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Tenting alongside the Mississippi was an journey

As widespread rains start to slowly refill lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, Thanksgiving ideas flip again to the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth the place the Mississippi River, only a mile from our dairy barn, was a relentless, usually dominating presence.

Besides, that’s, within the late summer time months when all the things across the farm — cows, employed males, and even the river — moved in a sluggish granny gear. That was particularly so on Saturday evenings the place practically 100 panting Holsteins and an airless milking parlor promised a sweaty session of steamy drudgery.

These languid Saturdays had been, nevertheless, the proper time for 2 younger adventurers, my older brother David and me, to ask our overheated mom if we might “go camp on the river.”

It was a rhetorical query: Two fewer sulking youngsters for supper and one other lengthy night time in an un-air-conditioned farm home? The reply got here rapidly, “Go!”

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