This picture, taken just a few years ago, still looks alarmingly close to what it did some thirty years ago when I was a teenager.  The creek and small bridge were the location of many an adventure I had as a kid.  It was there, while walking through the creek in shallow water, that my sisters and I emerged with leaches on our legs.  I can still remember screaming loudly and flailing aimlessly as we frantically tried to get them off our legs. 

It was at that creek where I had a handful of picnics, saw plenty of snakes and tried my hand at panning for gold (Why, I don't know.  To my knowledge there was never any gold to be panned in Northern Indiana).  Occasionally, if there had been some rainfall, the creek depth would rise.  The increase in water allowed me to try my hand at catching a fish that may have ended up there for one reason or another. I jimmy-rigged many a homemade contraption trying to catch a fish without a fishing pole.  I was never successful.

It was the place I would run, walk or ride my bike to just to sit on the edge of the railing and think.  Think time included just being alone, sitting and pondering what was heavy on my heart or just escaping possibly having to do some sort of chore I was supposed to be doing.  It was where I went when I wanted to cry and didn't want anyone to hear or see me.

If that bridge could talk, it would have quite a few stories to tell.  If it were a sponge and could be wrung out, its contents would spill out of a glass easily.  It would tell you, among many things, that I kissed a boy on that bridge.

It was there that the young man who I loved, after telling me he was marrying another, drove to and etched the words . . . I LOVE NANCY.   I looked for those words on that bridge several years ago after finding that out.  After 30 years, I could still vaguely see part of NANCY there.  It was like finding a piece of a puzzle to my life. 

That bridge is almost exactly 1.25 miles from my parents’ house.  I biked by it, walked past it and ran over it on many an exercise journey.  It was a route I frequented growing up.  It was also a turnaround marker for walks with extended family on Thanksgiving Day aimed at easing the calories and stomach
discomfort after a day of overeating.

That bridge and the edge of the field above it is where my brother-in-law lost his car keys while hot-dogging it wildly on a four wheeler.  Those keys were never found.  

Somewhere mounted on the bridge was a marker from the county signifying what year the bridge came to be.  There was a marker number on it.   That bridge left its mark on me as well.  It marked many a significant moment in my life.  It did exactly what bridges are supposed to do - take you to the other side.

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