One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic Indians bounce back with 67-59 win over East OHSAA Baseball Pitch Count Regulation approved for 2017 At the buzzer, Rothwell gives Dragons an overtime win Greyhounds fall to Portsmouth Lady Indians roll past West Union 80-29 From Division II to the Senior Bowl COSI On Wheels visits West Union Elementary News from the Peebles PTO NAJH Basketball hosting ‘Play For The Cure’ Jan. 28 North Adams Elementary recognizes Students and Staff Members of the Month for December Honoring a coaching legend Benefit will assist double-lung transplant patient Peebles to be featured in new documentary Cleaning the stables-the worst job on the farm Wenstrup reselected to serve on House Intelligence Committee Venture Hawks and Sheriff’s Department square off on Feb. 12 Cecil R Dupree Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week Star Wars costume exhibition coming to Museum Center

I loved that muddy water, building in the creek

By Rick Houser –

When the countryside is in the dead of winter, all the world seems to be in black and white. When there are no leaves on the trees, the grass is more brown than green, the earth has become saturated with water to the point where a person’s shoes squish as they walk across the earth, and the deepest, dullest and most disliked time of the year has overcome the earth, that’s when the most helpless feeling of the year  overcomes us. It is safe to say that the winter months rule with an iron fist when daylight seems to be at its briefest. I guess by now you have figured out that I dislike this time of year very much.  You are so very correct. I hate winter. I always have and I am pretty certain that  I always will.
But there was a time when I was a little boy that I took to the outdoors and enjoyed the winter as much as any person alive. That was when the wet weather would take over the Ohio Valley and saturate the earth like a sponge soaked to its fullest. I have written before that our farm was on gently rolling land. Near our house was a brick building that under it held a spring house that was fed by an artesian spring. The spring consisted of a vein so strong that nobody ever recalled it running dry. I have heard my Dad tell of the droughts back in the 1930’s when the land became so dry that our neighbors would drive their cattle and hogs a couple miles or so every evening to that spring so they could get a good drink of water. This vein of water became a major part of our water supply all the years we lived there and will bet it is still flowing strongly today.
The spring was fed into the spring house at the high end to keep it from overflowing and the lower end had a drain tile that allowed the water to pass on through and empty into a small creek that emptied into the barnyard so the livestock could always have fresh water, spring summer, fall, and winter. It was cool on the hot days and never froze over in the winter. It was the perfect water supply. Perfect that was except during the rainy season and when I was a boy.
To this day I can’t explain why but I had a fascination to play in that creek and muddy it up terribly. It was like a magnet drew me to it. As the rains fell and the creek rose, I would find a pair of Dad’s boots and winter clothes that I used to feed the livestock in. I would find Dad’s long-handled shovel and a hoe and out the back door of the house I would go, fully determined to place my mark on that creek.
There was a spot about 50 to 75 feet down from where the spring house emptied into the creek where the creek became wider. That is where with all my expertise I would begin to build a dam. I would shovel scoop after scoop starting at the bank’s edge and working my way across the creek. The creek wasn’t a huge creek but with fast rushing water from all the rain it was as much a challenge as I wanted.
I loved the challenge and before the day ended I would succeed in construction of a strong earthen dam. I would build as high as it would hold solid before I would create the over spill so the excess of water could pass on. I did learn that night time was the hardest on my dams because it seemed by every morning the dam had burst and the water level had gone back down. (I learned later that each evening my
Dad would open the dam and let the water down.)
As my building abilities grew, so did the size of my dams and when the construction of Meldahl Dam began, and we all were told how much bigger Meldahl was than any other dam to that date, so I felt that I would have to upsize my dams to match. It wasn’t long before a rainy season moved in and put our creeks at all-time highs. Safe to say it was the perfect storm for me.
I started before lunch and got a good start on the structure. I got yelled at by my Mom for being soaked and very muddy. (Was there any other way to build a dam?) After lunch I returned to the creek with some dry clothes and excited to continue. By late that day I again was soaked and very muddy but I had built a dam unlike anything ever seen.
That night Dad forgot to look at what I was up to and didn’t break the dam. By morning the water had backed up into the spring house and caused all our drinking water to be a brownish color and not very tasty. Dad immediately removed the dam and sat me down and explained that there was never again to be a dam built below the spring house and then Mom once more lectured me on being in creeks in the winter and just what in the world was wrong with me and why couldn’t I go to the creek in June. I began to get the feeling that my parents were objecting to all the fun I was having. Actually, they were objecting very much.
We have all heard the saying about a boy and his toys. Well, the creek was my toy and honestly I still don’t understand it, but I was sure fascinated. These days I doubt very much you could get me to go outside in the rain in the winter but there was a time and a place and folks let me tell you this, I was a dam builder like no other.  Meldahl had nothing on me.
Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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