Geriatric baptisms (now with two epilogues)

As you know, we get about by boat.  And, as you also know, we live at the water’s edge.  Those two elemental facts result in our having an intimate relationship with the elements.  Especially water.  We KNOW water.  And it is about knowing water that I write today.  Today, Sal got up close and personal with our local water.  She got fully baptized.  Again.

I have written about my falling in and how, at times, that kind of accident was funny (oyster cum covering) and how, at other times, it was life-threatening (propellor-head).  But falling in is not peculiar to just me.  We all fall in.  Sal, too.

Sal?  Well, Sal has her own style.  It’s rarely dangerous.  Sal does it like Lucille Ball would do it.  It’s slapstick.  It’s hilarious.  Every time.

Once, as she was alighting her little whaler, I saw her take a confident stride right off the dock and onto the middle of her boat.  Very adroit.  Unfortunately, her head was not so much in the game and she followed that purposeful stride with an exact copy and strode right off the other side.  Not so much as a hesitation.  Looked like a short march.  It was if she simply saw the boat as a stepping stone.  As I helped pull her out of the water, I asked her what had happened.  “I don’t know.  I just kept walking.  Next thing you know, I am underwater.  Strangest thing”

And good ol’ Sal has been immersed a few times over the years. It happens.  Each time kinda funny and weird.  Well, funny for me, anyway.  For Sal?  Not so much.  But, to be fair, after the first shocking minute, she bounces right back and the impromptu bath does not deter her or dampen her mood.  She’s great that way.

Today was no exception.  And today was also elemental.  Our water system stopped flowing and Sal was heading up country to clear the intake and check for problems.  To do that, she first has to boat into the bay, anchor off and step carefully onto slimy rocks that give her stepping stones to the shore.  You guessed it….. the boat went back, the feet went to the rocks….the step did not go as planned and Sal went in.  She flustered and blustered her way to shore, climbed back into the boat and, like a drowned rat, came home.

“I am gonna do the water system tomorrow.”

She took a warm shower, hung up her rain gear and turned her boots upside down and placed them near the fire.  She’s quilting now.

Hmmmmmm…………………was that some sort of Machiavellian plan to quickly get back to quilting….?

Epilogue  l

Sal went back to finish the job yesterday.  She succeeded.  Water is flowing again.

“I’ll do an epilogue, Sal.  Any story to add to the first one?”

“Well…….there was………I wasn’t going to tell you……..”

“Tell me.”

“I tied a long line to the boat and went ashore to tie it off.  I was tugging on it as I was tying the boat to a big rock when the line went slack.  I looked up and the line I had tied to the boat had come undone.  The boat was going to float away.  NOT away, away but it would swing on its stern anchor and would sit out in the bay even deeper than it was.  I was convinced I’d have to swim for it when I got done.”

“So?  What did you do?”

“I thought that I was going to get wet again no matter what.  Better to get wet on my way home rather than at the start of the chore.  So, I ignored it and went to fix the pipeline.”

“But you weren’t soaked when you got home….?”

“I know.  Even tho the tide was ebbing, the boat remained where it was and, as the tide went out, the approach to it just got shallower.  I waded out to it.  No problem!”

“Too bad.  I don’t want to see you soaked again but I would love to have written about it.”

“You still can…..just don’t use my name.”

———————————-    Epilogue  ll  ———————————————————–

Guess where Sal is?  Yep.  You guessed it………hiking the back forty in yet another effort to make the water flow.  It stopped running again today and Sal set her little face to determined, got dressed up in all her slogging gear and, with extra tools, headed once again uphill to fight gravity.  Seems water won’t flow downhill for her.  This is a physics battle writ large.  Fierce warriors don’t always look as committed to the battle as does our Sal.  You go, girl!

“So, I’ve been thinking about this water challenge you are facing and……”

“I do not want to hear it!”

“You do not know what I am going to say.”

