You were missed this last Sunday. Myself and my band of compatriots had planned quite the trip, heading down the river in our innertubes. It was beautiful weather. Oh, how you would have enjoyed the sun and the breeze. The ladies and I put our best swimming gowns on and gathered together our picnic lunches and a cooler of provisions. Surely, our trip would be a memorable journey!
We entered the riverwaters, secured our vessels, and were off! The current took us down the river and our adventure began!
The current was lazy so we enjoyed a beverage and talked of typical lady topics: preserving food, collecting dust to weave into winter hats, and duck racing. Oh, a rowdy lot were we, passing by a family on kayaks, toasting them from the river. On occasion, there would be a log or sandy inlet to maneuver around, but I followed some advice you gave me some years ago: when life gives you logs, get out of their way!
We noticed the sun had sought refuge behind the clouds and that the breeze began to pick up. We were not phased, though! We pulled in to eat our lunch on the banks… but found it too muddy. So we tried again. And again. Finally, we found a stable area to take shelter.
As we ate, we remarked about the darkening clouds. Surely this wouldn’t be an issue. The weather magician said it was going to be sunny and 80! We had nothing to fear!
Back to the river, though our chit chat was more quiet now. We were cold; dipping our bodies below the water’s surface to protect ourselves from the whipping winds. Now out of food, our enjoyment was dwindling and, oh, the rocks. The rocks, my love! The river was overrun with jagged rocks, knocking into our shins. One of the girls was unable to make her way around a fallen tree. I do regret my actions, as I steered the rest of the pack to safety. Her raft went topsy turvy. Her beverage – spilled. Her sunglasses – gone. They were $15 at New York & Company. They will be missed.
The winds whipped and the clouds grew angry. Lo, the growls of thunder circled us like hungry wolves, waiting to strike. For a moment I contemplated the river, dear husband, and wondered if it demanded sacrifices. Is that why our trip had turned? Were the sunglasses not enough to ease our travels? I looked at my companions and wondered if I would have to make a decision for the greater good.
But this decision would be made for me. I cried out – suddenly run through by a sharpened tree branch, jutting out of a log. The branch gouged my side.
It was me. I was the sacrifice.
I came to with water splashing on my face. The rain had started, but my party had found shelter in a dock on the water. They’d phoned for a rescue party in the way of a mid-90s Dodge Caravan. We were safe. We were saved.
I pulled myself from the water, and looked at the faces of those who traveled with me. Had they known of my consideration of such a dire act? I don’t know, darling. I just don’t know.
What we faced on the river that day has changed me. Changed me into what, I do not yet know. I do know I am changed, though. I can feel it.
We should go sometime.
Your trusted companion,
Lauren Ruth Amy Josephine Margaret Alcott