Monday, May 16, 2011

Slow-Blooming Spring

Sunday, May 15 
 I woke this morning after eight hours of perfect sleep, to a somewhat better frame of mind and an upgraded forecast.  It was sunny, but with a hard, icy wind.  Leapt out of bed and into my clothes, dancing my bare feet across the floor.  Waited for my tea water to boil while frantically chafing my hands.

I found Dad's work gloves where he had left them, laid across the wood stack in the toolshed; I did some more raking.  The cold weather has delayed the leaves and undergrowth, so treasures were revealed to me when I hauled my burlap bundle back into the woods.

 My grandmother would spend her entire summer here and had gardens.  The fact that her forsythia is just now getting around to blooming goes to show how late spring has come to Wisconsin this year.  I found a rhubarb patch sitting randomly in the woods as well. I vaguely remember that she had a couple of raised beds.  One was in a wooden rowboat - must have composted itself years ago!

My old friend Lisa came to see me.  We took her two little girls down to the beach, but had to hunker down in the sun-warmed sand on the sheltered leeward side of the sandy point, which we laughingly called Ploody Peninsula.
After they left, I unchained the canoe and launched it into the bay.  Despite the relative shelter afforded the bay by Ploody Peninsula, the wind was a real problem.  I worked hard between gusts, wishing for a bad-ass, extra-long stern paddle instead of the regular one I had.  But, with just small me in a 17-foot canoe?  The wind simply picked me up and danced me over to the neighbor's landing across the bay!  No amount of sweep and jay could save me from the inevitability of the neighbor's landing.  I was wishing for ballast!

I was a little bummed because I have a canoe trip coming up in September and I would have enjoyed brushing up my skills a bit. 

Back in Oshkosh tonight, we were hanging out at Charlie's place, and I was laughing about my predicament.  Mom said, "Pffft!  Don't let it bother you!  Once, your dad and I canoed across Lake Moriah to Buzzell's Woods and a storm blew in as we were coming back.  We could not get back to the landing! Kept getting blown off to the side of the lake!  Dad tried everything, but he couldn't manage it.  It was funny!  We ended up walking the canoe around to the landing.  That was your Dad; and there were two people in the canoe!"

Charles chimed in that he and Dad had developed a theory, as yet untested:  when alone in a wind-blown canoe, turn around so that the stern is in the front  and then sit on the bow thwart.  That would have you up high enough for optimum paddling and still in the back half of the canoe, but farther forward than before, for better weight distribution. 

We'll test it next time I come home, Charlie.  But we'll tie a long cord to the bow.  You can stand on the shore, and when I fetch up at the neighbor's landing, you can reel me in!

1 comment:

  1. You are you calling old? (wink)
    It was wonderful to see you! Wish our visits could be more frequent!