Summer Float

Julie invited us to meet up with them in the morning to go kayaking, but we didn’t get moving quite fast enough to actually make the rendezvous. Autumn was going to work in the yard with her grandparents, but that fell through as well. Summer took the girls home instead, and then returned with some lunch to take on the float trip while I got things packed up and ready to go. My GoPro memory card was taking forever to back up old data, but I had plenty of other things to prepare anyway. Summer even had time to run out for gas and a couple flatbreads from Tropical Smoothie before we left.

I told Suzanne we were going out, so she waited outside a house in Dover and waved at us as we drove by. We got up to the creek about two hours late, and the place was packed. The water was high, and the COVID-19 outbreak had the camp grounds closed, but the park was waiving kayak parking fees. We got the kayaks in the water without too much trouble, and we were off to my usual start.

We made it through the first set of rapids without too much trouble, but the second or third long run of them got both of us. I really expected the high water to fix that for me, but I went up on one giant rock in particular that almost folded my kayak in half. Summer’s kayak got stuck on another rock and she floated by, and for some reason I felt the need to throw my paddle with my GoPro on it to her. I ultimately managed to free my boat, but then I tumbled over the rapids the rest of the way with nothing left of my shoes but the straps around my ankles. Summer didn’t catch my paddle, but I eventually caught up to my boat.

Summer was across water with her boat stuck on a rock upstream, but luckily an older gentleman was able to get it free for her. It was the same gentleman that ultimately returned my paddle after Summer and I cleaned up and got back in our boats. We assumed we were going to have to split her single paddle, but as I pushed ahead to scout for my own, a group of kids plucked it out of the water and got it back to me. It wasn’t until after pulling my GoPro out and recording a video though.

With that spill out of the way, we made our way down the creek without too much more trouble. We did eventually find Julie with her posse at the big sandbar, in what appeared to be a big frat party. Loud music blowing out poor speakers, and teenagers all whooping and hollering about alcohol wasn’t quite our scene, so we stayed just long enough to say hello and then shoved off.

It was a pretty good time with what was unfortunately probably my normal amount of mishaps and bruises. The water was probably higher than I had ever floated, so large parts of the trip were actually quite a bit better than some I’ve made in the past. At no point did we ever have to get out and drag our kayaks across a long, rocky high point. Summer had a blast, and a quick bite to eat along the bank kept us in relatively good shape.

Taking the boats out and packing back up was its usual pain, heightened by my complete lack of footwear. With just the two of us there, I drove Summer’s car back to Long Pool to trade for mine so we could load everything up. Another guy there helped me load Summer’s kayak, but I still had to pull up to flat ground to re-tie it. We headed back to town, completely forgetting to get Summer’s car until we got back to the highway.

After some extra time and extra miles, and a brief stop by the side of the road to pick up a slice of mouse pad I was using to keep the rope off of the hood of the car, we got everything back home. We didn’t die, and that was my usual win. Summer helped me clean off the boats and stowe them away, then went to get the girls while I cleaned up myself.

Autumn convinced Summer to let her stay with the grandparents, so it was just Summer and Eaddie here for the evening. They brought a family meal from Venezia’s, and they ate while watching The Voice. I needed the quiet and sat in my room, watching GoPro captures upload to Google Photos.

After we ate, Summer went to bed and I did some shoe shopping to score a deal. Then Eaddie and I watched one episode of Luke Cage since I didn’t get to spend any time with her today.

Josie likes Tucker! Josie likes Tucker!

9,000 Miles

It was back to the office today, this time with Ben and Greg. I kind of feel bad that Ben hasn’t really taken any time at home, but maybe he likes to get out of the house away from the kids to get things done. It was a quiet day except for a conference call with the Impero chaps. They all really do have the best accents, because they’re 100% understandable, but they just sound like a more formal version of ourselves. The software demo went well, and they can fill the gaps we’ve had for the past three years, but it’s going to cost us.

Greg and I ran to Wendy’s for a quick lunch, and then the afternoon was pretty relaxed. I actually ended up leaving before the other two just because I didn’t really have anything going on.

I ran by Staples to pick up a little table I ordered, and then went to get Autumn for physical therapy. I had enough time to put the table together before dropping her off, then I ran home to clean up a bit and check on the new aquarium organisms. The guppies seemed to be doing great, but were hungry enough to swarm the food I dropped in. The red root floaters seem to be struggling a bit, but it’s too early to tell really.

When Autumn was done, I loaded up the trolling motor and went to get her, and then we stopped by my parents’ to see them for a minute. Dad and I unboxed the motor to test fitment on the boat, and then we headed back to Summer’s to wait for her to get off.

Once she got home from work, I got to making salads out of leftovers. When everyone went on to do their own things, I pulled Autumn’s failed pizza dough out of the fridge, and tried to make cinnamon bread. It wasn’t awful, but it rose quite a bit more than I expected. While it baked, I cut up the pineapple we bought a while back.

And just like that, I found a stopping point.

Without a Paddle

I got up early this morning and drove by McAlister’s to scope out their free tea tumbler day. There was one truck there, so I figured we had a good chance. I got cleaned up and went back to pick up the kids. We only had to wait for about an hour and a half, so really I was kind of over-prepared in bringing my Chromebook and portable charger. By the time we got back with the kids, some woman had gotten there, parked right in front of the door, and made everyone else get out of their cars. She only got more petty over time, dictating the direction of the line and just generally being a nuisance. It got to the point where I ended up just placing an online order so I’d be the first one with food to try and secure my own legitimacy. Fortunately the lady that came up behind us agreed that we were there before her, and let us in the door first for our 5th through 8th spots in the line. They only gave out about 20 cups and limited it to two per household for those 16 and over. Since Jesica came up to meet us earlier, she took the kids’ place in line and we walked out with three cups between us.

