Creek Stompin’

If you haven’t seen the U.S. weather map lately, you may not know that people in the southeast have endured a heat wave for the last several days.  Not only has it been hot here in Middle Tennessee, it has been crazy hot, record-breaking hot, hotter than a Bluetick Hound on a raccoon’s trail hot!

Aside from staying indoors, my family and I have been beating the heat by taking mid-morning dips in the neighborhood pool.  But while swimming there is a convenience we appreciate, it has become a somewhat monotonous activity for my kids.  I think it’s time to take them creek stomping!

I grew up in a rural town just northwest of Nashville.  As a country kid, the coolest place to be on a hot summer day was the creek.  Though I didn’t live within walking distance of a Rockwell-esque swimming hole (you know, the kind with a rope swing), there was a shallow creek just a short stroll through the woods behind my childhood home.

My neighborhood friends and I spent many a summer day tramping through that narrow creek in our old tennis shoes (a.k.a. creek shoes).  Occasionally, we’d find tadpoles and catch crawdads.  Most often we’d comb the gravel beds for crinoids, which we called “Indian money” because they look like stacks of coins.  We’d spend hours exploring that creek and go home soggy footed, our pockets bulging with fossils.  I still have a couple of mason jars filled with those ancient “treasures”.

Late last summer, my parents and I took my kids creek stomping back in my old hometown.  The creek was wider and deeper than the one I explored when I was a young ‘un.  Though it was hot and humid that day, the water was perfect – cool and clear.  We waded through a waist deep spot, practiced rock skipping on a long, smooth stretch and searched the gravel bars for crinoids.  Though we didn’t find any “Indian money” to add to the mason jar, we left with the priceless treasure of memories.

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  1. That is so cool! I had never seen or heard of a crinoid before, but the creek-stomping part is familiar. Aren’t those creeks ice-cold though?

  2. This gave me chill bumps…..I so remember that creek. I was just thinking on the 4th of all of our childhood adventures and the ice cream making and fireworks shooting in our neighborhood. I’m so thankful to have grown up in a great neighborhood with great life-long friends. I enjoy your blogging, thanks for sharing!

  3. Love this! Makes me remember, and long for!, how that temperature drops when you get down into the creek. Great post – thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Amanda! This post may have looked familiar. A big part of the inspiration for it was the comment I made on your Automatic Sprinklers post last year. 🙂

      Yeah, it’s amazing how despite the sweltering air temps, creek water can be as cold as ice; like sippin’ iced tea on a hot summer day, it’s cool and refreshing.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Love this. My girls have gotten spoiled to suburban swimming pools for keeping cool. Creek exploring is a fond childhood memory of mine, too, and one that evokes a lot of lazy summer day remembrances…and I had forgotten about Indian money!

    p.s. I bet you and I could put our Nancy Drew collection together and have a full library! 😉

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