The Pond

A little while ago I asked my good friend Fuzz if he would do a post for me.
I wasn’t sure what he would send back but left the door wide open for anything.
This short memoir piece is a glimpse into the heart and mind of a young Texas boy and his love of “The Pond”.
Thanks again, Fuzz.
I’m truly honored you sent this to me.
We have to sit down and throw back some crawdads someday.
I’ve never had one.
~m

The Pond

I was raised in the country twenty miles from the nearest town.
Besides my grandparents that lived next door, our closest neighbor lived about five miles down a twisting, turning, sandy, county road.
It was a quiet life far from what is construed as civilization.

I started working early in my life.
Being raised on a farm fosters that ethic, yet there was time to relax and enjoy the simple comforts of life. When I was not much older than my son is now, (I was around twelve or thirteen), my favorite summer pastime was to spend time at the spring fed pond.

I would take up a sleeve of crackers or a half a loaf of bread and make the trek about a mile down the road over to the pasture on the river to the spring fed pond.
There sitting on the bank was a battered and rusted canoe.
I would climb aboard with my oar, the bait, a patched up dip net, a bucket, and an old Folger’s can for bailing out the leaky vessel.

Pushing out through the cat-tails, I calmly rowed to the back end of the still waters of the pond. Wedging the canoe amongst the cat-tails, I readied the net and cast it down the dark calm water. After but a few short moments, the net was brought up filled with that most odd of crustaceans, Crawdads. In but a short time, I would have my bucket filled with these crawling, pinching, prehistoric looking delicacies.
I would calmly row back and pull the boat back ashore, unload, and trek back to the house.

My mother would not allow me to cook the crawdads in the house. The smell and steam were a little more than she could bare. So I would build a cooking fire out behind the garden a good bit from the house and boil up a pot of water in a big cast iron pot that was once used for butchering hogs back when my grandparents butchered their own meat.

As afternoon slid into evening and the hot West Texas sun was replaced by a cool clear starlit night, the crawdads once done to a radiant red were iced down in an Igloo cooler.
My mother would make me up a nice red sauce. My parents, my younger brother, and myself would sit in the yard talking and eating.
My father would share a sip or two of beer with me when my mothers back was turned.
All in all everything seemed right in the world.

My grandfather sold the old home place a short time before he passed away a few years ago. I have not seen the old spring fed pond in ages yet I can still picture those cool, dark, still waters and know that somewhere all in all everything is right in the world.

~Fuzz

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9 thoughts on “The Pond

  1. When I read a story like that, it makes me long for a time when a summer’s day could be so tranquil.
    My own kids don’t have a clue about being carefree and safe, enjoying the simple things outdoors.
    It depresses me to think that the world has changed so much .
    Bummer!
    Nice post, Fuzz
    ~p

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  2. Oh Fuzz, I’m right there with you. There is nothing tastier than crawdads. Yum, yum! And that slow, country life and starry nights make a person glad to just be alive and with those they love.

    Great story, my friend. Enjoyed it immensely.

    WC

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  3. you turn up in the most unexpected places don’t you????
    but i have to admit ignorance here…what the devil is a crawdad???? having said that i’ll now say it was a great story all the same 🙂

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  4. Beautiful post. I can see that kid on his canoe bailing the water with the coffee can, sitting around with the family after a hard day’s work enjoying the ‘crawdads’. ‘The Pond’ spells summer as it should be. Good memories!

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  5. Thanks my friend for letting me do a guest post. I always wonder how my more personal posts will come out. While rereading this post, I could almost hear a voiceover by Wilford Brimley. I am not so sure that is a good thing but my sincere appreciation goes out to all of you who left these awesome comments.

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  6. What a great read. Two memories it brings up for me – my Texan Grandpa had some land in Yoakum county on which now grows lots of cotton. We still own the land, and once went to visit it. On one pastured part of the land, there is a pond – and a windmill pumps the water into it. Cows drink from it. It is just a wonderful oasis in the middle of nowhere – and I loved visiting it, and enjoy the notion that my Texas roots are not buried too far down. Second memory is fishing crawdads out of our creek in Malibu canyon, and throwing them on the bbq on hot summer nights. I never could suck out the heads though… LOL

    You can really write well = and not just the “blue” stuff 😀

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