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some scary seconds

January 6, 2012

In November I posted about our efforts to move a 30-foot log into the pond

so we could use it as a base for a dock.  It was about 50 feet from the shore.

We could only move it if we got a serious rainfall and flooding from the inlet

creek lifted it completely off the ground.


Despite our best efforts and some nifty kayak work by Jude, we couldn’t quite

do it.  We thought we might not get another chance this winter.  If we hadn’t,

we were going to accept a generous offer from good neighbour Chris to winch

it out in the spring.


But Wednesday was the second day of a major storm in which we got 4+ inches

of rain.  The log seemed to be horizontal in the water, so I sloshed over to it

through temporary swamp like this:


The log was indeed floating, so I pushed it out toward the middle of the pond, 

where Jude awaited in a kayak to move it next to another log we’ll be using for 

the dock.  Check out her deft maneuvering:




As soon as I took these pics, I pocketed the camera and squeezed into a kayak

to help Jude.  As I reached to tie the two logs together, I overextended and

tumped the kayak.  When I tried to slide out of it, my legs got stuck, keeping

me underwater.  I panicked.  It took me several seconds to wiggle out. 


When I got back to abundant oxygen, I yelled “Help!”, but immediately knew

I was safe because Jude was right behind me and Nathan was knee deep in the

water about 15 feet away.  Of all my family members, Nathan would be my

first choice to pull me from freezing water.  So at least that part of the venture

worked out well.


I regrouped quickly and secured the logs.  Then Nathan and I took advantage

of the high water line and pulled the remnants of the old dock further inland.

Jude corralled some smaller stray logs on the pond.  My toes were starting to

numb up, so I headed to warmer water — a long hot soak in the tub, complete

with bubble bath and classic rock.


As I was peeling off my chest waders, I remembered that the camera was in the

breast pocket.  It’s toast . . . soggy toast.  Fortunately, the memory card survived.


I dawdled in the tub at least 90 minutes.  As I processed my pond plunge, I de-

cided that I would let it stand as my annual winter mishap.  I doubled down

last winter, as reported here and here.  It’s good to get it out of the way earlier

in the season.  Time constraints, budget limitations and a continuing loss of

limberness were also factored in.   


I also reflected on what family means, and how it helps to recruit top talent for

one.  With the ever-calm Jude and the immensely strong Nathan nearby, I

knew I would be okay.  And I think the event also counts as a family outing.

  1. Gordon permalink
    January 6, 2012 1:16 pm

    Being impressed is slowly giving way to being awed. But take it easy on the family outings.

    • January 7, 2012 10:48 am

      Can do, Gordie, but my posts about my ineptness get the most response. Just sayin’.

  2. January 6, 2012 2:54 pm

    Scary! That one will give me a waking nightmare during my next bath. Where I often hold my breath, as it is.

    • January 7, 2012 10:52 am

      Just don’t take an ill-fitting kayak in the tub with you, Kate. It’s good to hear from you again. I hope your holidays were all you hoped for.

      • January 7, 2012 8:03 pm

        Peaceful, quiet, and no extra cooking or dishes. Perfect!
        Right, I’ll remember to leave the kayak out of the bathroom.

      • January 9, 2012 9:16 am

        Or at least have a life jacket within reach on a towel bar if you do.

  3. January 6, 2012 9:43 pm

    It’s the reason I’m not fond of kayaks….

    • January 7, 2012 10:55 am

      Hey, Beanie! Happy New Year. I had numerous chances in California to take a course in how to roll the kayak back up. Of course, if I’d done that Wednesday, I would have likely banged my head on the logs.

  4. beth reed permalink
    January 6, 2012 10:35 pm

    I am just glad that your ok and Jude and Nathan were there. Scary in deed. Too bad about your camera not surviving the plunge.
    Here on the bay where I work there were dock workers rebuilding some docks that did not make it thru the flood. 60 thousand dollar docks complete with house on it. Have you ever heard of that? Hopefully the winter mishap is over and you dont catch a bad cold from this incident. start some extra vitamins and home made chicken soup now to help your immune system stay up.

    • January 7, 2012 11:02 am

      Thanks for your concern, Beth. One of the many advantages of being married to Jude is that I have continual nursing care. I’ve seen houseboats, but never dock homes. Are they selling well?

