Sunday, March 15, 2015


It's raining. My birthday was last week. Mike gave me my very own kayak, an inflatable, that I can carry all by myself to the lake. I made a list of lakes I want to visit. I bought an air pump, a beautiful green paddle made by Werner, and a new pair of cat straps. Nick said I'd probably fall into the water and reminded me that I would need the cat straps to keep from losing my glasses. Why do they call them cat straps anyway?

So, I'm here for a reason. All of that stuff just makes me happy. My kayak makes me happy. My beautiful paddle, air pump, and cat straps make me happy. Even my old wet suit, neoprene socks, and paddling gloves make me happy. My dry bag might be mostly dry. My booties are ugly but very comfortable. My bright yellow paddling life jacket makes me incredibly happy. Even in March, I'm ready to go in any weather.

If it's raining? What do I care? I'm going to be wet anyway. It will just mean that I'm more likely to have the lake to myself.

What I'm here to complain about is life. On Monday, I had to walk the dog with a friend and go home to babysit guys who were cutting down a tree that threatened to land on my house. It was a tall tree and was leaning. Afterward, I didn't have enough time before we needed to head out for karate. While Nick was kicking people and getting whacked, I went out and bought my beautiful new green paddle.

On Tuesday, bought an air pump and I had to attend a long meeting about drug dealers at the public library.

On Wednesday, I had to take the dog to the vet and write a reasonable transcript of the long meeting about drug dealers at the public library.

On Thursday, I volunteered at the school library, worked with a friend over coffee, and took Nick to a noisy meeting at his high school campus about classes, sports, and clubs. He was tapped on the shoulder by the football coach from across three boys and a mom. Football. We've known this day was coming since he was an toddler and men, total strangers, would pick him up in the park saying he was built for football. We don't know a thing about football except that the Seahawks didn't win the Superbowl this year because of a single play and that boys and men who play a lot of football get more concussions than soldiers in Afghanistan. Football it is. I can become a football fan, I guess.

When I got home from the noisy meeting at the high school where Nick finally got tapped to play football, I wrote the article about drug dealers at the public library. Have you ever tried to squeeze seven pages of information into one page without losing any details? I managed to squeeze it down to a page an a half and the editor took it, so I'm good. But it was four days past my birthday and I still didn't make it to the lake to paddle my new kayak.

On Friday, there was another long meeting, partly about the drug dealers at the public library and partly about how the DNR made changes to a local levee to support Chinook salmon in the river. Before the meeting was over, a bunch of us went over to look at the river and the changes and how great the plan was working. It was agony to stand there on the bank of that water and know that I had my beautiful green paddle in the car next to my brand new inflatable kayak. The air pump was on the seat along with my wet suit, my life jacket, my booties, my dry bag, and my cat straps.

On Saturday, I was already scheduled to stretch and strengthen with a friend of mine. I didn't mind that so much because it was going to make paddling easier. But then, before I knew I got my very own kayak for my birthday, I had agreed to meet a bunch of friends for lunch and a walk through a quilt show. It took so incredibly long! I tried to be patient. I did. I tried to have fun. I suppose I did, but I wasn't on the water.

And here we are. It's family day. We aren't doing anything interesting. It's raining harder today. That lake would be completely vacant. But today, we're having fondue and hanging around together with the TV on. It's the first day in three weeks that Mike hasn't gone into work. His project is nearly done and he's on call, so he can't go to the lake where he would be out of range with our phone company. Bummer. Besides, this is a single person kayak. Who wants to wait by the shore while someone else paddles.

By this point, I would. I would sit in a chair and look out over the lake and breathe the air and play in the shallows with my dog and I would toss rocks into the water to hear the plunk of them until it was my turn. I would. I wouldn't mind being second or third. I wouldn't.

But neither of them, not even the dog, wants to go out in this shit and I don't want to leave my husband when it's the first day in three weeks that he's been here.

So, come hell or high water, come snow, sleet or torrential rain, come high winds or meetings or lunches with friends, tomorrow, after everyone has gone to school and work, after I've run the dog with his friend so he'll be tired out, after I stop to see how changes at the public library are going, ...

I am paddling on the lake with my beautiful green paddle and my new kayak. And I'm not coming home until I damned well feel like it.

Thank you for listening, jules

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