Canoeing, Northwoods Events, Odd Happenings


    (I wrote this on a potential posting on FB and it wouldn’t post. FB is such a loser!) Blogger! Yeah Blogger!

    Our fall picnic by the lake finally materialized yesterday. Almost! It was a windy day so while we loaded our food and paraphernalia( this word is such a lark…parafERnalia! Ha!) I advised Brad to load his canoe and contraption and try out for sailing if he still wanted to do so. He wanted to.
     He has BEEN wanting to for over a year. Nobody had time, ahem, to take him out last year.  There it sat in the leaves back by the canoes. The mast held out, but this summer while he was in Nebraska, I found the sail, rotted and yucky half buried, in the leaves. I burned it. Elv had a use for the mast. Brad came home undaunted by these things and made another set. This second set was much more impressive to me…neater lashings and such like.
      We left here with the picnic loaded into baskets: flowers, food, candles, dishes, props, etc. and the canoe strapped onto the van.  All the way to the lake the straps set up a hideous roar from the wind in the van. The canoe shifted once just a little to the side so that we pulled off at the end of Joe’s lane to check. We were glad to arrive at the lake everything on board, intact.
     First we got acquainted with our lake shore. The water was too cold for wading. Nice weeds to pick, clean shore for sitting. And picture taking.
    Next, us girls arranged the table while Brad prepared to try his sail. The wind wasn’t dying down, though.  So we were glad for real dishes as opposed to paper. Brad had his life jacket and canoe and contraption already to go only to discover he had forgotten to bring oars. So, he spent the next hour creating an oar. You can see it on the picture.
    Off he went. Our table was set so us girls sat on the beach to watch him rowing that silly canoe into the wind. His plan was to sail back from the other side. Good plan.  Only thing was that paddle. We sat and watched and played with the babies while he grew smaller and smaller rowing(more like tacking) into the distance. Suddenly, Amy noticed, “He’s tipped.”
    Now I didn’t panic, mind you. I just hopped up and tried to remember that he had a life jacket, but the water is pretty cold in October, and all my wisdom about letting boys be boys and not be a chicken about it… Anyway, I told Frank to stay and watch which she promptly interpreted to mean to run frantically around the lake on the shore toward which a tipped and submerged canoe and a lonely little head were bobbing, way out there. Amy and I jumped in the van and drove on the road around trying to get to the same place.  Parked the van in some lake owners yard, ran past his van and outbuildings, through the woods, and down to the dock toward which he was still trolling his canoe. By now he was answering our calls. Thank you Jesus, so he wasn’t drowning and didn’t seem overly upset, either.  Frank and Amy arrived at the same time at a dock further down and he came to them. “I still have all my equipment.” he announced.  They helped him empty his canoe and he soggily climbed back in and headed back to the picnic shore. Us girls got in the van and drove back still sort of shaky-like.
     His first words to me when he walked up afterward, “I STILL didn’t get to try my sail.”
     And our picnic was too windy for a fire OR the candles so we ate our cold supper in the glare of a pickup light and quickly gathered everything up, threw it back in the van, came home and ate our apple crisp and ice cream in the warm, dry and well lit living room.

6 thoughts on “Sailing”

  1. Ahem. Just to clarify a bit… it was not promptly. I talked to Charlotte long enough to collect a blanket for a that silly boy who was bound to be freezing cold, and to ask if she had her phone on her and could keep an eye on it from there. And THEN I took off. I didn't get there a whole lot later than they did either. I'da liked to have seen THEM calmly sit there “watching” (duh!), while he drowned out there!!!!!!! And then, after we had him fished out of the lake (okay fine, he swam up to shore pushing that silly green canoe)… And the water dumped out of his canoe, and he was back in it, swaddled in that blanket… He looks up at me with that goofy grin of his and sticks out his hand for me to shake, “Dad gets my shotgun”. And he shoved off quick before I could order him OUT of that canoe!


  2. What about me, do I get his deer rifle? I think that sails are better suited to sailboats. Canoes are awfully tipsy without adding 8 feet of sail above the water line. My prediction is that the outcome wouldn't have been much different if he had put up the sail. ~GB


  3. But it can't hurt to try and I believe that we successfully proved that, didn't we? Sometimes experience is more valuable and more fun than just saying something pat and boring like, “That won't work because…”.


  4. Oh, I agree. It's often better and always more interesting to find something out for yourself. A lot of stuff wouldn't get tried if someone didn't attempt what others say is impossible. ~GB


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