Sailing, Sailing, and a Boating Accident

Sailboats

In my lifetime I’ve paddled, rowed, trolled, pontooned, canoed, and boated, but I’ve never gone sailing. It always looks so serene. (Or… maybe I don’t have a clue it’s really hard work, but the idea still appeals to me.) Wind-driven bliss.

Sailboat

These shots were taken during an outing with my son, including a stop at Slippery’s Tavern in Wabasha, MN featured in the movies “Grumpy Old Men” and “Grumpier Old Men.” Yup, there really is such a place.

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Apparently the local Hot Rod Association was having an outing, too. This roadster was my favorite. :)

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Hot Rods

Although the “new” Slippery’s doesn’t resemble the one in the movies, it was fun sitting on their waterfront veranda watching boats go by.

Slipperys Tavern veranda

Which reminds me… please be safe! You don’t want to end up at the bottom of the lake like I did.

(Say what?!)

When The Man Of Few Words and I first moved here, we were anxious to launch our newly-acquired (albeit ancient) boat for our first-ever outing on Lake Eufaula.  Bear in mind the lake is huge, it’s rife with obstacles — rocks, trees, etc. — plus it’s very deep at some points.

After a delightful day of fishing we headed for home (not fast, mind you — we had a teeny, tiny Evinrude.) We also weren’t wearing life jackets, being ol’ sea dogs ‘n’ all.

Did we have them on board? Yes. On? No.

Along came a wake from a cabin cruiser across the lake, slowly and as insidiously as “Jaws.” One minute I was hugging my hubby, the next I was underwater!

Besides the shock of realizing that I wasn’t in the boat anymore, there was disorientation to deal with. “Which way is up?!” Thankfully, I remembered the Jacques Cousteau shows I watched as a kid (funny the things that enter your mind when you’re drowning) and I did what his divers did: Follow the bubbles.

The force from the swell and physics involved swatted me out of the boat like a ping pong ball and catapulted me 20 feet under. (I know this because after I stopped spinning, it took 4 or 5 strong lunges to reach the surface.) Thank God I can swim.

Then I waited for Russ to come and get me — only he didn’t.

Unbeknownst to me, the steering cable had snapped and the throttle broke off in his hands. There he sat hundreds of yards away while I was treading water in the middle of a very large lake. (Which I can attest is nothing like treading water in a pool.)

After shouting and waving frantically at him to throw me the “floatie” — the floating seat cushion — he did, but it was a long way off. I started swimming toward it aware that I was smack dab in the middle of a “water traffic lane” without a colorful, buoyant flotation device to alert folks to my presence.

Basically, I was a sitting duck.

I swam faster.

By then, I was getting tired so I flipped over and back-stroked in the direction of my beloved and the boat hundreds of yards off. (Incredibly, I bumped into the “floatie” on the way there with my eyes closed and grabbed it like it was manna from heaven.) To me, it was.

When I finally reached the boat, Russ hauled me over the side and we quickly resolved the issue “why didn’t you come get me?!” (Never assume.) Then as we stared incredulously at each other wondering “what the hell just happened?” the pain of my injuries and hypothermia set in.

Prior to that I didn’t realize that my body hit the boat when I was pitched out. My entire left side was bruised and my ankle was swollen and throbbing. It was a miracle I could swim at all. The sun was also beginning to set and the temp was dropping rapidly.

Following a long, slow trip back to the landing several miles away with me shivering uncontrollably in a damp beach towel (which I wrapped part of around the broken throttle handle to keep from cutting my hand), Russ had to maneuver the boat motor between his legs. It was the only way he could steer.

Thankfully, we finally made it back to shore.

Moral of the story:  Wear a life jacket! Old sea dogs can learn new tricks, but we’ll never go out on the lake without wearing life jackets ever again!

Which brings me back to sailing. Have you tried it? Whatever your water craft preference is, be safe! It’s much less painful than being sorry.

Enjoying the prospect of wind-driven bliss with a life jacket,

~ Kim

Ages and Stages… and a Giveaway (Giveaway is Closed)

Ages & Stages

A magnolia’s gradual unveiling reminds me that

it takes time to birth something beautiful.

Lives, relationships, blogs…

Ages & Stages 1

Typically,

the beginning is fresh with possibilities.

Passion! 

Ages & stages 2

Ideas unfold one petal at a time,

and when they bloom,

they’re a sight to behold!

Ages & Stages 3

Even so,

time takes its toll and priorities realign.

Still…

Ages & Stages 4

A lil’ wear and tear around the edges

is to be expected!

And, I like having something to show for it.

Ages & Stages 6

During the lulls,

ideas still ruminate, germinate,

and offer possibilities of…

Ages & Stages Final

Future growth!

Ages & Stages prime

(Wildly profuse… or teeny tiny.)

No matter what ages and stages I find myself in,

I celebrate growth!

Several months ago, I alluded to a giveaway.  (Sorry it’s taken me so long, but life’s been a lil’ hectic.)  Whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or just jumped in, I’m grateful to you for helping me grow, blog-wise and personally.

In appreciation, I’m giving away a $25.00 (USD) Amazon.com gift certificate, which I can email to anybody anywhere, woohoo!

(One way or another, I’ll get it to you.)

PLEASE NOTE:  The giveaway is officially closed and the winner’s name has been drawn.  (See below)   Thanks to everyone who entered!

To enter, please leave a comment before midnight (CDST) July 7th, 2013 with your thoughts on growth — what it means to you, an example you’re proud of, the stage of life you’re in, etc. — that’s it!  No other hoops to jump through, other than one comment per person.  (Thank you.)

The winner will be randomly drawn by The Man Of Few Words and notified here (and by email) the week of July 8th, 2013.

I appreciate you joining me for a little lunch these past 2+ years!

And the winner is… Christina of “Dessert For Two.”  Congratulations!

Enjoying enduring… and growing,

~ Kimby

P.S.  A few of these photos are from one of my favorite posts.  Feel free to poke around! ;)

Flowergram IV and… Giveaway Winners!

First of all, allow me to apologize for the delay in announcing the winners of my giveaway.  I’ve been experiencing technical difficulties (and then some…) with my blog… and Internet Explorer… and Google Chrome… and everything else I’ve tried, short of hand-delivering this announcement to you.  (Although that would be fun!)

To make up for the suspense, I’m sending ALL Y’ALL a bouquet. :)

True to form, the Man Of Few Words lived up to his end of the deal by drawing names out of the hat, and….

One last tease…

The winners of my blogiversary giveaway are…

Tina aka flourtrader – gourmet chocolate,

~ and ~

Missy of Guns, Grub, and Other Goodies – your choice of Cattledrive, Statehood, or Homestead (decaffeinated) coffee.

Congratulations, ladies!   (I’ll be in touch re: shipping info, etc.)

THANKS to everyone who entered my giveaway — I hope you had as much fun as I did!  (You’re ALL winners in my book.)  To those of you whose names weren’t drawn (or who joined the party after all was said and done), stay tuned…

There’s another event to celebrate, coming soon to a blog near you!

Enjoying the suspense,

~ Kim

P.S.  Since this post was brief, here are the links Flowergram I, II & III ( herehere, and here) — you can never have too many flowers!