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If the creek was up, we had to park the car next to the gravel country road, then take our shoes off and walk the long stretch to the barn (wading through the water, as water covered the road up past the barn). The water was knee high ... if you were the oldest kid. So, the two youngest got carried.

While that might have sounded like fun, one was barefoot, trying to keep clothes clean, holding one's shoes up in the air, stepping lightly, not knowing what one would be stepping on next. Hopefully, no one would slip and fall into the water. And, on top of that, women still wore dresses in those days. So, mom carried the lighter little one while trying to keep her dress out of the water. It was hard work for all.

We also had to make sure to stay in a straight path, so as not to get sucked into the creek. Of course, we wouldn't dare cross the little wooden bridge, on the path before the barn, until Dad assured us as to where the bridge was located. A miss step could mean the creek, of course.

Only, the hill to the house was much steeper; gooey red clay when soaked, with crevices throughout the mud road.

On normal rainy day visits, we slipped and slid up the hill to the house, sideways; the car then looking like it had been through a mud bath. But, when the creek was up, once past the barn, we were only half way there. Then, one watched every step, uphill, to avoid the rocks and crevices (where one could twist an ankle) to miss sinking into the mud pits.

Uncles, Dad's brothers, came to meet us near the barn, to help get little ones and luggage up the hill.

But, by the time we all made it to the house, we were muddy and tired. We didn't walk 5 miles through the snow. But, when the creek was up, it sure felt like it.

© Joyce C. Lock
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