Please read this...'This is crazy' sums up the whole situation


<p class="p1">"This is crazy."</p><p class="p1">The words were shared by a Union County emergency services worker on the morning of New Year's Day in Wolf Lake.</p><p class="p1">Crazy, indeed.</p><p class="p1">The emergency services worker and yours truly were sharing a few brief thoughts about the absolutely unusual and unexpected flood which was unfolding in Illinois and Missouri as 2015 came to an end and 2016 made its debut.</p><p class="p1">Back to the flood in just a bit...</p><p class="p1">...crazy kind of figured into the journey through life for The Other Half and her traveling partner last weekend. We motored to the flatlands in Central Illinois last Saturday to visit a couple of folks who are close to us, including one who is getting ready to embark on a rather fascinating chapter in her life. </p><p class="p1">We hadn't been to Central Illinois in a number of years. I guess we don't go to that part of the Land of Lincoln very often because it's too flat. Way, way, way too flat. </p><p class="p1">Mainly, we got to spent a lot of time in a car and a little bit of time in Urbana, where we ate lunch at a barbeque place. Barbeque is better in Southern Illinois. I'm just sayin'...</p><p class="p1">, a bit more more about the flood...for whatever it's worth...before my brief "This is crazy" conversation in Wolf Lake, I had motored north on Route 3 to get a look at the Big Muddy River. The Big Muddy, as you may know (well, I hope you know that), borders part of Union County to the north and west.</p><p class="p1">The Big Muddy, in a word, was up. Way up. As in almost reaching the bottom of a bridge which carries Illinois Route 3 over the river. </p><p class="p1">I stopped to shoot some pictures. While I was shooting, vehicles were passing by, heading north, and south. A vehicle with Missouri license plates slowed considerably when it drove over the bridge. Others just zoomed by.</p><p class="p1">At one point, a gentleman stopped and shared that he was praying for protection of the levees. So, right there on the Big Muddy River levee in Union County, we said a prayer. Apparently, divine intervention paid off, at least in Union County.</p><p class="p1">From the Big Muddy River levee, I headed to metropolitan Wolf Lake, and to the Mississippi River levee west of that Union County bottomlands community. I motored to the intersection of the Bradley and Mississippi River Levee roads. I stopped at the top of the levee, right next to where a "Road Closed" sign had been placed.</p><p class="p1">To the east of the levee, there was some water in a farm field. To the west of the levee was the Mississippi River, up close – as in way up close – and up high – as in way up high.</p><p class="p1">I got out of the car to take some more photographs. Overhead, the sky was a bright, bright blue. I pondered the moment. Here I was, standing on top of a levee next to one of the mightiest rivers on the planet, and totally alone. Somewhere off to the north, a duck called. Just one duck. As near as I could tell. Maybe the duck was looking for some company in the midst of so much water.</p><p class="p1">Enough philosophical pondering. Time to get back to work. As I am writing this, the word is that the flood waters are receding. That is good news, 'cause a flood in the middle of winter is, well, just crazy.</p><p class="p2"> </p><p class="p2"> </p><p class="p2"> </p><p class="p2"> </p><p class="p2"> </p>

This image was captured late last Friday morning on the east side of the Mississippi River levee, west of Wolf Lake.

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