Right before Labor Day, we spent a wonderful day on Keuka Lake at the house my inlaws had rented for the week. My Helena went tubing for the first time with her cousins and she was thrilled to discover that she could defy gravity and remain airborne just long enough for her mother to develop an hysterical arrhythmia, which is just like an hysterical pregnancy but without the desire to nest or clean anything.
Zoe brought one of her friends along and they spent the majority of the afternoon paddle boating across the lake.
I went paddle boating once. I also got a perm in my late thirties.
Both were equally traumatic.
I leave you with the post I wrote in September 2008 entitled Going Nowhere Fast, about the time Zoe and I paddled a boat with our feet for approximately three years during which time I hoped to test my metal but failed miserably because I realized almost immediately that I had none.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
Going Nowhere Fast
Last week, we took a little vacation to Lake Placid. The scenery there is just jaw droppingly beautiful. Is that a real phrase? Jaw droppingly? It seems to me I’ve heard it before. I’m just going to use it. If it isn’t a real phrase, feel free to roll your eyes at my ignorance and then accept me for who I am … one who is too lazy to hunt around for another adjective.
Anyway, back to the scenery. Drop dead gorgeous. I’d show you some photos but if you recall, I have a DSLRTCALOM. And for those of you who did not visit my blog last week and therefore have no idea what a DSLRTCALOM is, I’ll try not to be offended and give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume that you were (A) trapped under something heavy with your keyboard out of reach; (B) undergoing an invasive procedure; or (C) dead.
DSLRTCALOM is my nickname for my DSLR camera which I fondly refer to as Damn Stupid Little Ratshit That Costs A Lot Of Money. It takes lousy pictures 99.99% of the time. On extremely rare occasions, like .01% of the time, it will take a stunning picture. I consider this .01% to be highly sadistic, aimed solely at psyching me out by letting me think that it’s actually a good camera, one that is not deserving of getting its ass drop kicked out my office window.
And yes, I’m very aware that I’m treating this camera as if it is alive with human physical traits and the capacity for intellectual thought. I treat it the same way as I do my washing machine after it dances all over my laundry room willy nilly when I’m not looking and then plays dead when I try to push it back into its original position.
Long story short … and I realize that it’s too late for that but regardless … my Lake Placid photos rank right up there with sour vomit. Unless you like fuzzy, blurry photos because they remind you of your beer goggles from your clubbing days in which case, they’re AWESOME.
I’m going to try to photoshop some magic into my photos but in the meantime, I can post some photos of our boating excursion because those particular photos won’t stink up the place too badly. I think. Maybe you better have some Febreze handy, just in case.
I use the term “boat” very loosely because usually, the only boats I ride on vacation are those which offer cushioned seats, liquid lunches and have someone named “Captain” operating them. The kind of boat that allows me to sit back and relax and zone out. I don’t get many chances to zone out without the use of muscle relaxants. I like to zone out. It’s fun.
Zoe doesn’t like to zone out. Not on water, anyway. For some insane reason, she wanted to commandeer our own vessel and operate it ourselves. With our feet. As in, peddle our feet around and around and around and around with the idea that, by doing so, we’d force the boat to move all over Mirror Lake at our will.
I love my daughter so I said OK. And that is how this experience came to be included on the list that I will recite back to her if she ever loses her mind and dates a scuzzbucket and violates curfew and screams WHAT HAVE YOU EVER DONE FOR ME?
This is Zoe telling me to stop laughing and start paddling. I like to laugh more than I like to paddle. Laughing doesn’t get you very far. Actually, either does paddling but I didn’t know that yet.
These are my legs, paddling away. Well, not exactly at THIS moment. At THIS moment, they are perfectly still because I wanted to take a picture. But immediately after I took this picture, I was furiously paddling, so much so that I actually broke a sweat. I tried to take a picture of that but my DSLRTCALOM hates me so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Nate and Helena were in their own boat and apparently, they were pretty good at paddling. And steering.
This is Zoe, steering. I CAN STEER A BOAT, MOM! GEEZ, C’MON!
Here she is, steering in the opposite direction. Did you know that you can turn that rudder back and forth and upside down and all around, and you’ll always go in the same direction? And that direction is NOWHERE. And the faster you paddle, the faster you’ll get there.
I yelled to Nate that our boat was defective but he didn’t hear me because their boat was not defective and they were about a continent away from us. I called him on my cell phone and yelled “WAIT UP” and “HOW ARE YOU PADDLING SO FAST?” and he said “OK” and “WHAT?” right before they paddled out of sight and left us in the dust. Is there dust on a lake? I could have called him again to find out but I didn’t think it was worth $82 in roaming charges.
Zoe was pretty vague about how much I would have to paddle. And when I say “vague” I mean she never mentioned that I would have to paddle until I felt like my lower extremities were going to rip themselves off my body in protest. My leg got tired.
So did my other one. And I have no idea what that red dot is on my sneaker. And could my legs BE any more pale? It’s frightening. Quick, shield your eyes. You’ll go blind.
Zoe had to rest too and that made me feel good, like I wasn’t some old and decrepit middle aged lady that couldn’t hack it. If you’re confused, my leg is the pale, sickly looking one on the right. Just in case you forgot what my sneaker looked like from three seconds ago. It’s OK. Don’t be embarrassed. It happens to me all the time. I’d tell you not to worry about it but I do worry about it and misery loves company.
Guess what? When we didn’t paddle, we floated aimlessly.
Guess what again? When we floated aimlessly, we got farther ahead than when we paddled. And when I say “farther ahead” I mean we still went NOWHERE but we got there faster. Pretty cool, right?
Nate and Helena didn’t think so. They crossed back over the ocean and paddled right back up to us and played chicken with our boats and hit us head on. And I freaked out and yelled at them to STOP, ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL US? And then I snapped off a picture for evidence in case we go to trial.
Then they taunted us.
And then we ate their dust. Again.
I told Zoe that time was running out and if we didn’t hurry up and go somewhere, anywhere, we were never going to get back to the dock and then the coast guard would have to be called and COOL BEANS, what were the odds that they’d let me take their picture with my DSLRTCALOM?
And she told me to chill out and relax, she had it all under control. Oh, and if I didn’t stop taking pictures, she would chuck my DSLRTCALOM into the lake.
As much as I hate my DSLRTCALOM, it is the only camera I have and submerging it in water is bound to piss it off and I want to protect my .01% chance of a good shot so I packed it away.
I never got a picture of us floating back to the dock.
Or exiting the boat.
Or the huge grins on our faces during the ride.
And it’s too bad that my DSLRTCALOM couldn’t pick up the sound of our laughter during the hour we were going nowhere.
But I remember that sound and my memory will remind me of the fun we had. When my memory works, it’s a lot better than my DSLRTCALOM.
Zoe, thank you for making me paddle our own boat and go nowhere and sweat and, most of all, have a surprising amount of fun.