When we’re not visiting our grandkids, from time to time we watch a young lady for a friend of ours. Samantha (Sammy) is 4-years old and calls us aunt and uncle. She was with us for a warm, sunny afternoon last Saturday, so we took her for a drive along the river to see the ferry boats. The rivers are high right now, even flooding over some of the banks, which made the drive along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers more exciting. Unfortunately, the high water meant that two of the three nearby ferries were shut down! The Brussell's Ferry was operating, and that was enough for us to experience something really unique about river life.
Sammy was very excited about the ferry boat, even getting out of the car to wave to the boat pilot and to watch the river (and all the debris) flow past us. After crossing over the Illinois River from Grafton we had to make a decision how far to drive, since we’d have to come back to this same ferry to head home. Sammy decided she needed to put her feet in the river, so that made up our minds and we turned off on the first small road that headed back to the river. As it turned out, the river was coming to meet us since it was up over the road. Two teen boys were fishing in the river from their front yards, and we stopped to talk with them about the river and what they were catching.
In a grocery store cart nearly underwater from the rising water they were keeping a large drum fish – about 18” long and maybe 8-10 lbs. Then we turned around to see several good-sized catfish in a flooded ditch. They told us those would be Sunday dinner for their families. Where else can you run into something like that other than along the big rivers? So Sammy got to put her feet in the river, and we all enjoyed this extra surprise.