Tag Archives: Buckeye Quarry

At 4 to 1, they outnumber me, but they’re still my favorite guys

A friend recently described how her older son teases his little brother. We both remembered our older brothers teasing us — sometimes to the point of tears — but now, years later, we still love them. In fact, we both think of our brothers as friends now and love spending time with them. The teasing? It’s still there, but we’re big girls now and can dish right back. They taught us pretty well.

As the youngest of five children — and the only girl — it was suggested that I was spoiled. This might be true, but if anyone spoiled me, it was the boys.

five kidsApparently, they didn’t object to being dressed in plaid like their baby sister.

They let me climb trees with them, play basketball and baseball with them (except for the time James knocked me out by whacking me in the forehead with a baseball bat), and took me swimming.

Sure, they forced me to take my quarry test despite our mom’s instructions that they wait until Dad was with us. I passed and they were happy that they no longer had to take turns babysitting me in the pool. I, on the other hand, was thrilled to join them on the big slide and to play hide and seek around the rafts.

One of them rescued me from the manure pile and one of them hosed me off. One of them told me stories when he put me to bed when our parents were gone. The two younger ones let me sleep in their trundle bed and taught me to play the cartoon game (our version of “I’m thinking of….”).

Now that we’re older and they live far away — all are at least a nine-hour drive from me — I love staying in touch with them via email, phone and Skype. They make me laugh with funny e-mails and can easily make me feel better when I’m down.

But the hours we spend in each others’ company are the best. Whether we’re walking or running together, fighting over who gets the last cookie, discussing our mom’s health, or cooking together, these are the moments that remind me of what big brothers really mean to me.

older five kids







Weekend sightings: snapping turtle, geese and — maybe — blackberries

Yesterday before the onslaught of rain arrived, the water in the creek near our house was still low enough to see whatever creatures were swimming. That’s when I saw a HUGE snapping turtle, his lumbering body swimming upstream. Of course, I had no camera, not even my iPod, but the body (not including the neck and head) was roughly the size of the horseshoe crab I found on Tybee Island earlier this summer.IMG_0514[1]

Later we went by to see if he might be hanging around but the creek was full of muddy, rushing water. We did see a cute little frog who appeared to be riding the rapids on his back.

Today, I was ready with my iPod. No turtle, but the geese that hang out at the local quarry seemed to tolerate my presence far longer than usual. One of them began a halfhearted attack but even he seemed to agree that a Sunday morning stalemate was called for. Phew. Hissing geese can be a little scary!
Leaving the geese to hiss at the next innocent passerby, I headed off to check on my blackberries. Here’s the thing. They’re not really mine and I’m not really sure if they’re blackberries. Are they black raspberries? I’m not sure…maybe someone out there can identify these for me. They grow wild on low-growing bramble bushes and are just slowly turning black.
Oddly, I’ve never like raspberries or blackberries until recently when I discovered some wild patches  on one of my running routes. I brought some of the raspberries home and my husband — who likes them — was hesitant to eat them. I think he thought I was trying to poison him.
Anyway, last year I decided to try the blackberries, which are huge and tart. I love to eat them off the bush — especially when I’m really thirsty on a hot, sweaty run.
So…who knows what these are? Please tell me!

A gaggle of geese

When our kids were little, we got into the practice of assigning age groups to young ducks and geese, based on their size. The tiny, fluffy ones were “newborns,” and from there graduated to grade school, junior high and adult. Somehow the distinction of high school never entered the picture.

So this morning as I ran around the west end of the Buckeye quarry, I came upon a gaggle of geese. They were happily searching for food on the ground and didn’t seem too bothered by my presence so I was able to photograph them. But then a dog barked and everyone hustled down the banks to the water.

I wanted to join them — the humidity and heat were beginning to rise and the water looked pretty inviting.

Here’s a photo and a video:





Duck, duck, goose

My early morning runs along the local bike path take me past two quarries and usually involves sightings of ducks, geese, a heron, and — on very rare occasions — a bald eagle.

The ducks that hang out at the Buckeye quarry often sleep curled up in the grass near the bike path, and their close proximity sometimes distracts me from running. It’s impossible for me to pass up the chance to try to make friends with the cute little guys and girls?

