Slowing Down

Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it feels as though things are starting to slow down a little.

Actually, it’s not my imagination, it’s the river.  We went out for the first time in too long last night to have a farewell float and barbeque for a friend who is defecting to the enemy moving to Brookings and SDSU for work.

About a dozen of us took kayaks, canoes, and one oared boat-with-umbrella down the river from Highlines (that’s local-speak for Myron’s Grove) to Clay County Park and then feasted on kabobs, salads, and Nancy’s famous lemon bars.

All went well even with the realization that the Toad Island beach, where we’d originally planned to grill out, was horribly mosquito-infested and pretty much underwater.

So our flotilla headed back across to the park and picnic shelter, and our canoe almost dumped when we hit submerged rocks trying to squeeze in at the boat dock beside a powerboat under high water and heavy current.

Although I was thrown forward and almost into the water, H’s quick-thinking (leaning to counter-balance me and the kids and back-paddling us off the rocks) saved the day.

I was so far past my center of gravity, I was already searching in the water for a rock-free landing with my submerged arm and thinking of how I was going to push the kids back into shore once we all went in.  Of course, we were all wearing our life jackets, but it still would’ve been a big craziness, and scary for the kids.

Disaster averted, everyone started pulling in boats and unpacking for the feast, and the grownups took turns watching the kids swimming (still in jackets) on the downriver side of the dock.

Besides the river adventure, we’ve had some farm time (getting the basil in, peas picked, and some catch-up hoeing done in brutal heat) and some bike-riding lessons as well.  We’ve managed to get to the pool on a number of occasions (a couple more times, and I’ll be kicking myself for not buying a pool pass).

We are in the last couple of weeks of M’s summer vacation with me, and so the time seeming to slow down might also be my deep-breath-taking, knowing the house will be all too empty and the heretofore insane schedule of swimming lessons and play dates and summer program on M’s part and market, CSA, classes, and farm on my part will suddenly seem very open.

The second half of the summer will be focused on getting the gardens cleaned up and back into tour-able shape, the fall crops in, and then the major canning and preserving season begins in early August and runs through the beginning of October, when fall classes will be in swing.

I hope to get M out on the river a couple more times before he heads back north to his dad’s, and see if we can get the short amount of time we have left to stretch out just a little bit longer.

After that, though I’ve got plenty of my personal grind to dive into, I’m promising myself (and the dog, who gets left behind when we do floats and more complex river adventures) some more personal time with my pink kayak and the wild Missouri.

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