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April 19th, 2003

findng my inner lake mud

We're in Arkansas this weekend,visiting my parents. On the drive last night, the sides of the road were alive with wildflowers--bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, red clovers, susans, primrose. It's been an incredible Texas Spring.

I rose at dawn to take my nephews fishing. We loaded up, stopped to get me a non-resident fishing license, and then headed to White Oak Lake. We drove through lush pine forests and fields of yellow flowers, and saw beautiful white dogwood trees in bloom.

We fished for a while from the fishing dock, to no avail. Then we rented a canoe. We carefully put one boy in the front, one boy in the back, and me in the miiddle. We began to head out into the lake. I was just enjoying howwell we coorinated together, as we got going well, speeding along. Then I leaned to the left, when the two boys were also leaning to the left. I had forgotten to tell them to shift, or to keep from shifting myself.

SPLASH!!!

The canoe upended, sending us all into the water. We were in a narrow channel, so we were only a few feet from shore, and we were in a shallow, waist-high depth. We stood up, got our stuff, and headed to shore. I reached down to pull out my car keys,

PLUMP!!

they headed into the water. I stood in place, feet in lake mud, while my 9 year old nephew swam around, rather otter-like, hunting the keys in the mud. Fnally, he found them. We got everything to shore, and suffered no losses, other than my glasses.

The boys wrung out their shirts, we all dried a bit, we put the canoe back away,
and I got them shirts at the state park gift shop. We were undeterred, the morning was still young, and we elected to go to Logoly State Park to fish the little pond there. I see well enough to drive even without my glasses, so off we went. We got to Logoly and fished at the pond. The fish were nibbling, but only one nephew caught any (albeit he caught three). I left them fishing while I hiked a bit. I saw lots of red trumpet-like flowers.

I came home, averted my wife's wrath at her drenched car seats wtih a nimble, truthful recounting of factual detail, and then played frisbee with my 6 year old niece. She hugged me and said "I missed you so much.

I fell asleep this afternoon, but awoke in time for dinner with my wife and folks.
My niece had turned ill, so my sister's family did not join us for dinner. She made the dinner, though, sending a wonderful salt-cured pork roast for us all to eat.
My wife and I finished our evening in a walk around Camden, Arkansas, where azaleas bloom as if we were lost in some real life Thomas Kinkade painting.

The rain began outside, whispering through the trees, connecting me to some great whole sort of everything.