Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bull Frog Bottoms

Yay rah! I can boast I’ve been to Bull Frog Bottoms.

I had just returned home to the farm after Jari Jackson and I attended Southern Illinois Writers Guild at John A. Logan College tonight. I locked up for the night and came downstairs to blog about the great program Carl Rexroad gave us on marketing our books, but before I had finished checking Facebook, the phone rang. I figured it was Gerald reporting on Geri Ann’s softball games that he has gone down to Georgia to watch. Instead, it was our son-in-law Brian locked out on the front porch calling me on the phone rather than scaring me with a late-evening doorbell ring.

I scurried up to let him in, and he needed someone to follow him down to his rented land where he is preparing to start harvest tomorrow. I have been curious all summer exactly where this farm was, so I was ready for the adventure. I told him to drive slowly cause I’m not too good at following vehicles.

Soon we were out of familiar territory. After passing several clusters of houses and tiny neighborhoods that I knew, then I had no idea where I was. I keep my foot on the gas pedal lest I lose the red lights in front of me on Brian’s pickup. We did meet one bright-eyed truck coming over one of the hills suddenly, but mostly we were alone on these deep country roads bordered by trees on both sides. Even in the dark, the drive was lovely. I had not realized his farm was so far from ours.

When we arrived at our destination, his tall corn was like a solid wall.  Looks to me like it will do very good. He got in my car to be taken back to his camper up at Wayside Farm, and I had him drive since he is familiar with these roads now.  We went back a different way to reach Route 13, and I knew this road a little better. I found out that the last area we passed through before reaching his rented fields was Bull Frog Bottoms with shallow water on both sides of the road during rainy seasons. Mary Ellen, who remembered the road from her teenage years, had explained that nomenclature to him last spring. I wondered why in the world my young teen had been traveling to Bull Frog Bottoms in those long ago days. As Brian talked to her on the phone, I asked that again, and I noticed I did not get an answer. I wonder how many other places my kids traveled that I knew nothing about! I probably did not supervise them nearly as well as I thought I was doing. Ha.

I was always leery of the back roads here in mining country because one of my early experiences after moving here.  I was going to pick up some kid for scouts or some activity and became lost on these winding confusing roads. There were no cell phones then to call for directions when one was lost. Suddenly in the pitch dark ahead of me was a chair sitting in the middle of the road. Fortunately. When I got out to look, I saw the road ended where mining had begun. Somehow I turned around or backed out and eventually found the right road and picked the child up and returned her safely to her home later.

Well, I have watched the new moon growing larger each night this week, and I enjoyed it on my trip tonight. I am sleepy, and I’m going to have to tell you about Carl Rexroad’s talk tomorrow or sometime.

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