Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Monday, June 20, 2016

Remember When: Fishing Hole

In my writing group last week we were told to write about summer. Big surprise.

We are only allowed around ten minutes to do each prompt so there is no way to add all the description and information to tell the whole story. I chose to write about going fishing with my grandparents. I don't think most of them understood what I was trying to portray.

We lived in southwestern Kansas. Hilly country with lots of creeks and county roads built on a grid. The countryside is split off into farms and cattle ranches. We always fished at the creek in Greene's pasture.

Before we left Grandad tied his cane poles to the side of the car. Much like this one.

The poles were tied to the door handles and over the side mirror. They pretty much reached 
from one end of the car to the other so whomever was in the passenger side couldn't get out
unless they slid all the way over. 

Grandad would pull up to a gate, get out, open the gate, get back in, drive through, get out, close the gate, and drive on to the next one. One of my uncles once counted over 20 gates to get to the creek. 

When other family members went with us there were others to help with gate duty. Mostly I remember Grandad, Grandma, and me. 

I loved to watch the prairie dogs standing on the edge of their holes watching us pass. To the ranchers  and farmers they were varmints needing to be exterminated. To a child they were magical as they guarded their villages. 

We'd pass bushes and bushes of sand plums that we would go out and pick in the late 
summer so family members could make plum jelly. 

The main catch at Greene's was catfish; like this prize catch held by Grandad. 

We also caught perch and frogs. One time Grandad caught a snapping turtle and let out a whoop that echoed off those hills. If Mom was there she seemed to get cleaning duty and spent hours at the kitchen sink getting our catch ready for the table. 

Our family settled that area in the early 1880s. They lived in dugouts and later lumber built and then block homes. They lived off the land as much as possible. It's heartwarming to think about my ancestors back to my great, great grandparents picking sand plums and catching fresh fish for dinner.