Today I took the girls out to beautiful Navajo Lake to visit with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Kathy while they took a few days on the houseboat relaxing. I packed a bag with swimming suits, snacks, a book, and Gatorade. It was going to be a comfy, easy day of relaxing and visiting with two really awesome people.
We arrived at the lake and ran into Jim and Kathy in the parking lot, so that was nice. All of us walked the long journey from the parking lot to the marina together, and my girls were being cute as ever. I noticed that the lake was lower than I'd ever seen it, and Jimmy pointed out that he'd never seen the launch ramp curve to the right as it did (and he's been going to the lake for like 40+ years!).
We decided to pick up the shared pontoon boat so that we could take a cruise out on the lake later. We all hopped in, and I was able to swiftly untie the boat (due to some awesome clips). Yay.
After parking the pontoon boat (where I deftly tied the back rope to the dock), we went into the houseboat to enjoy the cool air and visit with each other. I shared the letter that their daughter sent to my family from her summer camp, and we ate some sandwiches and watched the girls play together. We talked about current events, and decided to skip taking the boat out because there was an unexplained light on when we drove it to the houseboat. After a while, my girls became restless, so I had to head home. Jimmy offered to drive us to the loading dock so he could take the pontoon boat back to the slip. We reloaded our bags and put the girls in. As the boat started up, Jimmy noticed the mysterious oil light wasn't on, so he suggested a quick drive around the lake. We took short trips up each of the three rivers and marveled again at the newly exposed rocks that people were leaping off of (and almost onto) just last summer.
Then Jimmy took us over to the dock. As we approached, I asked Jimmy if he wanted me to catch the boat on the dock. He said sure.
Now, I must interject. I have been going to this lake for literally my entire life, and I have helped with boating launches and docks for most of that time. I'm no expert, but this ain't my first rodeo either. That's why Jimmy didn't hesitate to give me the responsibility of catching the front of the boat and tying off as he pulled in.
So. I began to make my way to the outer edge of the pontoon boat. I hesitated, and decided that since I was wearing shorts with loose pocket openings, I should put my phone and keys on the table, lest they fall out of my pocket while I was over the water moving from boat to dock.
I'm sure you can see where this is going.
I even said, "Just in case. You never know." And we all chuckled. I then stepped on to the front deck, and grabbed the mooring rope. I gripped it tight and began to step out toward the dock. Jimmy was already in neutral and coasting gently toward the dock.
Another interjection. I was wearing regular sunglasses and not my spectacles. But I felt frames on my face, and therefore trusted my vision.
I'm really sure you know where this is going. (If you don't, you might want to work on your prediction skills.)
So. I put my foot down. But I didn't put it on anything. I stepped hard off the boat and directly into water. As I told my sister, my God complex is getting out of control. I continued to hold on to the rope, and I landed directly in the lake between the boat and the dock. I watched the water cover my glasses and gripped the rope to pull up. I could hear my Aunt Kathy say, "She's under the water!" And Jimmy replied, "I know she's under the water."
I quickly surfaced, and remembered that the most dangerous place to be is between a boat and a anything else. So I pulled myself to the edge of the pontoon and around to the front. I was trying to shout to let Kathy, Jimmy, and my shocked girls know that I was ok. Jimmy was maneuvering the boat away from the dock and Kathy was trying to keep eyes on me. I finally got out a squeaky "I'm ok. I'm here." It sounded terrifying, because my sinuses were so full of water that I couldn't breathe and speak at the same time. I just wanted to reassure them all that I was fine.
So, I gave everyone the ok nod, and began swimming to shore. Edie was shouting, "Mommy! You all wet!" I got to the shore, and stood up, soaked, from head to toe. I had never put on my swimming suit. I was fully dressed, and drenched. Kathy met me on the dock with a towel, and we laughed and looked me over to make sure that I was ok to drive home.
I had to take the time to use my embarrassing experience as a teaching moment for my girls. "That's why we always wear boat coats. That's why we don't stand up on boats. That's why swimming lessons are important." And also, that's why you always empty your pockets when standing over water.
So, today started out mundane, and ended with a SPLASH!
Good night all. I'm here all week!