Tag Archive: apparel


The creek was long. You all know that. The creek was wide. The day was passing and the water was gross and we were working hard to get the survey done without messing it up and praying we would never have to come back and redo it. Funny thing about daylight and this chapter – both have an ending.

Some of you might be disappointed that the ending is coming. Some of you might be sitting on the edge of your seats. Well, what began to happen changed, forever, the way I would look at what we did. We had completed the survey and were packing it in when I noticed that the sun was beginning to go down behind the cypress trees in the distance.

The silhouette of the black tree line against the orange ball that was the sun was both beautiful and awful. Immediately I said to John that we should hurry. John, once again sharing words of wisdom and horror, said that we were lucky we didn’t have a flashlight – that alligators were nocturnal feeders and that the eyes lined up on the banks would scare us to death. John is such a comfort.

John – Our Mentor

I wondered to myself if he meant to say that out  loud. John knows more about working in swamps than we do but he also has a story about getting bitten by a moccasin that we don’t. You see, we were chest deep in nasty water pushing the canoes filled with equipment upstream as the sunlight faded. My initial reaction was to call my husband.

Usually Scott doesn’t worry too much about me – or at least that’s how it seems. I was more worried that I would not make it whole back to the canoe launch. I was really scared. I called and told him what was going on and that if he didn’t hear from me in an hour – I just wanted to let him know that I loved him and to kiss the kids for me. I wondered, as I hung up, if he had taken me seriously. I wondered why I decided I could do this. I also wondered how much life insurance I had.

The funny thing about darkness is that it is just that. It’s dark. We all know from our childhood that very terrible things lurk in the darkness. It doesn’t matter how old you get, you still believe in some things. I believed that this was a very serious situation and that I was sincerely afraid. I tried to sound flippant and keep Kristen laughing. I knew she was walking in holes over her head. I knew that every other footstep brought an unknown bottom that might hold a fallen and rotting tree and its branches.

I knew that the darkness was coming and we weren’t going to make it back before it fell. The fear that gripped me was overwhelming. I found myself gripping the side of the canoe even harder. I began trying not to touch the bottom. I started to make funny comments in a nervous voice. I started to panic.

It’s pretty obvious that we made it back. It’s probably not as obvious what followed us back to the launch. I can’t say when I noticed it. I only know that it is here, with me now as I write this chapter. It has been with me ever since that first survey. It seeps into the room when I am otherwise occupied. It takes me over some days.

It’s what followed us back to the launch that day that I miss the most sometimes sitting here at the kitchen counter writing. It’s that notion that anything could have happened and didn’t. It’s the feeling that you escaped, and cheated death. It’s knowing that there are two people who you don’t have to ask to watch out for you. It’s a part of me that is slowly dying. A part of my soul that is starving. A corner of my heart that is crumbling slowly and rotting.

Here, on this Halloween night, it’s what scares me more than the ghouls and monsters. It scares me even more that the fear of the things I couldn’t see as that sun went down behind the tree line. I can’t face my fear of it.

That I might lose the Team! Forever! Does that ever scare you?

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We have recently been nominated for several peer-to-peer blogger awards. These are always a real treat as they come from those who live, work and play here in the blogosphere and it means a lot that we are noticed among millions of blogs!!

 ClaudiaJustSaying…..nominated us for the Kreativ Blogger Award – Thanks so much!

Cindy at Enclosuretakerefuge…nominated us for the Versatile Blogger. She is so sweet!!

I know there were duplicate nominations so I have proposed that we graciously accept the nominations and thank you all for such warm recognition from such amazing bloggers. We are among royalty.

Please continue to enjoy what pour out of us….it’s real, not fiction! This is our lives digitally recreated in type and we hope you like.

Yes – that’s right, sometimes you have to go where no man or Chick with Ticks has ever gone before. And, out in the woods, there isn’t always a path. Oh sometimes you get a path but there is something that makes using it a bit challenging…like a creek…in the wet season…in the Florida swamp! Well, Chicks with Ticks don’t let that stop them. No!

In the event that you find your path heading straight across water “of an unknown depth” (a popular safety meeting topic line), you should probably know a few things before you try to cross it.

Question 1 is obvious,

  1. Have you done this before? If the answer to this is no – DON’T DO IT! (although you might still) If yes, continue to question two.
  2. Is your vehicle four-wheel drive? If not – DON’T DO IT! If yes, proceed to the next question.
  3. How deep is the water? Now, there’s only one way to find out for sure. Oh, you may see a gauge with numbers on it – I wouldn’t rely on that one totally. You have to get out, grab a stick or pole (trusty yard stick works every time). Walk back and forth across the path until YOU COMPLETELY HAVE AN IDEA OF THE ENTIRE PATH’S DEPTH. “Jacque, why are you shouting at us?”, you might say. Well, I happen to have a lot of experience in doing it both right and not so perfectly right. The important thing to note about the depth is – will it float or flood the truck? If it will – DON’T DO IT! If you are not sure – DON’T DO IT! If not – keep going….at your own risk!

    Testing the depth is important!! ha ha

  4. What is the bottom like? If the bottom happens to be mucky, slimy, silty, organic (debris), or anything other than good old sandy dirt – DON’T DO IT (unless, of course you have done so before and are willing to suffer the possible consequences)! If it is good old sandy dirt – onward ho!
  5. Are you willing to get across without stopping, chickening out, listening to squealing field partners, risk the worst case scenario (floating or flooding), and just go for it? If not – DON’T DO IT!

    Floating without flooding is a skill!

    If so, put steady pressure on the gas and DO NOT GUN IT. That creates ruts that other people (like these photos of Kristen and me at Colt Creek) will get stuck in. This is rude and unprofessional….it also slings a lot of mud – roll up windows. Neeexxxttt…

    Winching out the Wenches!

  6. Did you make it? If not – hope you have a few boards, a winch (not wench), some rocks, or a friend to call, like we did. If so, congratulations, you will now want to cross every damned creek you come to and even some wet rivers! Enjoy it.

I hope you will keep in mind that safety is always first – but fun actually comes before safety so is easier to come by….combine the two and it makes everything more fun! And, we all know it is fun out there! Chicks with Ticks GO ANYWHERE!

As an added note: do not enter water that is flowing too quickly, is too deep, is filled with alligators (oh -we do that, nevermind) or otherwise poses a threat to you – a vehicle can become a death trap in water and it is no joke….please follow all safety recommendations.

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