Category Archives: Just Stories

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MOMMY!

Mommy?

What the hell happened to you mommy?

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I knew this was going to happen some day.

You always hung around on those sleazy rivers like the Fox and the Des Plaines.

Then there were your favorite little hang outs, Salt and Kress Creeks.

And don’t even get me started on the canals.

On all of those you always picked the roughest sand and gravel bars to hang out on.

Those bastard mallards would harass you and beat you, do what they want with you and now they’ve thrown you on the side of the river like a piece of trash.

What happened to that advice you gave me mommy?

Choose your friends wisely…

Do as I say, not as I do, eh mommy?

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Well, I guess it was nice to run into you mommy. Nice to know you’re still alive.

You need to get yourself some help, I can’t help you.

You’re too far gone.

You have taught me a lesson here though mommy.

There’s no way in hell I’m going to turn out like you.

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I was Going to go Fishing

I was going to go fishing, but I knew the creeks were running crystal clear and would be devoid of fish.

I was going to go fish the Fox River, but the wind was howling with gusts up to 40 and where I wanted to go would have me standing out in the open facing this head on. With the bite still virtually non-existent, hardly worth the effort.

I was going to go for a walk, but after 100 yards I couldn’t get out of that relentless wind.

I thought of sticking around for the sunset, but the wind had blown all the clouds away. As beautiful as a sunset with sky blue skies and gold on the horizon can be, I’ve seen enough of those. I wanted more.

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I wandered over to the abandoned bridge over a creek and stared down into the water.

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I looked behind every rock for life, for a fish holding out of the current. Not a thing.

Then my mind went blank.

I know I’m thinking, of something, at that point, but it’s undefined.

My dad, my ma, the wife, the kids, the job, the car, or am I just thinking about the creek.

The play of light over running water over rock.

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Maybe it was muslims, Iran, Israel, Indiana, LGBT, Jesus, Easter, bunnies, employment counts, bank accounts, terrorists, methodists, baptists and the KKK.

Or maybe it was just the play of light over running water over rock.

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I was going to go fishing. In a way, I guess I did.

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Gnats Enougha Gnat

Gnats enougha gnat… I crack myself up. No wonder I’m always giggling in my head.

The gnats have actually been around for a couple of weeks now. Living a couple of blocks from the Fox River, small clouds of them have been floating around the yard and they love plastering the sides of the house that sit in the sun.

The cats have been having a field day with them, chasing them from window to window and fighting for the occasional one that makes it into the house.

Ran into a few clouds of them while out creek hopping over the weekend. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Took a walk along the river the other evening, waiting out the sunset. The gnats were no big deal, till I started walking across the footbridge over the river. The dense cloud of them extended all the way across the bridge, nearly 100 yards. By the time I got to the other side, they were crawling all over me. In my eyes, nostrils and mouth. Down my shirt and in my coat. I can only imagine how many wound up lodged in my lungs.

Of course I had to do this four times in order to truly savor the experience.

Tried to capture the gnat clouds, but the real clouds were low and gray and there wasn’t enough contrast between the two for a decent exposure.

It’s been 24 hours since I was out there. Looking at the pictures, sitting here thinking about it, my hands instinctively start rubbing my arms, legs and scratching my head.

I swear I can still feel them.

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Like Watching Grass Grow

I’m sure to most, standing along a creek and watching it flow is a lot like watching grass grow.

For me, sight, sound and smell become engaged and the end result is intoxicating.

I have no clue what’s going through my head at that point. Hopes, dreams, possibilities and memories all become one long flow of thoughts and mental images.

Not much different than how the water is flowing.

The other day I stood along a creek and took about a dozen shots of the creek as it flowed over rock. I wanted to see if I could capture the flow and glare and play of the water.

I have no clue if I succeeded, but I like the end results.

These shots and this post is for me. They’re only sized to fit here and I did no other post processing to them. I wanted to see how they looked when I took the shots.

I get to take breaks at work and now I can come here, click on this gallery of images and slowly go through the them.

Possibly relive in my head what I enjoy doing more than anything else.

I’ll have to watch so I don’t become mesmerized and slack jawed with a bit of drool forming at the corner of my mouth that has to be noisily sucked back in.

I could only imagine the level of ridicule from my coworkers that I would have to endure.

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Testing the Water

When I walked out the door I had every intention of going out to a couple of creeks to start testing the water.

Got to the first creek to find a couple of cars parked there. Wandered onto the abandoned bridge to survey the water. Unlike the river it was in perfect condition; crystal clear, excellent level, but devoid of life. Not a thing seen in the water.

One of the anglers came back and we struck up a conversation. He saw and caught nothing and then asked my name. Winds up he reads here and he recognized me, not by my stunning good looks, but the cigar.

Not sure that’s a good thing.

The other angler shows up, more conversation with nothing to show for fishing efforts.

Two other anglers pull up and get out of their car. One looks familiar and I ask his name. Winds up it’s someone I used to run into on the creeks all the time, but it’s been a good decade since I saw him last. I mention that to him and say… “I assumed you got married, had kids or were dead.”

“Got the first two right at least.”

More conversation, then time to move on.

At the next creek I hesitated and went walking around before deciding if I wanted to go fishing. Couple of different bug hatches going on, but like the first creek, not a single thing seen in the water. I stood around mesmerizing myself with flowing water and tried to capture the why of it all.

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Back at the car, still debating, the bugs must have liked the warmth of my car. They were in mating position and covered it pretty well.

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Another angler shows up and a conversation starts. We had met at this same spot a couple of years ago. He was heading where I was thinking of going and he had been out there a couple of times so far this year. Barren water. I decide to wait another week or two and try again. A walk in the woods would be time better spent.

At a nearby big forest preserve, a hike through an area I haven’t done in a few years.

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Sometimes I take pictures of the things that trip me.

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The hike took me to still another creek that as far as I know has no name.

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This is a tiny little creek, shallow enough to walk through in most parts without getting your ankles wet. Neck down stretches that you can jump over and every now and then a deeper pool. Deep being relative and barely knee deep.

And yet, in these little pools, signs of life that weren’t in it’s bigger cousins.

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Since my plans had changed I decided to stay out till sunset to see if it was worth capturing. It was looking like the clouds were getting blown out of the area with nothing but blue skies. Not enough to make for an interesting sunset.

So I went home.

An hour or so later I was proven wrong. Enough clouds had stuck around on the south edge of the sun to make the sky interesting, nothing but blue skies on the north edge of the sun.

No time to hop into the car and go someplace with a vista view. Just enough time to walk down the street in this neighborhood full of light manufacturing and railroad tracks and see if I could get something interesting out of it all.

Not what I prefer, but it will do in a pinch.

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