Saturday, April 29, 2017

Our adventure with the little green plastic boat ...

Last year, at just about this time, I paid $3.99 for this little plastic boat at Meijer's. I figured it would be a good addition to our beach toy collection for when we head over to Lake Michigan. I was right, too. The little kids (Kaity and Brendan) enjoyed floating this boat quite a bit in the Lake last year.
We had visited our favorite park the week prior, mid-April or so, and Kaity (dear) suggested that we bring our little green boat and watch it float under the bridge and down the creek a little way. Oh! Everyone was in on the deal.

We just arrived over at Townsend Park and it was a little bit chillier than it was the prior week. The kids did have appropriate clothing on to get up to their ankles in the creek, and they love to do this and explore. There is a nice open spot by the bridge near the main "lodge" that offers a nice place to catch cray fish and just enjoy walking along, and we are very familiar with this area of the creek and know its "ups and downs" so to speak.
However, the creek has been super swollen with all the rain we have received and, even though the waters had receded a bit, it was still high. The children ran with the boat over to the bridge and plopped it in and OFF it went, super fast. TOO fast. It just floated right on past where the children were wading.

"The boat!!" "The boat!" I heard them screaming. I hadn't even officially gotten "in" yet, so I ran along the bank of the creek following our little boat, watching and waiting and hoping it would come close to a grassy area or hit a rock or just SLOW down a bit. Kaity was close on my heels, out of the water and following to see what would happen. I was so glad when I saw the boat had kind of hit a little grassy/rocky spot and was resting briefly and trying hard to float around it. I thought this would be a good opportunity to just step in and save it.
Well--Here is what happened. I was wearing my jean capris and flip-flops (with my camera in its case around my neck) and I stepped off the bank and into the creek to grab the boat when ... I IMMEDIATELY SUNK in muck and gunk right up to my knee--but still determined to get our boat, I reached forward to rescue it and instead ... INSTEAD, and fell right into the creek, kind of spread-eagle style. It was really cold. It was super muddy. 
I struggled to release my leg from the mud and scrambled back up on shore, dripping wet from head to toe. Kaity looked up at me and said, "Where's the boat, Grandma?" (classic)  I didn't even rescue the boat. It took off and was really gaining speed down the creek. Emma came upon us, asked the same incredible question that Kaity asked and then dashed off to continue the rescue.

The boys stumbled upon Kaity and I. Chris took one look at me, narrowed his eyes, and said: "Way to go, Grandma!" (with a sly smile) and then HE asked where the boat was too! 

Well, we never retrieved our little boat. The scary part was that Emma was SO intent on catching up to it that she basically disappeared for 20 minutes. I couldn't exactly leave Kaity to go and her, but I was getting alarmed. I asked the Lord to please bring Emma back safely to us, and He did. No boat, but dear Emma, unharmed. That episode occupied the first 30 minutes of our excursion to the creek that day; but since the children really wanted to play there, we stayed for another 30 minutes or so and then jumped in the car, turned on the heat, and I wrapped myself in a blanket so that I would not muddy up my car. 

P.S.  We were "lucky" enough to replace our boat the next day, an exact duplicate, still at Meijer's for $3.99.
P.P.S.:  I lost one of my flip-flops in the creek but also, sadly, the camera case did not protect or save my dear camera, and it was drowned.

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