Near Miss

Cabin Living - - Contents - —Whit­ney Richard­son

How one small slip could have had much dif­fer­ent con­se­quences

When I was a young girl, I loved vis­its to my grand­par­ents’ lake house in Ok­la­homa. My grand­fa­ther used to take us out on the boat, where my older cousins got to sun­bathe on the front deck of the boat — only the big girls, of which I was never one, were al­lowed — while I got to help my grand­fa­ther drive. Mean­while, my younger brother — who, of course, was even smaller than I was — was un­der the watchful eye of my grand­mother, who re­galed him with tales about how she and my grand­fa­ther met and be­gan dat­ing. (I think I got the bet­ter end of that deal.)

We also used to hang around on the dock by the boat slip and watch all the dif­fer­ent fish go by. Even­tu­ally, my grand­fa­ther in­vested in some fish­ing rods and would oc­ca­sion­ally let us try our hand at it.

One day, I was fish­ing on the dock when I leaned back just a lit­tle too far in my chair and caused it — and me — to top­ple over. Thank­fully, I got caught be­tween the buoy and the boat, in­stead of plung­ing into the lake. The chair, how­ever, was not so lucky, and it sank to the bot­tom. (The wa­ter was clear enough, so we could lit­er­ally see it sit­ting on the base of the lake.)

More im­por­tant, how­ever, was that the fish­ing rod ended up land­ing safely on the dock, be­cause, as my mom joked, my grand­fa­ther might not have al­lowed me back into the house if it, too, had slipped into the wa­ter. I’m sure there is many a true fish­er­man who would have whole­heart­edly agreed with that decision.

What is your fa­vorite lakeside mem­ory?

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