Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vacation Part 3

Day 3
As I write this the wind is crashing through the pine forest – it has been doing so since about 3:00 this afternoon. I’m tired, my calf muscles hurt, I’m sunburnt, the dog is exhausted, and the outside temperature is cool (which soothes my hot flashes).

Tim rented a boat for the entire day today – a large, flat-bottomed row boat with an outboard motor. It fit all 8 of us, plus the two dogs. The boys did a little fishing in the morning, but no bites.

Luci and I did some food preparation this morning and then parked ourselves in chairs on the shore to watch the boys.

In the early afternoon, Tim took all of us (including the two dogs) out in the boat for a tour of the lake. The boys hung off the front of the boat, trailing their hands and/or feet in the water, and shoving each other now and again. I am not completely comfortable out on the water, so the antics of the boys (who are at the macho stage of life) were a little nerve-wracking. I lived, though.

We slowly motored around the lake. The bird watching was superb. We saw the osprey in their nest at the top of a very tall, very dead tree. Cormorants were everywhere, winging across the water in search of fish. Best of all, we saw two bald eagles – one perched on a log near the shore and the other perched high on top of a pine tree. As we approached, the first one took off majestically and swooped inches from the water before soaring up high over the ridge and into the next valley. The second eagle simply sat at the top of that very high pine tree, gorgeous brown and white against the dark green forest, surveying his domain. No wonder they are the national bird – there is nothing quite like them.

Most of the day was overcast. Not cool, but not really warm, either. The boys didn’t care – they swam and played with the rafts and the tubes anyway. Around 3:00, after I put the chicken in the Dutch Oven, the sun came out and I thought I’d finally get some time to float on the water. But at the same time that the sun came out, we suddenly became aware of a far-off roar of wind, which we heard for several seconds before finally feeling it. Down the valley it came. No rain, just wind. The lake went instantly from mirror calm to choppy wavelets. We sat on the shore and watched things blowing around (like our tubes, which had to be rescued more than once and placed ever higher on the shore to keep them from blowing away).

Suddenly, Tim rocketed out of his chair and headed for the rented boat. Luci and I thought he was trying to pull it higher up on the beach so that the waves didn’t rock it away, but as it turned out, he decided to take the boat out in the wind and waves just for the fun of it.

I grew up near the ocean and I have a healthy respect for Mother Nature, especially where water and weather are concerned. But this is an inland lake and the waves were ….six inches high at most. Still, it was a dramatic change and I could see the fun of it for them.

As Tim hauled the boat into the water, the boys looked up from their games and quickly joined him. In about two minutes they all were out on the lake, motoring around (it’s a “no wake” lake – you’re not allowed to go fast anyway). With the wind so strong, they actually did make a little wake and a little spray with that sedate old boat. The looks on their faces were priceless, especially Tim’s – he was a kid again, playing in the wind and waves.

- Catherine

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