I had no idea where this was going

Everyone is just waiting for this week to be over, right? Or is that just me? There’s nothing wrong with the week, mind you, but there’s nothing of note about it, either. I owe a few phone calls to people, just to catch up, but I could sum this week up embarrassingly quickly. It’s been that kind of week.

I’m hesitant to call it ennui, which would probably be overstating things. Perhaps it is a small measure of ennui.

A wee bit of ennui.

Wee ennui?


Here’s a bit of advice: if you’re ever reading anything where the writer is making fun of word sounds and he can only draw words with etymologies traced back to just two languages for his joke, you should consider clicking ahead to the next thing on your reading list.

Unless those two etymologies take you to French and Scottish. Classic exception to the rule, and a good way to keep you here for now.

Here’s something we can talk about.

That’s the creek out back of our house. It isn’t ours, but it’s passing by close enough that the sounds drift into the yard, so the sounds are ours. It’s a shallow thing. You can’t swim in it and you won’t want to float down this part of it. And in places you can jump right across.

It’s fed out of a pond just up the street a bit. Olympians swim in that pond. A FINA Masters World Championship swimmer swims in it. A USA Triathlon Olympic Distance national championship participant swims in it. A North American Ironman Championship finisher swims in it.

Most of those are my wife. She’s not an Olympian, yet, but she knows a few. And we’re always on the lookout for a country with lax representation rules and no Olympic program in something we can halfway do. We’re going to be Olympians yet! Probably it will be in something like creek floating, or obscure knowledge. Those are events, right?

At any rate, that water above drains into another creek which went into a reservoir that was the town’s water supply for a part of the 20th century. Now the water comes from a larger lake, which was dammed in 1965. And the second named creek that that water above is heading to goes through there. That second creek puts out 495 cubic feet per second, Wikipedia tells me. (In the 1970s they found a new strain of a bacteria in it. The study was prompted by an outbreak of Legionnaires disease on campus.) And that 495 cubic feet per second flows into the White River, which in 1997, was listed as one of the United States’ most threatened rivers. Pesticides, pollution and overflow sewage. Hooray, Indiana.

The White flows into the Wabash River, which is big enough to have songs written about it. It was named by the Miami Indians and the translation has to do with the clear water quality. “Water over white stones.” You could see the limestone river bed. The French explored it, and French traders traveled north and south from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. fought five battles on it in 33 years. Some of them you’ve heard of in passing. It became an instrument of commerce, this river, and it featured canals and its flow defined geopolitical borders. Today, 411 miles of its full 503-mile length flows freely. Its watershed drains much of the state before running into the Ohio River.

Water is funny like that. The bodies near you have this way of figuring into everything. Topography, economics, agriculture, travel, recreation, history, and can promote great diverse local ecologies. And if it isn’t too dirty, you can drink it!

That creek above runs into two more creeks, and then it flows into two more rivers and ultimately reaches the Ohio River. It would be an exciting trip for a rubber duckie, don’t you think?

If the duckie was the adventurous sort.

Comments are closed.