Recovery—Part One

The trip to visit my daughter—well now. Nothing much went as planned. Some of it I guess, in the general direction. But then.

I arrived in good order albeit later than either of us planned. Nevertheless, the four of us set off for boating on the lake. (The four—2 dogs and 2 people.) And it was a beautiful, a nicely warm and sunny day, but windy. Very windy means lots of waves and rough waters. This didn’t matter much setting out and spending a lovely afternoon aboard. As we were late getting out, most of the docking places (sandy, clear) were taken but we did manage to find a place. Not as lovely as our usual, but the dogs were in delight. As soon as we pulled in, they jumped off in unison. Butts abound!

Sullivan is not as big on swimming as is Tula, who swam and swam to make up for all of the times she couldn’t. Sullivan mostly ran back and forth through the woods. Eyes as bright as the sun, it was difficult to get Tula back in the boat when it was time to go. She was willing to stay there and catch up with us later. She even dug a bed to demonstrate. At last with everyone aboard, we went back to the docks.

Remember that wind? It made it a bit difficult to tie off, but we managed, the kid being an expert at handling it all. Then she took the dogs and went off to get the truck to trailer the boat, and I waited with the boat for their return. The pier was like riding a roller coaster, so I reached out with my right hand to steady myself by holding a brace for the canopy on the boat. I used my right hand as the left side was filled with bottles, dog leash, and phone—in a wallet pack. After a few minutes of bobbing and rolling, I became concerned about my hold on the metal brace, it being not terribly sturdy. Then several things happened at once. Remember that wind? Just as I decided to let go of the brace, the boat moved quite rapidly away from the pier and me, opening up an expanse so that I could not let go. I became a flat reach between the pier with my feet and the boat in my grasp with my right hand

And the boat kept moving, swinging the stern away from it all. And then I took an unplanned dive into the lake—that water between the boat and the dock. Remember my left side and the hand holding the wallet-phone? Sure enough. For some unknown reason, in my haste to hold unto it, I let it go. And there I was, between all of the tied off boats and the pier. I made my way forward, holding onto the pier with my recently emptied left hand while doing some creative form of dog paddle with my right arm while in 20 feet of water. Everything was bobbing.

A fine young man came up and offered to pull me with our hands linked toward land. No pride left whatsoever, I agreed. It took a while, but we made it to where I could touch ground. And as I was making my last little way to the end and a place to sit, I watched my daughter and the dogs walk right past me, faced firmly ahead. Huh, didn’t even say hello.

After a while my daughter gathered enough information from bystanders to find me at the end of the pier. Her words? “I never should have left you alone!” Her volume was mixed with concern and a slightly left-over panic. After all, the boat ascue and no mother, she had a right to more than wonder what had happened to me. And she couldn’t see my little bobble head as she walked past. Credit due: who expects to find their mother in the water below the pier, when you left her quite dry next to the boat? I don’t suppose it helped that someone was telling her not to worry, “she’s okay.” “What? Okay? What do you mean, okay? What happened? Where is she?…”

The notables from that afternoon: the knot from the stern tie-off did not hold, hence the boat’s attempt at an escape from the rear. One wallet-phone and a dog leash in the lake. One dog already showing signs of too much activity in swimming. One very soaked and bedraggled woman walking slightly tilted from too much bobbing.

But wait!…there’s more. The next day the adventure continues—stay tuned. And no photos posted here. Why? The phone camera is in the lake.



Oh Boy and What?

The Heck! You say

So I was off for the very long weekend of Memorial Day honorariums. And I traveled in silence, unconnected. How incredibly other-worldly it was. Beautiful and filled with such lovely journeys in mind and spirit and body. Travel on lakes and notes in music. Companionship and dog days—swimming and the joy of chasing sticks. How we swam and explored and drifted.

And then the dog and I returned to this place of our very own moorings.


Cuyahoga Valley National Park post

And heard what happened in our absence. Withdrawal from the Paris Accord? Ben Carson saying that poverty is a state of mind? Mike Pence saying that climate change is just a leftist issue, not of concern to anyone else. Sometimes keeping your head in the sand, your feet in the water, and your head in the sky are where we belong. That our boats may sail on.



What We Leave Behind

It seems we don’t know what we leave behind until it is gone. It’s also true that our songwriters, authors, personal diarists, all (if not in a singular voice) tell us that. But we take no notice. Even when we say, yeah, yeah, true, true. The problem, it seems to me, is that we can only take note of the past, our history. From here, from now, from a future projection— is nothing. We don’t know what will fill our memories, fill the file box of wrongs, loss, despair, and joy. Or we may know an example: the dog I love today will leave me to grieve the same as the dogs who have gone before. But we don’t feel it, we don’t know those things inside-out. Our mind observes, undaunted by Truths, only the facts. And so we stumble on, leaving behind the things we will mourn, or forget. And we forget the most important thing that the notetakers don’t tell us to remember. When we leave the old for the new, we need to be sure it is replaced with something of worth.