Wednesday, August 11

Slow and Steady

I suppose I could start off with a story from our week on vacation.  One that sticks out after posting all the pictures up today is the day we went on our traditional visit to "the island".  First of all.. the island is not really an island.  In fact Lake Bernard is the largest freshwater lake without an island so you need to know this fact; we basically decided as kids that this tiny speck of beach that was owned by no one was our island.  This is likely because its right next to a deep dark cold creek that we also make a tradition of annually freaking ourselves out paddling down it for some reason.  I didn't do that particular trip this year since last year, if anyone remembers, my kayak glided backward into some brush that had a gigantic spider in it right around my face, and I nearly tipped myself in fear.  The creek is dead to me for 2010.

I swear these are all good times though.. even the horrible sleep I got and the bruise on my back from the actual mattress coils, I look upon fondly.  It's just impossible not to.

So my cousins took all the kayaks to the island and I was in the paddle boat with my son Ethan, his cousins Noah and brother Jonah.  All the kids together weighed about 170 pounds and none of them were helping paddle so as you can imagine we were going absolutely nowhere.  I told Jonah, who is 10, that if he didn't help then he needed to get out.  The entire lake for the first 150 feet is like 2 feet deep or less so no I'm not a monster, he was already swimming in it and could have easily gone back in.  He agreed to help a little as we headed toward the island, slightly faster, pretending to be pirates.  We finally get there where 4 of my cousins were waiting for us, plus Noah and Jonah's sister and Maria's dog.  It was a FULL island.  Our tradition is not just that we GO to the island but that we take something to eat/drink with us and nomatter what must finish all of it.  It's an arbitrary rule that I'm sure came from a fear of our parents finding half of something in the fridge and yelling at us.  If it was missing entirely there'd at least be some likelihood of forgetting to pack it, having eaten it.. or the best.. questioning whether you are having a senior moment and not wanting to draw attention to it. 

One year it was an entire block of cheddar cheese.. that was a bad one.  This year it was a 2L bottle of red wine.  We had a ton of fun hanging out, taking pics, finishing the wine, watching the kids play.. and then when we were ready to head back I realized "ah shit I'm the paddle boat."  I should have prefaced this with another story about a fateful canoe ride where me, Antonella and my then 2 year old Ethan accidentally tipped into the water and he was horrified to go into a boat ever since.  And this was the first time he asked to go in one, instead of his usual screaming like he was on fire at the mention of the idea.  THIS paddle boat, THIS year.  Needless to say I was determined not to end up in the water, possibly giving him a lifelong trauma of anything that floats.

Before we cast off I make Jonah aware of the fact he needs to help again or else we won't make it until dinner.  For some reason, even though he's TEN YEARS OLD, he has exactly as much energy as me.. a 28 year old sleeping on a bad mattress, up a few times at night with a baby, and who just drank 2 glasses of red wine.  I blame Nintendo DS.  So, not even midway, Jonah gives up citing "wow this really IS hard" and of course on the way back my side of the boat, which is obviously heavier, is against the waves.  Half the thing fills with water and I declare the only sane thing for us to do is getting out and pushing the two kids back to shore.  I'm not wearing a bathing suit either.  All is going well, Ethan is still having fun, until Jonah decides we'd get there MUCH faster if we started running!  He takes off with the boat and I keep up for as long as I can (you try drinking wine and running through a lake) and I yell at him to stop.  Like I said though, the Nintendo DS caught up to him and he ran out of steam anyways as I kept going along.  I thought it was a great time to repeat a piece of age old wisdom..  being the old person in this situation; slow and steady wins the race, buddy!

And that's the story of that.

Flickr: Cottage 2010 Photos


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