Friday, July 11, 2008
What We Did Last Weekend
Well, seven of us (Mom, sister, nephew, brother-in-law, Alex, Bella, Myself) headed up to Greers Ferry Lake to spend the day out on the water. And I will just mention, to satisfy this month's "food" theme, that picnic lunches are where the whole locavore thing falls apart, for me. Look, sometimes, I just need some nice fresh bread and stuff to go on it that people will eat, and I don't want to spend 7 hours the day before preparing it all from scratch. We formed an assembly line, and slapped together a bunch of sandwiches, bagging and labeling them for the cooler. That was pretty much what we ate that day. As it turned out, we were way too busy to eat, anyway.
First and foremost, some boating and tubing. Some of us have, shall we say, the hang of this.
Arkansas, in case you don't know, is beautiful.
Some swimming at the above spot, and then more tubing. Grayson was a good enough sport to allow his much smaller cousin to ride with him. I'm not sure, but I THINK she appreciated it. She MIGHT have had a good time, but really, how can you be sure?
Did I mention that Arkansas is beautiful? I might not have stressed the fact enough.
We had this spot all to ourselves for most of the afternoon. I can't even describe the peace, pleasure and wonder of just this place. It was like a little miracle. We couldn't bail out of the boat fast enough to all get in that waterfall. Alex was good enough to float in on "Big Mable" and get some nice pictures. Did I play? You know I did.
I may not be able to afford BlogHer, but you know what? This, I can have for free, not more than an hour from my front door. This planet of ours, it's something else. This state of mine, I just have to love it, despite oppressive heat and humidity, choking pollen, and legendary biting insects.
So, after the waterfall blissfest, it was time for some adrenalin. Luckily we had the boys for that. With Chip driving the boat, and Alex and Grayson on the tube, it was just a contest of wills--a battle of the hangers-on versus the slinger-off. Alex didn't help matters much with what Andrea called his "barbaric YOP," either. I think I heard phrases like "Is that all you GOT?" and "BRING IT ON!!!"
Chip brought it. At one point, I heard my sister asking her husband to "please remember that our CHILD is also out there." I don't believe, judging by his expression, that said child shared her concerns, however. You'd think, from this shot, that this is a guy about to take a drink, wouldn't you?
Well, YOU'D BE WRONG. Say what you will about Alex, he is nothing if not tenacious. He actually came BACK from that near-sling-off, and got re-seated. That lull didn't last long, though.
This literally went on until they BROKE THE TOW-ROPE. And they were fastening on another one, when...we ran out of gas. Out. Of. Gas. In the middle of the lake, surrounded by, well...no one.
Just to make it clear that we're not a bunch of dopes, I give you Exhibit A: LYING, PUNK FUEL-GAUGE.
Remember when I told you how beautiful Arkansas is? Well, I should also report that Arkansans are friendly. And helpful. And kind. We were stranded for all of about 29 seconds, before we managed to flag down a boat from across the lake. These lovely people and their miniature dachshunds came to our rescue.
I can't even tell you how painless it was--a potentially horrible situation resolved instantly, merely through the kindness of strangers. Here is exactly how it went down: We waved. Boatload of strangers came over immediately. We said, "Our fuel gauge is malfunctioning, and we're out of gas!" Their immediate response: "Need a tow?"
And so it was, that a boat full of generous souls surrendered one of the last hours of daylight on the final day of a holiday weekend in order to tow a stranded boat full of strangers all the way to their home landing.
If you know these people, thank them for us. The would accept nothing from us in return for their good deed but a promise to pay the favor forward to the next strangers in need we encounter. That, we can do.
Alex and Chip somehow got our boat loaded back up, which is no easy task with no engine power, and we left the water for the day. It was a good day, a good weekend, a good time to be alive and a great place to be living.
Whether you venture afar, or stick close to home, I hope you all have a wonderful summer.