So much Water

I’d been wanting to visit French Canada for years, decades even.  We, by which I mean my husband, partner, and best friend, one of the trifectas of marriage, and I, got serious about going to Quebec a few years ago.  Then Covid hit and the northern border closed, along with much of the world.

But we finally made it a road trip in recent weeks.  Can you say water?

I won’t be popular in confessing that I’m not a fan of water in the form of rivers, oceans, lakes and such.  But our journey was afloat in such like.

If it wasn’t the finger lakes and their wine grapes, it was the St Lawrence River that might as well be a sea, the ocean-like Lake Champlain, Eagle Lake, featuring nest after nest atop power poles of said national bird, and what seemed minor lake after lake, it was one big marsh after this water hole or that, for hundreds of miles from north to south through Pennsylvania to New York, Vermont, Ontario to Quebec If you think that was a mouthful, take a big gulp of water and let’s move on.

I can appreciate waterways, and have learned as I age to value the stuff as my beverage of choice.  But I stop at the border of loving the stuff “en mass,” so to speak.

It’s not so much a clinical fear of water because I don’t consciously dread facing death by drowning, but I can’t say I’m keen to sit, stoop, walk or live in the confines of a vessel stranded on top of nothing but water.  She shivers me timbers a bit.

I’ve crossed the Atlantic on two ocean liners, over and back, tackling the “big pond.”  I’ve ridden paddle boats on what was Lakemont.  The speed ferry with me and mine aboard, hovering atop the English Channel from Dover, England, to Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, was fine, since, true to its name, was quick.

My husband has conned me into rafting on the river and got me into a row boat.  I cruised the Hudson River and drove across it via a bridge or two.

Speaking of bridges, not so fond of them either, not surprisingly.  There was the swinging bridge of my youth, reminiscent of “Little House on the Prairie,” walking to church from Sunnyside to Eichelbergertown and the metal bridge with the big rectangular holes just about the size of a little child’s foot where I once lost a shoe into Yellow Creek below, between Sunnyside and Hopewell.  I’ve had up close and personal experiences with bridges.  Not a fan, but I’ve crossed a few and lived to tell the tale.

I’ve been known to claim that I can swim enough to save my life.  I took the obligatory swimming lessons as a child and hated every second of it.  “Swims like a fish,” could never be used to describe me.  And my head under water feels anomalous to life as I know it.

My version of the endeavor called swimming is more like a cross between doggy paddling with my head well out of the water, partially because I have hair that takes issue with water and because I breathe air with lungs not gills.  Flailing to beat the band, while floating, finishes the flourish with which I swim.  This is all in the attempt to propel myself forward and backwards, imitating real swimmers.

My “swimming” is a form, as well as functional effort to appear that I’m swimming but honestly an epic fail at doing it anywhere near, right.  But again, I’ve lived to tell the story.

I’ve been to Sea World and I love a good Aquarium.  I’ve gone fishing and don’t mind most seafood but I can confidently say I’ll never jet ski, water ski or fulfill any activity that involves my legs donning any accoutrement, a lovely French word by the way, that replicates walking, running or skimming the surface of water.  Don’t you people know that was an action reserved for only the likes of Jesus?

Creeks, rapids and falls are some kind of beautiful, but remember that the origins of my name, Beverly is the highly industrious, yet troublemaker to small waterways, the Beaver.  We’d rather work the water than lollygag in it.  I’m a serious fan of woodlands.  And, for me, the miniature, winding creeks that spring up randomly in the woods are a sound and sight source of pure joy.

About getting wet while fully clothed, that’s a no for me.  My husband is fully versed in my simple protocol on this matter, yet for a man who washes his hands and is perfectly happy to walk around afterwards dripping H2O to and fro in his wake, he doesn’t fully respect my gangsta about getting wet.  Can you say wet socks?

He loves rainy days too.  I, on the other hand, identify with Karen Carpenter’s Rainy Days and Monday’s sentiment.  They are more likely than not, to be challenges to my mood.  But rain on a metal roof is kinda soothing, I will give you that.  But don’t make me go out in it.

Actually, water gets us places, and it keeps us water-based beings (some forty-five to seventy-five percent), living, breathing, and is vital to our survival.  Navigating the earths waterways to get hither and thither is part of our heritage and our future.

So, thank you water.  I might do a bit of complaining about you, but you’re a good bloke, and ducks are mighty fond of you.

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