  5. Charlotte Wales permalink
    January 7, 2012 6:27 am

    Family outing indeed! What an adventure, Allen – – one I hope doesn’t get repeated any time soon! Jude is quite a woman – you’re a lucky man, and you both deserve each other! Hope you’re having a lovely beginning for 2012. I’m still working on finishing the renovation of my studio – then on to the renovation of my other building, a small 1250 sq. ft. cafe building – never-ending, eh?

    • January 7, 2012 11:11 am

      Soggy camera aside, it’s been a great start to the year, and I hope the same for you. Today we’re moving furniture to make the dining room the family room and vice versa. Then we knock off early to celebrate Nathan’s 22nd birthday at the HBI pub, then watch the Saints game. Geaux LSU Monday! Are you renovating the cafe to be a new cafe?

  6. January 7, 2012 9:57 am

    You are definite candidate for a row boat equiped with an old 2hp Evinrude.

    • January 7, 2012 11:17 am

      Hey, Joan! Happy New Year! Great to hear from you again. Amen to the Evinrude. We exercise our dog Slinkee by paddling around the pond in the kayaks as she barks furiously and tries to keep up. Imagine how svelte she’d be chasing a motorized craft.

  7. beth reed permalink
    January 7, 2012 8:47 pm

    The docks belong to private owners. I actually thought that they were just joking around but my boss assured me that the houses are real and so was the price.
    I havent gone on like planned. I stayed home and watched movies. I watched The Boat That Rocked which is interesting. It is about pirate radio in england. NOt something I normally watch.
    Good idea about checking on the mailing of the cane. I didn’t think of that.

    • January 9, 2012 8:18 am

      We watched a shorter version of “The Boat That Rocked” as part of Nathan’s birthday celebration. Not much substance but a lot of fun and good music.

  8. beth reed permalink
    January 9, 2012 9:01 pm

    How ironic that you watched the short version. I agree to the good music. funny coincidences lately. Kathy is reading a book by the same author I am. You and I watched the same movie, my girlfriend exchanged our christmas gifts today and gave each other identical gifts, my daughter called to tell me that the dr.s think she is having gallbladder attacks and another friend had his removed today. Oh and Kathy said her washer smells like it is burning and the wires in the wall for my waater heater caught fire and melted. Kinda weird huh. I guess it is a small world after all.

    • January 10, 2012 10:58 am

      So, Beth, do you think that these ironies will be the theme of 2012?

  9. beth reed permalink
    January 10, 2012 9:33 pm

    Hmmm good question Allen. I think that it is really neat when we connect in our Universe. Some little something brings us together at odd times or maybe the right time.
    Today was a good example. I have a legal issue and a friennd recomended this lawyer but i havent been able to reach him by phone because he didnt answer. Anyway I called a few more attorneys who said they didnt take my case and they all kept recommending this lawyer who I have been trying to call. To make a long story short he called me today. He is out of state but something kept nagging him to check his messages and so he got my voice mail and He will see me next week. Just when I was fixing to give up.
    Maybe I am just more aware of what is going on around me lately but I dont mind taking a break from boring to uironic.
    i have some other ironic things to happen but they are little things. It has been crazy lately.

    • January 11, 2012 9:13 am

      I sometimes reflect on decisions I’ve made, and how even small, spontaneous ones have affected my life. My situation today is an accumulation of all of them. I can’t believe that so many bad choices and so much floundering around led me to this wonderful wife, island, farm and community. Good luck with your legal issue. Keep us posted.

  10. beth reed permalink
    January 11, 2012 6:58 pm

    I know! I wonder at all the things in my life that has brought me to this point in the here and now. I remember when my kids were little we would buy books that every other page or the end of the chapter gave you choices to make. Some were good and others bad, like the big and little choices we make or when fate steps in and makes those decisions for us. Life is a wonderful adventure.

    • January 12, 2012 8:14 am

      Those books sound great. Do you still have any of them?

  11. beth reed permalink
    January 12, 2012 2:21 pm

    I will ask the kids. They were prett neat books.

    • January 13, 2012 9:03 am

      Thanks. I’ve nerver heard of such books. I might want to get some for our grandkids.

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