The kids just wanted to go back home, so I dropped them off and went back home to load up my kayak. Jesica and I made our way to Dover and stopped at Harps for some lunch meat since she’s on keto. I had meant to bring a Soylent, but the sandwich from McAlister’s ended up being enough to last me all day. Missy spotted us at Moore Outdoors and gave me a shout. Then we dropped off my car and headed to Longpool.

I brought Summer’s kayak, and it felt really shaky. I didn’t remember being that shaky on my 12-footer, but it’s possible I was imagining that. I should have spent some more time paddling around the swimming area first, because it didn’t take me long to spill over. I went down harder than ever before, and bounced across the jagged tops of a super long rocky area. The water was flowing too hard for me to get my footing and make it to shore, so I just tumbled right down the middle of it until I washed up along a rocky shore. My Vibrams didn’t last long there, and my feet ended up getting super bruised trying to walk ahead to gather my things. Fortunately Jesica stayed upright and was able to chase down my kayak, dry bag, and paddle. I just knew we were going to lose the paddle.

The rest of the trip was mostly uneventful, but I did go over a couple more times, and by the end of it my body was so battered and bruised that I could hardly move. I was pretty happy with my upper body workout though, with the speed I was getting across flat water.

We loaded the kayaks onto the Murano, got the truck, and headed back to town. There was a train blocking my way home, so we stopped by Superfast to see Summer for a bit. Then we went to my house to unload the kayaks and headed up to Summer’s. The kids never did get out to swim, so we just sat there with them until Summer got home.

Jesica and I were super hungry, so we went to Las Palmas for dinner. Summer and I shared an amazing parrillada for two. Then we went back and she and Jesica chatted over some wine. I couldn’t do much but sit in one place until bedtime.

Cutthroat tea connoisseurs are the worst.

Last Minute Grind

I successfully climbed out of bed earlier this morning in preparation for my return to work tomorrow. Summer made sausage and eggs for breakfast before going to the gym, and eventually I went home to get their bikes ready to ride.

The girls got there, picked up their bikes, and rode to her parents’ house first, and then went to my parents’ house to help scrub the pool cover. I was going to stay home and clean in the heat, but I wasn’t inside for very long before Ronda texted with contact information for a Pelican Matrix 100x kayak for sale. I called the guy and then went straight up to meet him.

I didn’t realize how that subdivision had sprouted up in that area, but they seemed like some nicer houses. The guy had a slingshot in the garage that he said he just purchased from someone on a swap page as well. We took the kayak out of his garage, and then went straight to putting it up on my car. In hindsight, I think he probably expected me to haggle him down a bit on the price, but I figured the $125 was a “friend of a friend” price already. If I had given it any more thought, looked over its condition some more, and considered that it didn’t come with a paddle, I think I would have tried for $100. He helped me get it on top of the car, and then I climbed up and strapped it in under the raging sun.

I considered going home first, but then decided to go straight to my parents’ house to see the girls’ reactions. Nobody really said much, but Summer and Eaddie came over to look at it. I was already sweaty from mounting the kayak and felt gross from my lack of a shower in the morning, but I stayed outside and helped spray down the cover while the girls scrubbed it. They got it all done in record time, and Summer caved and let the girls go for an early swim. The water was cold, fresh out of the hose while Dad was refilling the pool.

Mom made fried rice while Dad fried some egg rolls, and we all sat down to eat. I ate some 7-layer dip before we had dinner, but I didn’t expect that to make me feel so full. The girls had to ride home afterward, and I followed along in the car shortly thereafter. They got to the house right as I was ready for help getting the kayak off of the roof of the car, and we made room for it in the garage on top of mine.

From there, the girls ran to Walmart for groceries while I took a shower at home. It was too hot to do much else, but I managed to pack my backpack for work, and loaded up some things to bring to Summer’s for the evening. I made some strawberry shortcakes, and we watched an episode of Parks and Recreation before bed.

Shave his belly with a rusty razor!

Remember Sailing

I woke up around noon and eventually got out to my parents’ house so Dad and I could go sailing. We looked at both boat ramps at the marina, and though they are on opposite sides, the wind was coming in the wrong direction at both, so we took the favor of familiarity at the dock we normally use. It was tough getting out of the breakwater because of the bad wind, but we eventually made it and sailed around the lake for a while.

We didn’t stay out on the water for very long, but we didn’t plan to pack a lunch or anything. I tried my best to re-learn how to read the wind while my dad piloted the boat. Overall there weren’t too many moments of panic, but I really do wish I had a small motor to get out into the water a ways before putting the sails up. It would be a great deal less stressful that way. This is definitely something that needs practice. Perhaps in the end, the lack of the motor will make me a better sailor.

After we pulled back onto the hard and tore down, we went back to my parents’ house and I had some leftover chow mein. I was so tired after I ate that I came home and fought sleep with some Overwatch for a while. A few games in, I got a text from Mayra inviting me over for some lasagna she made. She was there with Armando, her cousins, and a couple new guys from AT&T that I had never met before. I hung out there and watched them play PS4 for a while, then came home to sleep.

Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea.


I got up this morning to prep for sailing, then realized in the shower that the boat registration had expired. It would have been a fair day to sail, too. Not too windy, but not dead calm. Plenty of time to ease back into our sea legs.

I ended up going to my parents’ house to try and at least clean and set up the boat, and try out the trailer hitch. Everything came together pretty smoothly, so once I’m legal again, things should work quite well. I just need to practice some proper knots.

After finishing up some spring rolls for dinner there, I came home and watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I thought it was a fantastic movie, and it kind of reminded me of myself, only without the daydreaming so much. My visions are more vague, with general malcontent. Maybe some day, though.

Perhaps I can contact you, possibly through my poetry falcon.