River Bottom Adventure

We each had an army duffel, one full of wood and the other just stuff, including food of course. From my friend’s house it was about 5 miles to where we wanted to go. Actually the adventure was all we wanted. So we started out, 38 degrees and rainy; through a neighborhood, over a fence, across a pasture, through the woods and finally… the Missouri River bottom.

Miles and miles of flat, rich farm land. When you arrive on the Missouri River bottom, you look in the distance to where the river is and it seems like only a half a mile or so. But that half mile is an optical illusion. After walking 3 or 4 miles that day on chisel-plowed river bottom farm ground, we were plum wore out and still not there.

We came to a ditch full of water. Maybe 6 to 8 feet across. An easy jump, at least without the backpacks. My friend went first and ended up neck deep and cold. We were soaked anyway. I tossed my pack over then jumped it. We found an abandoned house; probably left during a flood and the owner decided to rebuild on higher ground. We went in to get out of the rain. It wasn’t too bad inside. Late 60s vintage appliances and many of the windows still in tact. We had to warm up, so we brought the burn barrel in from outside and pulled out the firewood we had carried.

Man that fire got warm quick. And big. Too big. We realized a bit late that we didn’t need it completely full of wood. Two peeing 14 year old boys weren’t putting that fire out. Soon the whole house was smokey, then consumed, and we ran. At the river, we looked back a mile or so at our mistake that was now filling the sky with smoke. A chuckle and then on with life.

Whenever I tell my childhood stories to someone and see their reaction, I realize I was/am not normal. That is okay. But I want to capture some of the stories. So you will find me periodically blogging about them over the next month, then trying pull life lessons from them.

Today was a lot better for Tara. That fluid draining trick actually worked. There is still a lot of tenderness but much better overall. With feeling better came optimism. We are not at the river yet, but occasionally we look back expecting to see the carnage from where we have been. There have been no pillars of smoke from big mistakes…..yet. We are progressing every day. The optical illusion is that our journey, from the start, seemed never ending, but the reality is that chemo will be over in 6-9 weeks. We are making it. God is sustaining us. I am thankful He has let us venture out beyond the safety of normal life, and has trusted us with this adventure.


3 thoughts on “River Bottom Adventure

  1. Okay, this is a first for me…and I grew up living in the same house as you! No wonder Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me go…ever. I can’t wait to talk about this in person sometime. It’s like the beginning of a book you can’t put down, but I’m not the one holding the book and it was put down for me. To be continued tomorrow? Now, I don’t quite see how this relates to Tara’s progress. But I am glad to hear the draining of fluid brought her some relief. We continue to pray for you all. Love you so much.

  2. I have been praying for you. That the pain and discomfort would subside. Hopefully, the draining will sustain your belly. Keep fighting like a champ! God is prevailing.
    I am so thankful that we were able to spend some time together. I am actually feeling some relief from the coughing. I have been very congested which has fueled a persistent migraine. There are a few things to look forward to. Like only 24 school days left and 54 more days til Hawaii! Summer is coming even if we skipped spring.
    You and I are so over the snow! However it is a great visual as God lets it fall down and cover us once again making us white as snow. We are forgiven. He does have it covered. Cast your cares upon Him. Thanks for sharing all the great pictures from the race. It was wonderfful to see the support for Tara and Ovarian Cancer cure.
    I love you guys, hang in there.
    Cousin, Amy

  3. Leslie, your parents were very wise. Both in the freedom to explore and have adventures that they allowed your brothers, and in NOT allowing you to go with. I have 6 sons of my own, and am constantly struggling with how much freedom to give them. I want them to grow up confident and resourceful, but I really wouldn’t want to have to answer for that burned house, either. God give me wisdom!

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