Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself!
This past weekend my husband and I were up to our new cottage. We have been up twice now and on our way up both times my husband has said, “I just want to go out on the lake for a canoe and paddle around.” It’s been years since we’ve gone canoeing and that thought of exploring this beautiful new lake just made us both sigh.
Upon arriving at the cottage we got caught up in some cleaning, some repairs and some visiting with our new neighbours. It seems to take us a while to turn down the pace and just relax. But on Sunday morning after a leisurely breakfast outside we decided to go canoeing.
We have two canoes a larger green one which we understand from our son in law is harder to manage if there is a wind and a smaller red one which we have watched our son paddle off with his two small children in the canoe with great ease. So we chose the red canoe for better manoeuvrability.
So off we head to the shed to get our life preservers, the paddles, a noodle for my husband and a towel in case we decide to stop somewhere interesting and go for a swim. Presently, our dock is one that came with the cottage and had been badly beaten up over the winter and spring storms. So launching off was not going to be something easy.
The sun was now up and the mist has cleared off the lake. Our new neighbours were all out on their docks relaxing in their Muskoka chairs enjoying their morning coffee and a good book. They have all been on the lake for at least 15 or more years and we are new kids on the block so to speak.
We pull the canoe up along the front side of the dock and after a discussion of who should be in the front or the back we are ready to go. Then we discuss wearing the life jacket versus having it close by in the canoe. My husband decides to have his close by as it might not be as easy to paddle with it on. Some discussion arises around “sitting” in versus kneeling in the canoe. I always remember kneeling in position when canoeing. My husband on the other hand says “no” you sit on the seat, “that’s what the seats are for.” Voices really carry over the water and now I notice a few of the neighbours looking up from their books and waving to say “Good Morning”. We now have everyone’s attention it seems.
So as I hold the canoe my husband gets into the back of the canoe and WHOOOPS there it is! Over he goes and the canoe fills with water. Luckily his life jacket did not float too far away and he was able to rescue it. We start laughing and he decides that the seat was too small and he’d better get in the front because the seat is bigger. So as he lifts the canoe out of the water to empty it I notice that there are a few more neighbours having coffee on their docks. "Great!"
We pull the canoe around to the side of the dock where it is a little more shallow to try again. This time my husband decides to wear his life jacket just in case. So I hold the canoe steady trying not to laugh as he gets into the front of the canoe. Oooops tip tip steady! He’s in! But now the back of the canoe is stuck on a rock and I can’t get in from the dock. So as I hold the rope on one end of the canoe he paddles to bring the front around to the front of the dock. We are now all lined up perfectly and I’m ready to shove off for a leisurely long awaited paddle on the lake.
One foot in, good. Second foot pushes off and whoops over we go! AGAIN! But this time I have my paddle in hand and in an effort to support us with the paddle I end up bashing my husband over his head just as he goes under. Poor guy! Not only is his ego hurt but now his head hurts as well and I can’t stop laughing. Then there are the neighbours. They are now standing on their docks and trying not to laugh. “These new cottagers from the city!!!” I can sense then saying.
So as we stand up in the lake in water to our chests, laughing and spitting out water we wave leisurely to our new neighbours and wave “Hello! Nice day for a paddle.” Once we calm our laughing and are breathing regularly again my husband turns to me and says “I think we should buy a big boat!” I reply, “Maybe we should get a new dock.” For the rest of the day we sporadically break into laughter remembering our relaxing paddle on the lake earlier this morning!
So we’ve asked for canoeing lessons for Christmas or perhaps floating devices we can strap onto the side of the canoe to make it more steady. We will try again though sometime this year. Perhaps one of our neighbours will come and help us. I know that they had a good chuckle watching us but I know that we had the best therapy you can get, laughing at yourself. I know that this will be one of the cottage memories that is passed down over the years. Here’s to creating cottage memories.
Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself!