Monday, November 26, 2012

Nostalgia...the lake.

I spent a few hours last Sunday digging through a box of old photographs.  Those kind that were printed off of a plastic strip called a negative...THAT old kind!  Digital photography is handy and certainly instantly gratifying...but I feel sorry for people who have never had 24 chances to get all the pictures they want...and one chance at getting the developer the right temperature (or avoiding a light leak)...and then spent hours getting one image just right.  That kind of photography has limited appeal for the year has nothing in common with the "Black Friday mentality"...can you tell I wave a certain flag?!  Anyway, I didn't come here to stand on my soap box...for very long, I'll get down now.  

I have a story to's about a lake.  But first...there was a muddy pond with an enormous pile of trash buried above it.  When our house in Quindaro burned down in the late 80's, we moved to the country...and this pond was on our 13 acres.  Approximately where the lady with the blue sweater is sitting...right about there, an entire refrigerator came out!  Dolls...soap bottles, oil barrels, car parts, TRASH...we spent months removing loads of rubbish from the land. 

We pumped out the lake, and started running across it with a seine to remove fish.  There was a small holding pit dug with a tractor just behind the lake where we stored the fish.  Our neighbor came over to help while his wife (in the blue sweater) sat and enjoyed the show.

I was always a mud monger...and I wasn't beyond smearing it on my face, thank you mom for NEVER posting those pics of me...ever...please?!  I love the deep prints in the silty mud, and the big "sploosh" where you can tell a foot went in, deeply...and splayed the mud out in a lovely burnt umber fan.  Lord knows what was in that was like Christmas for dad and I every time some critter would emerge from the net!

And then...after months of bulldozing by a, *ahem*...professional...(meaning, NOT my dad on his tractor with the homemade plow!) we had a 2 acre lake that was about 5 times the size of the old mud pond.  This is the lake right after it was was still winter and no grass had grown, it wasn't even full of water yet.  Look at that dam!  On the right bank there are rock ledges...they're natural.  The excavator dug down to the actual bedrock.  When the lake was full, we could swim up to them and stand on them.  Nice little feature.  And the fish loved it...good to know where those were when having a fishing competition...we had one every year and kept track by drawing little fish by our names denoting how many we'd caught.

We eventually put in a sandbar by bringing Missouri River sand a ton at at time from the quarry.  I always loved getting a new load of sand and covering over the mud just a little more as I was getting toward my teens and did NOT want to stick my foot in it anymore!  You can see the metal on the booty...inner tubes for floating or fishing out of...and the sail boat is tethered in the middle of the lake.  Somewhere on the bottom is the mast to that boat...a neighbor girl flopped herself gracefully into the boat and the mast fell in.  We tried lowering a rock on a string and listening for a *clink*...but it was about 20 feet deep right there, we never found it.

One year, it rained really hard and flooded the can see how short of a ride you'd get on the slide!  It just crested the emergency spill-way, and was mere feet from the top of the huge dam....the sight always stunned me...we spent a lot of time canoeing around the lake into areas that were previously just grass.  The weeping willow above was only a few feet's now a full-sized least it was the last time I saw it about 6 years ago.  A good chunk of my youth was spent at this lake...if I wasn't swimming in it, fishing out of it or canoeing across it...I was certainly push-mowing around it!  Or lowering a push-mower down the back of the dam with a very long rope...Ahhhhh, no gym can ever replace exercise like THAT!  

Miss you, lake...

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