Rapid Retreat

As a parent of a Senior about to graduate from Wylie High School, my time is extremely limited at the moment, as you can imagine.  Not only do we have all of the activities buzzing around this great milestone, but I am also in the process of preparing for a huge open house and visiting family.  Yes, the in-laws from Texas, the out-laws from New York, and my parental units will all join in celebration with some of our close friends and also a few acquaintances for vittles, a drink or two, and lots of laughs as we celebrate the achievement of my son who has made me shirt-busting proud.   

I have been told by more than one source that there are actually some people out there in Wylieland who look forward to their TXun fix.  You mean to tell me someone actually likes my writing and humor?  To this news I am truly honored.

In light of this, as at the holidays when my time was also very limited, I will make a few blog posts from my personal blog, toned down for the readership here of course.  Here goes:

I was high on life riding through the rapids.  My strong arms paddled the mighty Colorado River for 4 hours.  In the silky serene areas of the river, I slipped out and was carried by the strong currents alongside of the raft.  Slipping in and out as the heat of the day set in, I felt rejuvenated by the cold water each time.  The rocky canyons cut by raging water made for a gorgeous August backdrop on this trip. Michigan never felt so far away.

Fast forward to three summers ago.  I wanted to relive that glorious memory with my sons.  On our trip to Colorado we didn’t get to that mighty river of its namesake, instead we found a river through Durango called the Animas.  This river was tame compared to the Colorado so when my youngest son wanted to take a two man dinghy, I agreed.  After all, if I could raft the Colorado in one, I could raft this small river. Ha!

When we arrived at the set in point, they did not wait for us to get the dinghy off the truck.  No sooner did I slide on my vest, the large raft was already in the water.  My eldest son helped me with my life jacket then ran for his ride.  My youngest and I hopped in our little float and we pushed off.

I noticed right away that my feet were sliding around in my water shoes.  Oh hell, I looked down and realized I had packed my husband’s old ones by mistake.  Two sizes too large for me, I stuffed them under the sides of the soft wall and paddled on.  We went through a couple small rapids just to get our appetite whet. 

This is when our guide, forever known to me as the dominatrix, came alongside in the large raft and suggested we slip into the water to be sure we could get back in the boat because some class 3 & 4 rapids were coming and she wanted to be sure we were prepared.  My son didn’t want to get in, being mom, being invincible, being the flaming moron who suggested this raft trip, I plopped in. 
This is where the trouble began.  When I slid into the water, I was completely unprepared for how cold it was.  We had come from a 100+ degree Texas summer and the 56 degree water immediately put me into an asthma attack.  I began coughing. Lovely.

Meanwhile, my shoes were sliding around on my feet and acting like water-filled anchors jerking me back and forth like a rag-doll.   For nearly a minute I struggled with the idea of kicking the things off and bidding them adieu, but finally I reached down and pulled them off one at a time and slam-dunked them into the dinghy muttering a cuss word or two.  So me.  I can’t imagine why, but it was about this time that the nice comfy raft riders began to stare.  What?  Was I making a spectacle out of myself?  Freaking warm and dry brain-baked woosies.  I’d like to see your Arizona desert butts here in this 56 degree water. See how you like it.

The pièce de résistance was to allow my oldest son to help me with my life vest.  Was I on crack?  I did not know this but he didn’t tighten the strap all the way around me and it was dangling in the back.  Now the water pushed hard underneath and the thing was strangling me.  My shoulders were pushed up near my ears and the little tie that’s supposed to be at your chest was now choking me under my chin.  OK, so there’s just no better word for this situation so I may as well say it.  &#%@!

In a stroke of genius, the guide said, “Now get back in.”  Um, hello?  Was she not in the same river I was in?  I could barely see over the life-vest.  She gently paddled over and asked me to get in. Biatch.  My frozen body was dangling behind me and by now my husband was frantically holding me by the shoulders of the thing.   The passengers in the large raft looked on casually as if this was some usual occurrence for them.  No panic.  No worry.  I wanted to throttle them.  I wondered, did the Arizona sun make them brain dead?   I wanted some real commiseration here.

By this time I am in a full-fledged asthma attack and I cannot speak for wheezing.  I contemplated slipping out of the life jacket because my husband was ringing my neck with it.  I wondered if this was on purpose?

Thank God my ice-cold, numb legs were dangling behind me for if they were in front, when that large stone came I might have been romancing it.  By now I was taking on some water and starting to wonder if the dominatrix would make a good mother to my children. 

Then it happened.  I hear those words I was dying to hear, “Under her arms sir.”  Thank God someone took mercy.  My husband swooped me up and fell backward as he was told and I popped out of the water and landed on him.  Damn, I hope that was keys in his pocket because I was starting to wonder if he was into the Dominatrix.  I quickly searched for my youngest, who was now left totally alone in that dinghy thingy.  He had a look of sheer terror on his face and I think he was about to go into shock.  Dominatrix asks him if he would like to continue on.  Really?  Evidently she doesn’t have children.

I had a love hate relationship with that woman the rest of the trip, however we did get to enjoy our rapids and rather than waste the extra cost of the dinghy, my husband and an Arizona baked head took the dinghy and didn’t fall out.  Not even once.  Nice.