Let The Fun Begin by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Every cloud has a silver lining.”  John Milton

Nice thought, but sometimes you have to look pretty hard for that lining.  Take last week, when Dave and I decided to take our tandem kayak on an early morning, fun excursion around the lake. We had not kayaked for three years, so we went over our check list several times.

Look at the weather report.  Check

Key to unlock the padlock that connected the kayak to our dock.  Check

Waterproof case for my phone.  Check

Pedaling flippers for navigation. Check

Oars.  Check.

Seats that attach to the kayak frame.  Check

Life jackets.  Check

Fishing pole and lure. Check

Let the fun begin.

And it would have, were we 30 years old, but 70+ year old knees do not bend well, so just trying to lower ourselves from our dock into the kayak was not an exhibition of athleticism. After pushing off, we began circling.  Yes, circling.  Something was wrong with the toggle that operated the rudder that allowed us to go straight or turn.

“My arm really hurts when I reach behind me like this,” Hubby said, trying to jiggle the wires that support the rudder. Perhaps we really are too old for this activity, I told myself.

While circling, I realized that I had left my phone on shore, but since I didn’t really need it (unless, of course, there was an emergency and I had to call 9-1-1 which always is a possibility), we would go without.  Every time Dave leaned backwards to correct that rudder-thingy, he would groan. Perhaps I would need that phone after all.

Once Dave fixed the rudder, we took off…just not for long.  “I forgot my fishing pole,” said you-know-who.  After returning to the dock to retrieve his pole, I was instructed to peddle and operate the rudder with a hand toggle.  Dave would peddle and catch fish.

“Stop peddling,” said Captain Dave, not long after taking off.  “I’ve caught a fish.”  Only it wasn’t a fish.  The lure had snagged something at the bottom of the lake.  The next snag was an actual fish, but when Dave tried to remove the lure from its mouth, he cut his finger on the barb.  “I’m bleeding,” he said.  His injuries were mounting.

When the clouds rolled in, covering what had been a clear sky, we were at the other end of the lake.  Our fastest peddling could not outrun the downpour, so at the end of our “fun” excursion, we were drenched.  Walking uphill from our dock to our house, I was groaning, but Dave saved the day with this comment: “Well, at least you won’t have to water the grass.”

Is that the best? Little had gone the way we had planned, even with our check list, but none of this was a big deal.  I mean, maybe we were wet and bleeding and our bones hurt, but so what, right?

Dave’s comment helped me help my attitude. I needed to look for that silver lining.  I needed to know Who is in charge of my day. I needed a Proverbs 17:22 adjustment: A joyful heart is good medicine…                                                                                                                                    I’ll take that over a 9-1-1 call any day.                                                                                              


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