is still ours. The creek runs diagonally through the property, with a small (maybe an acre) stand of woods located centrally, and right alongside the water. I was able to see an aerial photo recently, and the area along the creek is beautiful.

We spent alot of time playing not just by the water, but the whole farm. Running the fencelines, building forts out of corn stalks and tree limbs. Fishing in the creek. Looking for, and occasionally finding, arrowheads. Once, even a tomahawk head. We marched across the fields as soldiers and explorers, played in the "woods" as cowboys and indians. Tried sneaking up on wildlife. Always, before heading back to the house, we would drink from one of the springs.

Again, the place will be ours for only a short time remaining. Before it's sale is complete, I'm going to go back, and walk the fencelines. And, you can bet your ass, I'm drinking from the springs one last time.

Posted by That 1 Guy at September 12, 2005 12:24 AM | TrackBack

What great memories. And I'll just bet that water is still just as sweet!!!

Posted by: Tammi at September 12, 2005 07:01 AM

Had a spring just outside of the tiny town where I grew up. What I remember most was how that water was always so deliciously cold, no matter how hot it was outside.

Posted by: Harvey at September 12, 2005 10:00 PM