The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

October 5, 2013

Looking Back: It's relaxing to drown in the memories surrounded by water

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The Daily Star

---- — Sitting, rocking quietly on our side porch glider is so restful as I hear the trickling of water: Be it the little garden fountain nestled in the greenery close by or our creek bubbling peacefully behind our property. All is so tranquil, especially in the wee hours of the morning. As I grow older, just hearing the water gently flowing as I sit and rock is so therapeutic.

There’s no traffic yet to disrupt the reminiscing of my mind as I appreciate the glorious sunrise’s vibrant colors of creation. There’s peace and quiet. It’s a good time to reflect on life, meditate on all we are thankful for and pray with petitions of concerns.

Yes, water has much drawing power, not only for thought and relaxation but it has sparked much interest, investigation and enjoyment over the years… especially for our youth. Growing elderly, I think back with a smile to remember many enjoyable times, on the water, in the water, and just anything relating to water. What would we ever do without precious water?

Years ago we enjoyed just that — young and old. The Oleout Creek, an angler’s dream, is a well-known trout stream running through the town of Franklin. The creek meandered through a dairy farm’s pasture not too far from our home

When we lived in that delightful village of Franklin, we spent many a time with children and our dog, Georgie-Porgie, on the creekside, wading, splashing, skipping stones or just turning up rocks to see who’s hiding underneath. It was fun, it was educational and it was a change of pace from our hectic treadmill of life’s faster and faster pace.

Georgie was our beloved cocker spaniel, back then, and as most folks know, that breed just loves water. So when the children decided to dip into the water, there was always our little guy enjoying the fun along with them.

A beautiful, giant, gnarly tree grew creekside along a bend. As the water swirled around, it dug a convenient hole … a swimming hole. A thick lower branch of the tree spanned over the water and offered a heavy knotted rope, “Tarzan”-style. Someone was thoughtful, for so many of the village children took advantage, swinging and plopping into the water with the familiar, bellowing, King-of-the-Jungle call. Nothing’s better on a hot steamy summer day then cool, cool water.

A family directive was to always wear an old pair of sneakers for wading. Rocks or anything sharp can be dangerous, but the mushy “cow flops” squishing between toes is another story.

Interestingly, when one of our children lost a sneaker, sinking to the lower depths, in dove Georgie! Down he swam to retrieve his prize and of course his many rewards of loving hugs, and praise of “Well done, good and faithful dog!”

Yes, those were enjoyable days, but so long ago. It all seems like a different lifetime.

Moving from Franklin was not a happy time. We enjoyed seeing our children grow up in that lovely area, with so many memories, but then came the “empty nest” syndrome. It was time for the children to make their way in the adult world and our house was too large for two aging parents, so we simplified our life.

We moved to Schenevus, and guess what? Yes, another delightful creek ran through the town of Maryland. The first of April tells the story, just looking at the enthusiastic fisherman lined up and wading waist-deep in the still-freezing water.

Years ago, our young grandson, now close to 20, was visiting from California. Small boys find adventure in streams and we fueled his imagination with a barrel of wood straps my husband had collected. A few nails, a hammer and some acrylic poster paint and, voila — a little streamlined boat emerged!

We lost no time in christening the vessel and sending it on its maiden voyage down the Schenevus Creek. With string attached, we kept retrieving it for many journeys, always with the fear that it might head toward the Susquehanna and then to who knows where? Perhaps the Chesapeake Bay and landing on the shore where my sister lives? Ha!

Fantasizing with the young is very entertaining and was educational too as we mapped our creek into the Susquehanna, which meandered, winding through neighboring Pennsylvania, into Maryland, finally into the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Interesting.

We had such fun back then, and now I can reminisce and enjoy our young grandson again in my thoughts and heart. There are so many fond memories to be thankful for.

Elaine W. Kniskern is a 80-year-old resident of Schenevus and a grandmother of five. She can reached at elaine-kniskern@stny.rr.com. ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at www. thedailystar.com/seniorscene.