History repeating

Given what they say about those who fail to learn from history, it should come as no surprise that Lisa and I decided to tackle boating on Lake Union again, almost two years after the last time we tried it. This time, things were a bit different. For one thing, we rented a kayak, not a canoe, so we were both facing the same direction when we paddled. This helped our overall direction immensely.

Also, this was a sea kayak, which apparently comes standard with a rudder. Which seems almost like cheating, really. (This time, instead of Moss Bay, we rented from Northwest Outdoor Center. I had meant to rent from Moss Bay, but couldn’t remember the name. You’d think I’d remember to check my own weblog, wouldn’t you? Not today, apparently.) Naturally, the foot controls for the rudder were confusing enough that we ended up running into a buoy shortly after leaving the slip. Fortunately we didn’t get pulled over by the police, who were keeping all boats away from the area beyond the buoys, in the center of which sat the fireworks barge for tomorrow night’s extravaganza.

So we paddled down around the south end of the cordoned off area, then came around to the north and east (past Ivar’s, which smelled like smoking alder planks), and around south—not into Lake Washington, but down along the houseboats in Portage Bay. Then back.

As before, my right arm experienced some difficulties paddling after a while. At a few points my fingers went numb and fell asleep. I’m probably looking at some potential RSI there, I’m afraid. The good news is that we got the kayak back after two hours, I went home and slept for an hour, and all appears to be OK.

Car wheels on a gravel road, nose in a book

When I was little and in the back of my parents’ station wagon, summertime was a happier time. Going back a long way, being allowed to run around in an overgrown field in the North Carolina mountains was almost worth having to have the tick removed afterwards. In the nearer past (say when I was 10 or so), summer was when the library opened its doors all the way and I started falling into the spaces inside. For a long time, summer days were lawn mowing in the morning, slow cooling off in the afternoon with a book and a glass of mint tea.

I thought about that this morning on the way in, reflecting on my more recent summers. This summer is all about work and the garden. Last summer I was free from my MBA program, trying to figure out which way was up, and about to start work. Two summers ago I was waxing philosophical about a lot of things and slowly learning to open my mind to my own feelings and emotions.

I think my task this summer is to recapture that earlier innocent state in which I could happily enjoy the heat and disappear into another world, while still engaging with my friends and family. One good thing that’s happened over the last 20 years is that I’ve started learning to be happier outside the confines of my own head. I like that trend. The trick will be in continuing it.

(Incidentally, this is one of the reasons I have so many librarians blogrolled. I don’t need any convincing that I should fall to my knees and worship a librarian. Librarians got me through a lot of long hot summers!)