Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Wheelbarrow

It was a dark and stormy night, and by the time the sky had lightened to a dull gray in the morning, our driveway had become a river. Our land is part of the watershed for the Eleven-Point River System, and the lay of the land and way the highway had been constructed conspired to direct a huge flow of water across our property whenever the rain was heavy. And if it was too heavy, the water would overflow the channel that had been constructed for it and take a short cut down the driveway, where it would meet up with the wet weather spring at the bend, which by that time had usually overflowed its banks as well. Then the water would flow out through the thicket and under the highway and on its way through town, and eventually, into the river a couple of miles south of here. Not quite as dramatic as the dripping snow in the mountains turning into the Mississippi, but dramatic enough when it is your driveway that becomes the river. This drainage pattern was altered when the highway was widened about 10 years ago, which was one good thing to come of the construction, so now there is no more flooding down the entire driveway, although the wet weather spring frequently leaps its banks and makes a large pool at the bend.

At any rate, on this particular morning in mid-December, our friend had dropped off his stepdaughter, who was our son’s age and rode the afternoon bus with him to kindergarten. He and his wife and R were going to a car auction to get us a second car. They didn’t think to leave the keys to his car with me. So, there I was with two children in kindergarten and no way to get them up to the highway to ride the bus. Or so I thought. But then the little Technicolor movie in my mind started playing the scene from my childhood where my dad loaded us kids in the wheelbarrow and careened around the yard with us. What fun that was! I got on the rubber knee boots, loaded the kids in the wheelbarrow, and away we went through the flood and up to the highway. They thought it was a great adventure (especially when I almost tipped them into the water), and lots of fun; and it was!

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