In 1947 my parents bought 12 acres of apple orchard and woods near Sandy Spring, Maryland (Montgomery County). It was on the Ednor Road, then a little-traveled narrow way that ran between the Norwood Road and Colesville Road at Ednor (Colesville Rd, then Rt. 29, was later renamed New Hampshire Avenue Extended, and the ‘Extended’ quickly dropped). The sole landmark at Ednor was Cuff’s General Store and Post Office, now long gone. The store was a grey clapboard building, where Mr. Cuff offered sundries and penny candy, and a Mrs. Tucker occupied a small cubicle with a grated window that served as the Post Office. Later, after we moved to a house my parents built on The Property (as they called it), I used to ride my bicycle up to Cuff’s store, where I had permission to leave the bike, and take a rickety bus to the District Line at Silver Spring, and thence a Capital Transit bus into DC, where my father worked, once or twice a week to attend Cornelia Yuditsky’s School of Creative Art.
Before we moved to The Property we used to drive out from our home in Silver Spring for outings (and to harvest apples). The way into the woods at the back of The Property was by a usually-dry, narrow creek bed, which we called The Walking Creek. It led down through tall poplars and a sunny field of tiger lilies to a small active stream, a tributary of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River. After we moved to Ednor, my two brothers and I spent many a day building dams and floating wood ‘boats’ in The Creek, as we called it.
The Walking Creek still exists, and I have put a photograph of it from 2006 on the home page of this web-log. In my mind it still leads to the real creek of sunlight on flowing water, schools of minnows, crayfish under slimy rocks, darting water bugs, luxuriant skunk cabbage, and other wonders. Some of these may turn up here, as well as will anything else in the wide world beyond that interests me, including matters of much difficulty and controversy, but in the end I will always be following the Walking Creek to see where it leads.