Can You Canoe?


FOR YEARS, MY MAMA begged for a canoe trip. One sunny morning my daddy surprised Mama with her long-awaited adventure. She squealed in excitement as they drove to the Chattahooc­hee River. My brother Zach tagged along with his kayak.

But Mama’s highly anticipate­d trip didn’t turn out quite the way she’d imagined. They had forgotten about the torrential rains of the previous weeks, so a serene float on a normally calm river became white-water rafting, and the canoe flipped again and again. My brother paddled to save the canoe as Daddy scrambled to save Mama.

Hanging from a fallen tree, Mama yelled, “Go on without me! I’ll walk through the woods till I find a house!”

“Nope,” Daddy replied. “You were the one who wanted this trip and you’re going to finish it.” Mama climbed back down the fallen tree and into the beat-up canoe.

At the end of the trip, Mama, soaked and muddy, stumbled out of the canoe and thrust a broken paddle at the astonished rental agent, mumbling under her breath as she walked away.

I think the next adventure she picks will be somewhere stationary—like a beach.

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