Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I am NOT a very adventurous person.

My middle daughter jumped off 30-foot limestone cliffs into a river with her friend last summer. Just looking at the pictures makes me nauseous.

Number 3 Son actually thought Marine Basic Training was amazing. Seven hundred miles away in Tennessee, I had a stomach ache the entire thirteen weeks.

My young men make an annual tradition of swimming in the icy cow pond to mark the beginning of each new year. Brrrr! Me, I stand by with the phone, ready to call 911.

No, I have never had an urge to go sky-diving. Or bungee cord jumping. Or deep-sea diving with sharks.

Actually, I'd be pretty content to just sit at home with a nice cup of hot tea and a piece of buttered toast, curled up on the couch with Mr. Lewis. Or to take a leisurely stroll back on the farm. Or to lie on a quilt in the front yard and stare at the stars on a cloudless night.

My youngest IS very adventurous.

"Mom, wouldn't it be so cool to buy a couple of motorcycles and take a road trip to the Grand Canyon?" Um, nope.

"Ooooh, it would be so amazing to hang glide in the Andes." I don't think so.

"Mom, we should get a couple of dirt bikes and learn to ride motocross." Not going to happen.

Her idea of fun and my idea of fun are worlds apart.

However, most days now, it is just Mousy Mom and Intrepid Helen hanging out together, doing school, switching over the laundry, making grilled cheese for lunch. Poor Helen.

In the interest of not completely squelching my daughter's adventurous spirit, I am trying - really trying - to be a bit more "out there," a teensy more daring.

Last Friday, we woke up to below-freezing temperatures, pulled on a ridiculous number of layers of clothing, and headed to Reelfoot Lake for the Pelican Festival. And we canoed Reelfoot Lake.

Last time I went canoeing was nearly thirty years ago - I was very young and we were on a small river. Friday, Helen and I were on open water. Thankfully, the wind wasn't too high, or I'd have been completely freaked out. Yes, we saw oodles of pelicans (they are HUGE). But, of even greater significance, we totally owned that canoe. Paddled forward, backward, did turns and spins, raced our companions. And never flipped once. Oh, yeah!

A big THANK YOU to Alisha Weber, the Reelfoot Lake State Park staff, and Reelfoot Lake Outdoors Classroom for an awesome day on the lake. We can't wait to get on the water again.

Only next time, we're going for the kayaks. Oh, yeah!

Maybe not exactly "Master Paddlers," but we were pretty proud of ourselves at the end of the morning!

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