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 looks so serene.  (Or maybe I don’t have a clue and it’s really hard work, but the idea still appeals to me.)  Wind-driven bliss…

Sailboat

These shots were taken on an outing with my son (when I was in Minnesota), including a stop at Slippery’s Tavern (in Wabasha), 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 one was my favorite… :)

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Hot Rods

Although the “new” Slippery’s doesn’t resemble the one in the movies, it was still fun to sit on their waterfront veranda and watch the boats go by.

Slipperys Tavern veranda

Which reminds me… whatever means you use for water fun, 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 & 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, this lake is huge, it’s rife with obstacles (rocks, trees, etc.), and it’s 600 feet deep in some points.

After a delightful day on the water, Russ & I headed for home — not fast, mind you (we had a teeny, tiny Evinrude) — but, we weren’t wearing life jackets, being experienced sea dogs and all.

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

Along came a wake from a cabin cruiser farther down the lake, slowly and insidiously as “Jaws.”  Bam!  One minute I was hugging my hubby and the next, I was under water.  Besides the shock of realizing I wasn’t in the boat, 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 did what his divers did.  Follow the bubbles.

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

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

Unbeknownst to me, the steering cable snapped and the throttle broke off in his hand.  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) (which he did, but it was still a long way off) — I started swimming toward the boat, aware that I was also smack dab in the middle of a “water traffic lane.”  Without a colorful, buoyant flotation device to alert folks to my presence, I was basically a sitting duck.

I swam faster.

By now, I was getting tired, so I flipped over and back-stroked in the direction of my beloved, now a hundred 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 “why he didn’t come and get me.”  (Never assume…)  Then, as we stared incredulously at each other wondering “what just happened?!”, the pain from my injuries and hypothermia started to kick in.

Prior to that, I didn’t realize I’d hit the side of the boat when I was pitched out; my entire left side was bruised and my ankle was swollen and throbbing.  The sun was also beginning to set and the temp was dropping rapidly.

Following a long, slow trip back to the boat landing (several miles away) with me shivering uncontrollably in a damp beach towel (which I had to share with the broken throttle handle to keep from cutting my hand) and Russ maneuvering the motor with his legs (it was the only way he could steer), we finally made it back to shore.

Moral of the story:  Wear your life jacket!  Old sea dogs can (and did) learn new tricks.  We will never go out on the water without wearing our life jackets — ever again.

Which brings me back to sailing…

Have you tried it?

This is as close as I’ve come:

. . .

FYI, I’m on hiatus ’til the 8th, so Happy 4th of July a lil’ early!

Also, be sure to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already.

And most importantly — 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!