Monday, May 11, 2015

Running the river (and running aground)

Saturday, we remembered my nephew Zach by doing one of the activities he so much enjoyed.  Lots of Zach's friends and family participated.  Zach's leaving us left a big hole in our hearts.  It was good to be with family to honor his memory.
The Facebook page has a lot of photos added.
My canoe partner was my best paddling buddy.  (Yes, I did bear a child that tall.)
There was a lot of "traffic" congestion at the launch site, and when my younger brother shoved us out into the river, I thought, "If I can just get aright without taking out 3 or 4 kayaks, I'll get myself on down the river past these folks that are just going in circles like water bugs."  You can see our green Pelican canoe right smack dab amongst those folks who know what they are doing.  Some of the members of the Creek Runners Club from Rockingham, NC, are in the picture below.  The guy with the blue canopy had his kayak equipped with a stereo and Bluetooth technology.  The guy with the green Mohawk just beyond him was also a Creek Runner who was very gracious in helping load my brother-in-law's kayak afterward.  I think the guy with the umbrella was also a Creek Runner member.  He looks way too relaxed, doesn't he?  The guy in the lower right of the picture is sporting a Creek Runner Club T-shirt.     
"Down the river, oh, down the river, oh, down the river we go..."
My younger brother (Zach's dad) has our Mom's industriousness, and though there might have been 70 or 80 other crafts in the flotilla, he, like magic, managed to appear right beside us when it was time to unload the canoe on arrival, launch the canoe, and take the canoe out of the water.  Thanks!
(He's the one in the bandana.)
In the picture below, Zach's brother Austin (lower right of picture with blue and white cap) looks so much like his dad I can't get over it.
My other siblings were present to see us off and to help with the meal we all enjoyed afterward.  My older sister's handsome husband (the phrase "handsome husband" comes from a storybook that is part of our shared background; it fits, so I leave "handsome" as a permanent adjective in reference to him) and their outgoing younger son paddled along with us and provided us good company.  With them we saw a lot of interesting flora and fauna, which I may blog about in a separate post.  Our canoe ran aground in quite a few shallow places.  At the end of the run, someone said "It was a good run." 
I added, "It was a 'drag' in a few places."
When Mom received the report that the run was "rough" because there were rocks and a downed tree that the water craft had to be dragged over, she decided to start worrying about me.  She is the woman who let me roam the woods and climb trees as a child.  She was reminded that I was surrounded by strong and able-bodied nephews and brother, but maybe she got the idea that "rough" was a lot rougher than it actually was and wondered if I would find it too strenuous.  (I don't think she worried about me drowning.)  When I arrived at Indian Mound afterward, my siblings greeted me with, "Go show yourself to Mom--she's worried about you." 
I rejuvenated myself with a barbecue plate and about a quart of water.  A little cup of chock-full-of-strawberries strawberry ice-cream topped everything off nicely.
Six years ago, in an act of providential prescience, Zach wrote a letter to those he was leaving behind.  In it, he borrowed the old saying of not waiting your life waiting to live and said to "be happy now."  We had a happy day and I think Zach would have grinned at seeing my canoe stuck in the shallows.


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