This weekend, I went off on a little excursion in my brand new Calypso kayak. We're no extreme kayakers, just quiet water types...gawking, communing with nature, and lots of chatter too. My husband's boat is a fisherman's kayak...with huge pontoons to keep him afloat. He tells people they're his "training wheels." He has a pretty serious neuro-illness...spino-cerebellar ataxia, which has left him with very little balance in standing, and walking is pretty much out of the question. But out on the water...it's pretty darn hard to keep up with him!
We were cruising along having a good old time, when the wind picked up, the sky darkened and huge, storm clouds came rolling in. We raced back to shore. Obviously, Tom can't make a running dash...so we always have to plan ahead and know that there's no time to waste. We hoisted him out, ran for the wheelchair, and basically ran the drill.
Once we were pretty well set, we spied an eager, young guy standing along the shore getting ready to put in. His kayak was a definite rental with marker identification written all over it. He had a bike helmet on his head and in his hand was his single paddle. I didn't get the bike helmet, honestly. But, he was ready to go. I wanted to mind my own business, I really did. But the sky was pitch black and the mother in me worried.
"Are you gonna put in by yourself with the storm coming?" I asked. He bristled. How dare I question him.
"Of course I am," he said. "I'll just pull up along the shoreline and find a spot if it gets bad." Well, that would be fine anywhere else, but not in the Great Swamp. There is no shoreline...just tall weeds growing out of water...thus the swamp.
"There's not really a shoreline for parking," we said. We thought we were pretty funny.
"Well...I'm from NYC," he said, all puffed up. "I know everything about parking!"
Other kayakers were joining us, pulling into shore and disembarking in a hurry. We all chuckled a little bit, while he wobbled away from shore. Rotsa ruck, buddy. This ain't no bathtub, and I'm not seeing a rubber duckie either...but I'm sure it's there under the helmet. You'll be using your expertise parking in the weeds with those nasty junebugs, at least a few skeetoes...oh, and snapping turtles too!
It was, after all, just another day at the pond, where story abounds...and where the rock and roll is the real deal. (Maybe the helmet was to ward off the sparks!)