At the Lake
I’d been bugging my husband for weeks to make a run up to the lake. I’d envisioned taking along a few sandwiches, a couple of chairs, he’d grab his fishing pole, I’d just sit and listen to the silence (and avoid flushing out any rattlesnakes). We would have a pleasant evening enjoying the solitude and view.
This guy lolly-gags. If it’s something he wants to do, I’d better get a move on. If the outing is my idea, he’s still dawdling and I’m waiting in the car. Go figure. At any rate, we arrived at the lake around sunset… it’s okay, not the end of the world.
I used to vacation here with my family when I was a kid. Aunts and Uncles, cousins, brothers… Uncle Les and Aunt Vernie had a ski boat and come summer, we put that puppy to the test. Skiing, boating, swimming off the dock while wearing those hulking orange life jackets that made a skinny-legged kid look like a barrel-chested wrestler. Playing on the sandy beaches, running up to the Marina cafe for grilled burgers and all the cold soda we wanted; just reach in that old metal Coca-Cola cooler filled with ice. Evening cookouts with Aunt Vernie’s stash of stale Fritos, hot dog and marshmallow roasts and plenty of laughter. We slept outside on fold out cots, under an inky sky jam-packed with stars. We felt safe; life was good, it was summer at it’s best.
My husband and I stood and looked. Things weren’t the same as they were some 40 odd years ago. In recent years, the lake’s water level has gone down. Where Uncle Les would launch his boat, the shoreline has receded to alarming levels. I thought to myself, the lake looks more like “The Pond”. Teathered a few feet away was a John Boat, still filled with life jackets, an outboard motor attached. No one else was around. Hmmm… trusting people.
Occasionally we would see and hear a fish jump, and turkey vultures made a slow, silent, mesmerizing flight path back and forth between two large stands of trees. Storm clouds were moving in over us and we could hear rumbles of thunder now and then. Somehow, this place now felt sad.
Patches of land where boaters once feared becoming dry-docked and finding their motor blades entangled with vegetation, were now high and dry. No danger here… simply steer your boat around the “land mass”. I remember Uncle Les driving across the dam, boat in tow, and looking out over the lake on a hot windy day, sunlight bouncing off the waves… “Whitecaps”, he’d say. Maybe we wouldn’t be skiing after all. On this visit, it was hard to imagine whitecaps, boaters or a deep, inviting lake. We’re in a serious drought situation around these parts, and this is one very obvious result of our lack of rain.
As we silently stood on the deserted boat ramp, the storm moved in closer. I said to my husband, “I smell rain”. That’s something we haven’t smelled for the better part of the summer. Oh, we’ve been teased with a few drops here and there, just enough to make a mess on the bottom of our shoes, but I stopped rolling up my car windows, stopped being concerned about leaving something out that might get rained on… I made a huge boo-boo last month. Forgot and left the outside hose on after watering flowers… next day I go downstairs to find the back corner of the basement flooded with water. Nothing deep mind you, we couldn’t launch a boat nor go skiing, but when the water bill arrived in the mail yesterday, come to find out I had wasted over 500 gallons of clean water. Yes, I feel bad. So much for my epiphany when I wrung out a sopping wet rag into a flower-pot earlier this summer. Profuse apologies all around–it also added $25 to our bill.
We headed back to town and stopped at a local restaurant to grab a late supper. I happened to look out the window… is that rain? Rain? Real, live rain, water from above to grow the flowers, grass, crops (whats left of them)? To wash the dirt and dust from the streets, to freshen the air, to refresh our spirits? It was pouring. We ran to the truck and skedaddled on home. A few streets away, the pavement was nearly dry. Talk about scattered precipitation… but just a few moments after getting inside, and while watching Fleetwood Mac on satellite TV, we lost signal. We heard it… I looked outside, it was pouring. I ran out and rolled up the car windows. Was anything outside that needed to be brought in? We sat back down and thought about how grateful we were for rain–any rain.
You know, J.R.LIGGETT’S Shampoo Bar is a rain-saver. A water-saver. A smart thing to use. It rinses out easily; you use less water–way less than over 500 gallons. 😉 Don’t be a Dodo bird like me, remember to turn off the water spigot. But do be a wise owl and make J.R.LIGGETT’S an everyday, every way part of your life. You’ll need shorter showers, you’ll save water. It’s good for you and good for me. We’ll all be happier.
Joy Richter 2012 ©copyright 2012 J.R.LIGGETT LTD