Recovery Part Deux

Saturday night was devoted to pain pills and anti inflammatories for both Tula and me. Tula could barely walk and I was just sore, from all of the places I’d bumped and scraped against as I was bobbing down the pier side. I was also wrapped in a heating pad. (They are marvelous things, by the way.) And there was a bit of anxiety traveling through the rooms where we were, considering the lost phone, credit cards, driver license, insurance IDs, etc.

And the kid kept saying there was nothing to worry about—she was sure we were going to be able to rescue all. In the morning—Sunday, she went to the hardware store to get some pole extensions and advice on how to make poles longer, attach nets, grabbers, and so on. She came home loaded with search equipment to put together and a huge roll of duct tape. And off we went to the evil-event pier. I was feeling much better—to everyone’s surprise—and was so able to assist in the search. Poles extended into the water and nets dragged along the bottom.

We did the poling for some time, and then some time more. I pulled against the lake water and poked back and forth. I did that for some more time. The kid netted several things, including a nice rod and reel. But no wallet. She netted for yet some time more. And more. Until the futility quite set in, or had set in some time previously. Even though the found rod and reel had encouraged us to continue hoping.

We then made our way to a cell phone store and purchased a new phone for me. Even if I had or would have gotten my phone back, it could not possibly work. And then we went home to talk about guns and shooting. (seriously)

The kid, as notoriously persistent as her mother, was able to get a hold of a scuba diver who would meet her Tuesday morning at the pier. On Monday we went to our respective homes and workplaces. I drove well within the speed limits along the way, not wanting to get pulled over.

Tuesday morning came and went to great success! Yes indeed, the diver eventually found the wallet but could not recover the dog leash. Regardless, we considered that a wrap. Tula will recover and I have recovered. The wallet arrived on Thursday and my kitchen smells like rotten fish—but the cards dried nicely. Oh, and I continued to walk while balancing on a rolling pier for two days.

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.

 

 

Boathouses

These photos are from Bob Good Photography, taken at Lawrence Lake near La Crosse.

I look at these, walk down the dock and I can smell the scent of the water and fish, feel the slap-slap movement of the boards, know the calls of the birds skimming the water. For so many years summer life centered on the water and the boathouses there. Beer was kept by being dropped into the cold of the river. (Fish nets put to good use.) Many a beer, many a fish fry. Diving off docks, swimming against the current.

It’s where we lived, it’s where we played and slept. Then you could keep boathouses directly on the river and ours were docked just past and under the big Mississippi bridge that crossed over to Minnesota. When those were gone we were not allowed to replace them. Time moved on, faster than the current and quicker than a walleye jumping for a June bug.

Now these photos below of the lake are for a different story. The one that will be told of lakes and eddies where it’s still okay for the parking of the boats and boathouses. They’re not on the Mississippi; they’re not in the way of the main lane for the big boats, the new business of summer, the new Riverboat Queen.

And so it goes—another bridge built, another song. And I wonder how they keep their beer cold?

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