Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 43

UP THE CREEK

The Ongoing Story
of Our Life

i

BY KEN M. BLOMBERG

It's a fine spot to live, this place we
call "reality." Our home, the land and the
creek lie along the Wisconsin River valley,
not too far from the county line. The house
was built before the Great Depression and
our family has called it home since the late
seventies. It was here that the "boss" and
I raised a pair of boys, a kennel full of bird
dogs and a wide variety of other critters.
The creek that flows behind the house
is the lifeblood of the land. It bisects our
property after draining the neighbor's
woods and farm fields. Three-quarters of
a mile in length, it controls the water table
and eventually feeds a backwater slough
that empties into the Wisconsin River.
When the boys were very young, I'd dare
them to spit into the creek, then ask them
to imagine their saliva's journey to the
ocean, by way of the Mississippi River and
New Orleans.
Water, teaching and writing have been
the essence of our family's existence
over time. For nearly 40 years, I was
employed in the water supply industry and
retired in 2013 as executive director for
the Wisconsin Rural Water Association.
My wife, the "boss," taught at a nearby
community middle school-a career
that spanned 33 years. And since the
spring of 1980, I have been writing in my
spare time.
Our family shares our land with a
variety of wildlife, including white-tailed
deer, turkey, bear, wolves, fisher, grouse,
woodcock, rabbit, squirrel, as well as a
host of non-game song birds, owls, hawks
and bald eagles. As luck would have it, it
was a majestic bald eagle soaring above
the river valley that convinced me to buy
the 50-year-old cheese maker's house we
now call home. I contacted the realtor and
closed the deal that very same day.

"Our place along the Wisconsin River includes a log
cabin office and kennel, where the author now writes
and ponders world affairs." Photo by Ken M. Blomberg

Over the years, our place in the
country has been home to scores of bird
dogs, with German Shorthaired Pointers
being our breed of choice. "Buck," my
first shorthair puppy, spent his initial few
months living in a dormitory at the local
university. He and I were kindly given an
early pass to move off campus. He came
to me from a small game farm up north
and taught me more about bird hunting
than I could teach him about being a good
bird dog. He stayed with our family for two
months and 14 days short of 16 years.

He's buried down by the creek, but his
ghost still runs in the uplands behind the
house. The shorthairs we own today are
related to Buck, whose blood runs through
their veins. The registered bloodlines of
our dogs own the name of our township
and a nearby river, called Eau Pleine. While
many dogs from the past are buried along
the creek, a new generation fills the kennel
these days along with several field bred
English cocker spaniels.
North central Wisconsin has been
our home for more than four decades.
Much has changed, yet a great deal is
still as it was. In many respects, progress
has been kind, but the consequences
of development have taken a toll on the
landscape. Planned growth can save the
rural nature of our counties in the future,
but it will take a strong land ethic, an
unwavering commitment by our decisionmakers and support for those that own and
live on the land.
This is an ongoing story of our life,
the land, the creek and the thoughts that
come to mind as we share this place
we call "reality" with you throughout all
four seasons. ●

THIS IS AN ONGOING STORY OF
OUR LIFE, THE LAND, THE CREEK AND
THE THOUGHTS THAT COME TO MIND
AS WE SHARE THIS PLACE WE CALL
"REALITY" WITH YOU THROUGHOUT
ALL FOUR SEASONS.
RURAL WATER

43



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018

From the President
When Rural Water Systems Combine
Peer-to-Peer Networking
Cheboygan, Michigan Adopts Level Service Goals for Water Department
NRWA President Steve Fletcher: Rural Water’s “Man for All Seasons”
Rural Water Rally 2018
State Rural Water Association Profile
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Regulatory Update
Up the Creek: The Ongoing Story of Our Life
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Intro
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - bellyband1
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - bellyband2
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - When Rural Water Systems Combine
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 16
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Peer-to-Peer Networking
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 22
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 24
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Cheboygan, Michigan Adopts Level Service Goals for Water Department
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 27
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - NRWA President Steve Fletcher: Rural Water’s “Man for All Seasons”
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 29
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 31
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Rural Water Rally 2018
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 33
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 34
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 35
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - State Rural Water Association Profile
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 37
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 39
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 40
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 42
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Up the Creek: The Ongoing Story of Our Life
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 45
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover4
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