“Doesn’t matter.  I know what I am doing.  And I am the one doing it and you can just keep your stupid opinions to yourself.”


“OK, sorry.  Well, not really.  I am really just sorry they are likely to be stupid but, you are right, I have to hear them before I can then yell shut up.”  

“Gawd, you are mature, you know that?”

“SHUT UP!”  

I am currently sitting in the Sadists chair.  Each failed attempt at making the water flow, while tragic for our Sal, slightly amuses me.  I know, I know, it shouldn’t.  That’s really just stupid and petty of me and sexist and racist and patronizing and chauvinistic and ageist not to mention nasty and naughty and beneath contempt and childish and awful.  Still……..

“I was just thinking that it was likely the pick-up and likely the problem you suggested last time…..the pick-up may just be sitting too low….?”

” (mumble, mumble……….%^%!@^$$@#…..mumble, mumble……)”

“What was that…..?”


“OK sweetie.”

This might be a good time to mention that I twisted my knee and am currently wearing a brace that totally limits movement.  Over a week so far.  Of course, that is NOT really it – the watercourse is really just Sal’s thing.  She’s better at climbing and such even at the best of times and so it is a chore that she has taken ownership of and I am happy to let it go.  It is not dangerous.  It is not technical.  Although she can do that, too.  It is basically quite simple: water runs downhill for most people.  Even Sal most of the time.  Put a pipe in a stream and water comes out at the bottom.  Chimps can do it.  But Murphy plays havoc amongst all the primates and none of us (Bonzo, too) can escape his devilish ways.  For some reason, Sal has found a rip in the time-space continuum where water no longer seems to flow downhill.  While she treks about in the forest, I have a call into Stephen Hawking.  She may be nicer to him.


11 thoughts on “Geriatric baptisms (now with two epilogues)

  1. Your water system is quite a challenge. And the freezing season hasn’t even started. Count your lucky stars that Sal can do the hike and check the pipe. I haven’t been in the water since September. I bet it is pretty cold. – Margy


  2. I work with a guy who ALWAYS smashes his head……
    “Pete watch out for that pipe” 5 minutes later
    “Whack! OWW!” 5 minutes later….the same pipe
    “Whack! Dammit!” 5 minutes later….the same pipe.
    “Whack! Jesus!” 5 minutes later….a different pipe
    “Whack! The same spot on my head!”
    Some people hit their head.
    Some people go for a swim.
    My personal injury area is toe stubbing at midnight on a bathroom run……..

    I have threatened to send Pete’s brain to the Smithsonian for study after he kicks the bucket….he doesnt think I’ll find a pickle jar big enough


  3. Just read your epilogues and my gawd you are so fortunate to have a wife who scales sheer rock faces three time over. Total tenacity, grit, and endurance. I am in awe.


    • I am, too. Respectful, fearful, trepidatious awe but awe nevertheless. I love her. I’m a fan. But, really, she is simply just a healthy person. She can do stuff and so she does stuff. For her, it’s that simple. Sally has always been truly a liberated empowered woman. In a world of hapless victims seeking comfort and limitations, she is not a member. Her motto is ‘ you get out of life what you put in’. And she lives it. Am I just a sponge? Maybe. But I have also encouraged, taught, entrusted and delegated so that she can do many, many non traditional things as well. She has to. I could die. And she wants to stay here. This is her world and she is taking responsibility for herself in it. Some women out here do the same. Many do a lot. Few can do it all. Sadly, many otherwise competent urban women can’t do diddly squat out here. Which is fine so long as they can order take out and hire a handy person. Sal can do it all. Well, she’s getting there……


  4. Empowered is a necessity in your neck of the woods. Elsewhere it is an armour against the tyranny of the city. Can you imagine the bill you would pay if some plumber had restored the water feed to your system.


    • The plumbers are like the gas fitters……they won’t come out here. And, even if they would, they’d say, “I can’t work on a non conforming system. Could lose my license.”


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