Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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Want to be petted? Not by me

Sign along State Highway 530 (Washington) reads, "Kangaroo Petting Zoo, Two Miles."

Uh, maybe some other time.

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First day of summer


I'm not much of a sailor, but there are moments when I wish I was. Such as this one, when a visitor to the lake comes ripping by at a surprising rate of speed for a semi-calm day.

He is of retirement age, his companion an aging dog of indeterminate breed. And this day, far across the lake, he capsizes. I see him floundering and call out, with megaphoned hands, "Are you all right?"

He calls back, "Yes, I did it on purpose."

And I think he is perhaps being sarcastic. He drifts along with a soft eddy and I wait for him to reach the public access area, where he launched. He does, then drifts right on past it. Now I know the current won't take him back to the launch area and he is well beyond it.

The more I think about it, the more I think he was being sarcastic and is in deep trouble. So I dial 911 and ask for the Cedarhome fire station. I am quickly connected. I describe the situation fully. (After all, I am a wordsmith.) The dispatcher asks for my name, phone number, and address. I am glad to supply them.

I return to the lakefront and see the old man struggling with his huge, bright sail, which is now underwater. Then—mirable dictu!—the boat snaps to the vertical and the sail . . . fills. Off he goes. Where the dog is, I have no idea. Then I see he has pulled the dog aboard. All is well.

I go to the phone and ask to be connected to the Cedarhome dispatcher. Quickly I am.

I identify myself. I explain I was wrong. The sail is vertical again and in no trouble. I half-expect to be bawled out for wasting the fire department's time. Instead I am thanked for calling back.

It is all in a day's work and I'm glad I reached them that second time before an aide car was dispatched.

We are still awaiting our first drowning in my eight years at the lake. May it still be far off, these warm summer now days, when the news reports drownings at many of the nearby lakes.

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