Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Aluminum Canoe Time Machine

A few days ago I found myself in the cockpit of a canoe, paddling up the Snake River with my father behind me giving commands like, "Other side! Nope, other side. Paddle faster!"

And the strangest thing happened. For one minute, or maybe two, I couldn't see him and his sweet, bald head. And I couldn't see my age-speckled arms. And I thought I was 11, again. The air smelled the same -- a charming mix of river and trees. The sun felt the same -- gratefully warm against a little bit of nip in the wind. He sounded exactly the same -- only the necessary words to get the job done. And I felt exactly the same though so much has changed -- eager to please, willing to try his idea, and enjoying his brand of fun in spite of myself.

Is this why we go on family vacations? To remember how I felt the first time I floated down The Snake on what seemed the only craft in the world with the only man who mattered in my world? An interesting return after decades of navigating freeways next to hundreds of thousands of folks I don't know during a morning commute a thousand miles away from that man?

Anyways, just to make sure, I sent my boys down the river with their dad, and then mine. And they had fun.


Connie said...

What memories you are making and in such a gorgeous place!! Have a great time!! I miss those mountains back home!!!

laurel said...

Fun boat rides. We did a canoe ride once. THe kids flipped it. Jay lost his Blackberry. We stick to the flat bottom boats now.

Patti said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad and to childhood memories. You are such a great writer! ...Maybe it's all that reading you do. xoxo