Friday, September 6, 2013


The sky was clear, the water was cool and the boat was fast.  A perfect combo for an enjoyable afternoon on and in the lake.  Just a part of the birthday celebrations that occurs in my family the last part of August.  We could say Happy Birthday to a new person for a week and still not tire of eating cake and ice cream. 

Oh the beauty of this man-made lake and it's myriad of little islands that were once hill and mountain tops.  We pulled into a quiet cove and set the anchor.  Our hosts, Burt's sister and her husband, prepared a lovely lake luncheon of grilled hot dogs, chips and fruit which we ate while sitting on towel covered rock ledges.  This is their favorite island. 

I jumped into the water from the back of the boat and did not touch bottom.  I grabbed my pink Nascar Cap for the second time of the day.  The first time my hat went flying was when the boat picked up speed.  We had to turn the boat back around so my nephew could pull it from the wake.  My side of life as "Nascar" Mama will be saved for later, maybe October.

The cool water was refreshing and relaxing.  I love to lay back and float, a little way from the splashy crowd, until my ears stop up, and I'm in the rhythm of the water.  I close my eyes and listen to my heart beating and imagine a womb-like experience.  This is the ultimate in peaceful relaxation and something I only get to do a few times a year.  I guess I'm making up for the two months I missed out on, back in my beginning.  

I do love the beach but in a lake there are not sea creatures to worry over, except for the occasional nip of a tiny minnow.  My nephew was attracting fish with a piece of hot dog.  One was nibbling on it as if it were a pet being handfed.  Of course, you couldn't do this in the Gulf.  You do have to worry about attractions in those waters.  I didn't even know where Burt was but I wasn't worried.  When we are seaside these days, I have learned not to worry (kinda') because he loves the water so very much that he doesn't seem to mind the possibility of his floating out to Cuba if a sh--- doesn't get him first.  He is a grown man and after 30ish years of marriage, he is going to do what he is going to do.  And the insurance is paid.  And it makes him gleefully happy to have the memory of floating in the salty, green water until the next time his tiptoes feel the foamy brine. 

Honey finally decided it would be easier and cooler to keep an eye on her brood by being in the water.  Anytime we are within sight distance of more than three inches of water or any Danger! Bluff! pathways, she is counting heads.  Today she was counting eight.  No one is getting lost or almost drowned on her watch.  This was also a good decision on her part because she was having too much fun skipping stones in our direction.  I will give her a G for Gumption.  We helped her climb into the mesh float, which is the best because you are floating in the water and not on top of the water.    It may have been a few years since she was on any float in the water, but she settled down comfortably, complete with Burt's hat on her head.  She relaxed so much that she was able to forget her horrible cold.  And she even giggled.  She is living proof you can have fun in the water without a swimsuit - shorts and a tee work nicely.

After a few luxuriant hours of liquid refreshment, we packed the boat up and jetted back to shore, but not before taking a jaunty tour around this part of the lake.  I was fascinated by the small islands.  The tiniest islands were usually no more than a heap of green with a little bit of shore, not the ones to be stranded on in case of a shipwreck. No trees or much vegetation.

My kind of island was the small variety.  I have spent just a little time thinking of those neat little islands.  When I was a girl, we traveled for two weeks, usually in August.  Almost all of those days were spent camping, all over the country and in and out of state parks and National Parks.  We saw much of the U.S.A.  I could write a book on camping adventures.  The only times we weren't sleeping in a tent were if we were sick enough for a doctor, the campground was temporarily closed because of bears, we were visiting family or if it was a special treat. My sister and I would have been speechless to have had a Hampton Inn experience.

But I am a tent camper at heart.  Even now, I can hear those islands calling my name, with a little tent and a campfire.  This would definitely be roughing it.  But all I could think about was to lay back on a sleeping bag, looking up into that infinite navy sky and all the stars, too numerous to count, like the starburst points of the day's waves shimmering across the moving lake's surface, reflecting the sun.               

Psalm 8: 3-4   "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars,
                         which thou hast ordained, What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"

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