Random Friday Thoughts
The Elkhorn River just west of here is up a lot higher than usual. Bell Creek, just to the west of that has escaped the confines of its banks.
A Washington County History lesson: Bell Creek was named for one of the first settlers to cross it back in the late 1870s. His name was Bell (duh) and he and a group of men came out here from Illinois on foot to stake claims when they came to the creek. The story doesn’t say how they got across the Elkhorn without getting wet. They secured a rope across the little creek from a tree on the east side to a tree on the west side and hand over handed themselves across. When it was Mr. Bell’s turn, he lost his grip and fell in, so they named the little creek after him.
I went out blog browsing a little bit today and could only conclude that I am living a very sheltered life out here on the prairie. I didn’t realize that there was so much anger out there in the world and I found it to be a little scary. At first I thought, “Maybe it’s only in cyberspace,” but then I heard on the radio that at around 3:00 this morning, there was a road rage incident right here in Washington County, over in Ft. Calhoun. Two drivers, a man and woman were arrested – she for allegedly beating up him and his car and he for possession of drugs and paraphernalia. Apparently they had been playing a vicious version of “Betcha can’t pass me!” on Highway 75 and stopped in Calhoun to finish the fracas.
I’m glad I’m not usually out and about at 3:00 in the morning.
Here is a story (except for the first sentence, totally fiction) I wrote for my column Loose Threads in Country Lanes Magazine:
I remain convinced that the advancements of humankind all began with a mother looking after the well-being of her family.
For instance, eons ago, our foremother was out hunting and gathering carrying a basket for her findings with a 2-year-old perched on her hip and another on the way. As you might guess, it didn’t take long for fatigue and backache to set in and she started looking for a way to lighten her load. She thought to herself, “If only I had something to push around that I could put my basket and toddler in, this would be a lot easier to do.” So she found a downed tree, sliced off a couple of narrow pieces from one end, made a hole at the center of each, ran a thin branch through them, attached her basket and a seat for the baby to the branch, added a handle and there it was: the first grocery cart – and the wheel.
Now it happened that her second baby was due to be born during the rainy season and while her campfire was adequate for warmth, she wanted to get in out of the weather for the blessed event. One day she was gazing across the river and spotted a cave in the bluff on the other side. From her point of view, she could see that it was dry inside, so she began to look around for a way to get over there. As she stood pondering a solution, a piece of driftwood floated by. She went back to the downed tree, hollowed out what was left of it and grabbed another branch and flattened out one end of it. She packed her baby, her husband and her grocery cart into the hollowed out log and floated across the river in her new canoe. And so she invented water transportation and established a permanent residence, just in time for the arrival of #2.
On another hunting and gathering expedition in the early summer, our Mom happened across a patch of wild strawberries and seeing how her toddler gobbled up the sweet treats, thought to herself, “There must be a way we can get these things to grow around home.” And so gardens were invented. Now her husband saw how well it worked with the little strawberry plants, so he decided to give it a go with apple trees and cherry trees, and before long they had a nice orchard going.
One day, this mom was doing her spring cleaning and ran across some old ears of corn they had gathered, but hadn’t eaten, so she handed them to her husband and said, “Go bury these someplace before they rot and start to smell.” So he did, and of course they sprouted and grew more corn. Thus began farming.
And, as winter began to roll in, she wanted to keep her little ones warm, so she took a couple of pieces of old skins, stuffed them with wool shaved off a sheep, stitched them together and wrapped it around her wee ones. So was born the art of quilting.
All thanks to our foremother.
Here is something interesting I found during my blog browsing. I’d never seen a picture of a Cedar of Lebanon before. Wow.