Sunday, May 12, 2013

Along the Banks of Goose Creek

Life’s little lessons: What I learned growing up near Goose Creek.

  • Don’t swim alone—I almost drowned until my dad saved me.
  • How to swing from a rope tied to a tree branch and drop into the swimming hole.
  • Always remember to let go of the rope 'only' over the water. I don't want to explain this. Sort of embarrassing, but I learned.
  • Don’t’ walk barefoot to the swimming hole. Forget the snakes and creepy crawly things; it’s the sand briars and sowthistles that get you.
  • A very large black snake can swallow a rabbit.
  • The wood of wild cherries is toxic. Don’t use the branches to roast hot dogs or marshmallows.
  • Seining for minnows.
  • Fishing worms (nightcrawlers) are bigger in the woods along the creek than the ones we dug up in the barnyard.
  • Put the windows down when riding in Granddaddy’s old Buick. He would always forget and leave an old coffee can of fishing worms in the hot car. Phew! OMG!
  • Cussing at a tangled up homemade stick fishing pole—this is where I learned I was a spaz.
  • Ivory soap bars that float are great for Saturday night baths in the creek on a warm summer’s evening.
  • There are so many stories about catfish barbs and stings I don't know who to believe. I've never been stung or punctured by a catfish. The tales say the whiskers are barbs; others say they're as soft as a dog's whiskers--I'm not brave enough to test this. I do know the dorsal fin is sharp and the bacteria (didn't know this word as a kid, we called it germs) can cause a world or hurt and infection.

A coming-of-age mystery along Goose Creek. Available on Amazon’s Kindle Books.

Everything he was to become happened near a small creek in rural Virginia…

Goose Creek rises in the Manassas Gap of the Blue Ridge Mountains and flows east and northeast until emptying into the Potomac River. Along the way various streams, branches, and other creeks flow into it.

Goose Creek colloquialisms (my first language): 

  • crik – creek
  • ain’t – am not
  • conniption – emotional fit
  • fetch – get
  • ornery – just plain mean and ugly
  • cuss - a person who is grumpy and not very nice (usually a male); i.e., an ornery old cuss
  • reckon – suppose
  • yonder – over there
  • lish – leash
  • ruf - roof
  • gimme – give me
  • y’all – you all (singular)
  • all y’all – you all (plural)
  • poke – bag or sack
  • ‘tll the cows come home – a very long time (probably never)
  • awl – oil
  • tars - tires, like on a bike or car
  • britches – trousers/pants
  • dang/darn/dern – soft swearing
  • fixin’ – getting ready to do something
  • hankerin’ – yearning
  • druthers – preference
  • ain't that a hoot - funny
  • ain't worth a hoot - having no value
  • don't give a hoot - don't care
  • don't give a lick – don’t give a damn
  • lickin' – spanking or beat up
  • whoopin' - spanking or worse
  • piddly – small amount
  • s*&# or get off the pot – make up your mind
  • skedaddle – leave in a hurry
  • used to could – used to be able to
  • yankee – you either are or you aren't according to the old timers
  • ole lady – wife
  • ole man – husband
  • holler – yell at your ole man (my ole lady hollers at me sometimes)
  • hootin' and hollerin' - acting all crazy
  • taters and maters – potatoes and tomatoes
  • four rooms and a path - no indoor bathroom
  • lightnin' bug - firefly
  • dinner - midday meal (lunch)
  • supper - evening meal (dinner)
  • wanna - want to
  • 'lessen - unless (let's go to town 'lessen you don't wanna) notice how colloquialisms can avoid ending a sentence with a preposition
  • someone left the gate open - heavy traffic - waiting for a break at a stop sign 

Credit: PublicDomainPictures /

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