With spring comes the extra fun of watching for baby ducklings and goslings. This morning I watched mama and papa goose shepherd their four little goslings across the grass. One little guy kept lagging behind and then had to run to catch up. I managed to take a photo of part of the family.

Later, as I was heading out on my bike through our back yard, I saw three male ducks wandering through our yard. I actually saw one of them sitting in our tiny fish pond (just big enough to hold one duck at a time) but when he saw me, he hopped right out and waddled off after his buddies.

Because a creek runs along the back of our property, ducks have become fairly regular visitors to our neighborhood. I suppose some homeowners might not appreciate them — especially their droppings — but hey, who can complain about such entertaining and beautiful birds?

Constant practice makes a good loser

I lose things. Constantly. Sometimes I find them, sometimes not. Sometimes I replace the lost item and find the old one months later. I find some comfort in realizing that this is not a new (i.e. older-age) problem. It’s been ongoing since childhood.

My mom is still laughing over the memory of me diving into the Buckeye Quarry with my glasses on. Someday a giant trout will appear at the annual derby wearing a pair of tortoise shell glasses.

Periodically, one of my daughters will call and tell me she’s lost something. I suspect she is looking for sympathy but all I can do is laugh. It must be genetic. I wonder if my brothers lose things as often as I do? Of course, they’d never tell me so I might have to ask their wives. They’ll tell me.

Here’s the thing. When it’s something of little value or can easily be replaced/remade (i.e., a grocery list), there’s little angst involved. But since most of what I tend to lose is not so easily replaceable or something I need immediately (i.e., the car keys), well, you can imagine the scene.

This is when I start throwing things around, pulling things out of drawers, digging through pockets, searching under the seats of the cars, and generally causing havoc around the house. It isn’t pretty. Except maybe for my husband. He just ignores me and pretends to be immersed in some activity, probably smirking inwardly.

So…just for the record, I thought I’d list the things I’ve lost over the past month. If I can just remember…those little gray cells often fail me these days.

1.) Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap — last I saw it was on Feb.1 when I packed it in the duffle I was taking to Cincy. When we got ready to run, it was nowhere in sight. This is not a good thing when running on hills. Now, 10 days later, I still haven’t found it. It wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t already lost two of them. So…now another is on order.

2.) Cell phone — Okay, truthfully, I lose this at least once a day. Usually, it just involves tracking down my husband’s phone and calling myself. He loses his more often than I do, so he has a little more sympathy for me when this happens.

3.) The car. Yep. Again, this happens on a regular basis…usually in large parking lots that don’t have helpful numbered aisle markers. This week, this involved my rental — a silver Chevy Cruze. There seems to be an inordinate number of silver automobiles of this size. Of course, it was dark and the lot wasn’t well-lit so that didn’t help matters. I had to quell my rising panic that someone had stolen it, while I walked up and down the rows until I finally saw the telltale license plate frame of Stratton Auto.

4.) Debit card. I know…everyone loses those. But this was really bugging me. I’d used it the night before, so it had to be somewhere…which is what I say about everything I lose. Debit/credit cards are scarier, though, because of the frighteningly obvious concerns of them falling into the wrong hands. Usually, when this happens, you have to call the bank quickly and let them deal with it. This time, though, I finally remembered that I’d stuck it in the inside pocket of my coat…so I wouldn’t lose it. Of course.

5.) Two — not one, but two — diamond solitaires. Not the actual ring…just the stone. The first disappeared on a dark and stormy night on a gravel drive. The second disappeared about 25 years later on a bright, sunny day. Both involved calls to insurance companies. Learned my lesson. Gave up on diamonds and replaced it with a genuine peridot.

6.) Library book on CD. I have the final CD…just can’t find the other six and their box. This could be costly. And much as I love Stuart Woods, I can only listen to Stone Barrington’s fascinating conclusion  so many times.

7.) A student’s folder. This happens once in awhile, but  it’s not always my fault. Sometimes they get misfiled. But this usually happens when I have a meeting with said student in about 30 minutes.  Which, by the way, has already happened today.

I wonder if it’s bad luck to admit that I lose things? Probably not. It would probably happen just as often if I never told anyone. But I’d better quit while I’m ahead. Besides, I’ve got to head off to that meeting. Now….if I can just find that Prius smart key fob. Anyone seen this?