I told Mother I would meet them at church Sunday morning, but wound up sleeping through it. I went with them to the evening service instead, running into several old friends and acquaintances. My favorite encounter was with Shirley, a friendly woman in her sixties. She said, “You’ve put on some weight. It looks good.” Few people could say that convincingly, but she managed very well.
Above is the creek that I played in as a child. In the summer we built dams, waded, caught crayfish and salamanders for our personal collections, and made elaborate stone houses for our little, plastic, dollhouse dolls, who all traveled by boat. I spent hours roaming the hill across the creek (pronounced "crick") when I should have been doing my homework. From there we carried endless buckets of water for the garden and for our chickens, rabbits, and dogs. When it rained a lot, we would watch for exotic debris. We would wade miles up and down the creek in search of clay, or the right smooth stone, or simply adventure or escape.