Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more to my childhood summers. I doubt it has anything to do with the recent Siberian conditions where I live. Nah, it couldn’t be that. (lol)
Anyway, I’ve mentioned how my family had a vacation house in New Hampshire. Well, during the summers we had a small boat on Squam Lake and we would spend weekends on that boat fishing and swimming. I still remember the first summer my parents decided I was old enough to sit up front with my older brother. Cruising through the channels towards the open lake, we would motor past vacation homes with towels drying on clothes lines and fluttering in the breeze like multi-colored terrycloth flags. Anticipation would build within me as the channel opened up to the wide area of the lake. My dad would gun the motor and we would be off, speeding across the water. Bouncing on every wave it felt like an amusement park ride to me and I loved it. I remember screaming and laughing because it felt like we were going 100 mph, even though I knew it was more like 30 mph, but still pretty fast.
One summer, my brother was able to buy a new fishing pole and he brought it to the lake with him. We had traveled to our favorite cove, with fairly deep water where we could swim to the shore and pick blueberries off the bushes that lined the water’s edge. At some point, early in the day, my brother’s line got stuck and he went to pass the rod to our father. When he reached for it, somehow it slipped and fell into the water. My brother grabbed his diving mask and dove down several times looking for his rod but the water was too murky where we were and he never found it. When we moved to a different spot in the lake, my brother was heartbroken and sat up front sulking. We fished in the new location for a couple of hours before my dad decided to head back to the cove. My brother had been very quiet that whole afternoon and we all left him alone, which wasn’t easy to do given the smallness of the boat. Late that afternoon, when my parents decided it was time to head back, my dad told my brother to pull up the anchor. And then he told him again. My brother didn’t move from his spot until the fourth time my dad told him to get the “God damn” anchor on the boat. I was in the back of the boat when my brother let out what I can only describe as a definite screech. We all turned to see what was going on and my brother was pulling the anchor up as fast as he could and yelling, “My fishing pole!” We didn’t quite comprehend what was going on until he reached over the side of the boat and stood back up holding his fishing pole in his hands. Somehow, it had gotten caught on the anchor line when he threw it in. We couldn’t believe it. We had left the area and come back and couldn’t understand how in the world the line got tangled in the anchor line. I was around 6 or 7 when this happened and I always imagined some kind of underwater fairy had helped my brother get his fishing rod back. Like freshwater mermaids or something like that. I don’t know, all I know is that that day we definitely witnessed some sort of miracle.