Of course, Adolpha got wind of our plan and wanted to join in. We walked down to the dock, found everyone an appropriately sized life vest and hopped in our little metal canoe. We paddled a nice little circle real close to the dock and I said, "Well, that was fun, let's bring her in."
"Noooo," my kids wailed. "Aunt Seraphina took us all over the lake."
"She did?" I asked.
Hmmm...Aunt Seraphina is MY aunt, their GREAT aunt. I'm not sure how old she is, but close to 60 I'd say. If she can row them all over the lake, so can I. I can not be outdone by a senior citizen. I spotted a little cove at the far end and I said, "Did she take you to that cove?"
"OK, well that's where we're going! Paddle, Gomer!" We had a nice brisk wind at our backs and off we went to our secluded cove. We got there in no time and drifted around for a bit. The sun was starting to get hot and Adolpha was getting restless. Every time she shifted her weight the boat would tip a bit and Gomer would freak out that we were going to capsize. (I didn't want to tell Gomer that I'd pretty much convinced myself before we ever left shore that I would somehow be swimming back because we would most likely tip.)
|At least it was only this bad in my head.|
"Have you had enough? Shall we head back?" I asked.
"Yes!" they answered.
I conjured up the few strokes I could remember from the last time I ever canoed (25 years ago) and got us turned around and headed in the right direction. We battled head winds the whole way and Gomer wasn't much help when it came to paddling. His arms were tired and he didn't have much left in him.
We finally got within about 10 feet of the dock when suddenly the wind picked up and we were literally turned sideways and pushed back out in the middle of the lake. Argh. I tried to turn us again and this time we did two complete rotations before I was done. I tried to act like I meant to do that. As if I am some sort of trick canoeist.
People were starting to gather on the shore now to watch us. "Are you OK out there?" someone called.
"Oh yeah, we're good. Thanks. Just need to paddle a bit harder," I called back. "Dig!" I yelled at Gomer.
"I'm digging, mommy!" he yelled at me. "Steer!"
(I've never been canoeing with the Hubs, but this gave me a glimpse of what it could be like. Gomer has never reminded me so much of his father as he did today when he yelled at me.)
We headed back towards the dock and got within 10 feet again when we were suddenly pushed away again! Are you kidding me!!?
At this point, I start thinking if I can somehow jump in the lake without tipping the canoe. I figure I could jump in and tow the boat in. I'm not convinced my plan can be carried out. I am very much like a clumsy baby bull. My kids will definitely end up in the drink. I'm positive.
I can't think about jumping, because now I've got a mutiny on my hands. The kids are wigging out.
"Mommy, will we be stuck out here all night?" Adolpha wailed.
"No. I'm thinking of jumping in and swimming the boat in," I said.
"You'd jump in and leave us here, Mommy?" Gomer screeched.
"Noo. I'd pull the boat and swim. I think you might fall in too though. Would that scare you guys?"
"YES!" they replied in unison.
"Well, then we're going to have to paddle really hard, Gomer. Let's go. I'll count and we can paddle together."
We started again with our synchronized paddling, inching closer to the dock. We were getting there...I could maybe just slip over the side...WHOOSH. Damn winds!! Out we go again - sideways.
Now I think we could make it to the shore on the other side of the lake and drag the boat out there. I've decided that's what I'm going to do. We start working with the wind instead of against it. I just hope it isn't very deep over there.
"Hi there. Could you use some help?" came a voice out of nowhere. A young boy - maybe a high school kid? pulls up in a kayak.
"Hi! Yes, please!" we all reply.
"Hang on to my kayak and I'll tow you in," he said.
He expertly maneuvered us right to the beach with little or no trouble. We got to where the water was about a foot deep and I jumped out of that damn boat. The hell I was going to get dragged back out into the middle again! We were all glad to be on dry land again.
Yes, I am not ashamed to say that I let that young boy tow me and my two children to shore while everyone watched us like we were idiots. No one said it out loud, but I could hear their thoughts. "What the hell was she thinking? Look at her! She is not boating material. Did she just think a motor would somehow appear on the back of that canoe? Those poor kids are terrified. Way to go, SuperMom. Ewww...by the way, she totally ruined her shoes. Yuck."
My shoes are a little soggy and I'm not sure that they will recover and I will definitely be sore tomorrow. The upside? I'm making memories for my kids. I was a regular OAM today. We got some great pics that will look great in my Canoeing Memories Scrapbook.