Things We Laugh About….Now

Mishaps We Call Adventures

What do you do on a nice summer day? Why, anything with water – of course! Naturally, that’s the conclusion we came to on a summer day about 10 years ago. “Why are you telling us about something that happened 10 years ago!?” you may ask. A better question to ask would be “How can you REMEMBER this event from 10 years ago?” Honestly, it’s not hard. Bad experiences have a way of etching themselves in your memory. But looking back, we laugh at them now.

As I was saying, it was a warm sunny day about 10 years ago that we decided to go canoeing. We launched our brand-new canoe into the river and piled in (mistake #1). Right off the bat, we ran into trouble. The trouble was the bottom of the river…and the canoe running into it. We kept going hoping it would get better. It didn’t. We repeatedly exited the canoe to help it float over the numerous rocks we hit. Flip-flops made this task especially hard for my parents (mistake #2). This is the same as having scissors against rock in rock-paper-scissors.

After struggling on for a couple hours and several fish joining us in the canoe, we began to see another problem developing. Well, it was more like we were having trouble seeing because the sun was going down. Worse, we didn’t even know how much farther we had left.

Canoe on Bank

Turning a corner, we approached a bridge. My dad suggested that he would take the canoe to get the truck while my mom went with us boys to wait for him on the bridge. We nixed the idea because my mom didn’t want to wait up by the road in her swimsuit.

Several more stubbed toes later, we came around another corner and saw what looked like a clearing for a road. By this time, my mom had gotten over the self-consciousness of being in her swimsuit and was willing to risk it. My dad headed down river in the canoe while the rest of us made our way to the clearing (mistake #3).

We were a short way off from the clearing and everything was going along fairly well (cue mistake #4). But you see, the night before, we had watched Anacondas. As we were recalling the events of the movie, a “giant” carp brushed up against my mom’s leg and we couldn’t even after that.

We scurried up the bank through the nettles and headed to the clearing through the woods. But reaching the clearing, we were sorely disappointed. It wasn’t a road at all. It was just a power line clearing full of briers and nasty. Not wanting to tear our legs up, we turned back towards the river.

Once we were back down to the river, we began yelling franticly, hoping my dad hadn’t gotten too far. Luckily, he had realized it was a bad idea to separate and turned back upstream. He had a paddle though. After finding each other, we collapsed on the bank (and cried) for a little while.

Moonlight on Water

Back on the water, the river gradually got deeper and we could relax. My brothers and I fell asleep in the canoe as the moonlight guided us down the middle of the river. I don’t know if it was just coincidence, but the moonlit path also avoided the shallow areas. It was nice being able to enjoy at least a little bit of what we thought was going to be an enjoyable afternoon. Our journey ended well as we made it home to our beds.

Our toes have since healed. Our pride has recovered. We’ve had several more successful runs down the same river, but we don’t really remember those. We won’t be able to forget this one though. It’s funny how that works.


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