J and I took the kids canoeing yesterday - something we’d talked about doing since we moved to this area three years ago. It’s fun to be a tourist in your own town, and to enjoy things that other people travel distances to do.
We had two canoes – the boys in one, girls in the other – and paddled just 1 1/2 miles downstream to the Old North Bridge. We were limited to two paddles per canoe, so J, the older two kids, and I paddled and LW8 and LM5 were our “nature spotters”. On the way we saw lots of turtles, Canada geese, and ducks with ducklings.
About halfway to our destination, where the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers merge to form the Concord, is Egg Rock. People may think Egg Rock is significant because Emerson, Thoreau, etc. are said to have hiked or canoed here to discuss deep philosophical thoughts, but, really, it’s significant because they recognized the importance of the rivers and were respectful of the memories of the Native Americans that white settlers had displaced.
This plaque, erected at the 250th anniversary of Concord’s founding, says:
The simple words inscribed on the rugged face of the rock, where the rivers meet, will serve to remind us and succeeding generations of a people who have vanished from the face of the earth, leaving scarcely a trace of themselves, except a few arrow-heads and stone pestles, and, here and there, a mound or a heap of clam shells.
We continued downstream, now on the Concord River. Once at the Old North Bridge we pulled ashore to exchange prisoners … I mean, the boys rode with me on the way back to South Bridge, and the girls were with J. Despite a few sprinkles and the threat of a storm, and having to work a bit harder going upstream, the trip back was uneventful. Well, my canoe seemed to want to travel in a Z pattern, back and forth, instead of straight down the river; I have to attribute that to weak arms and lack of technique.
Weak arms. That brings me to the next part of this post (and a hope to tie in more of a literary reference … not that Emerson and Thoreau aren’t enough!). I’ve noticed how untone my arms have gotten since I stopped swimming (untone? not tone? atonal? flabby?!?). Yes, I could (and should) start swimming again, but I have another plan. I’m painting most of the second floor this summer, and am working that roller like it’s a piece of fancy gym equipment. Just wait – between canoeing, painting, and the occasional swim, my arms will look like Michelle Obama’s by September … or, I’ll just wear long-sleeved shirts!
I’ve been listening to The Time Traveler’s Wife on audiobook while I paint. While it doesn’t keep the paint off my face and arms (ceilings are a bear to paint!), it sure helps to pass the time. I’m just about done with the audio (and don’t want it to end), and wonder what to listen to next. Options include:
- Backseat Saints
- The Wife’s Tale
- The Swan Thieves
I’ve also thought about picking up To Kill a Mockingbird, which Sandy from You’ve GOTTA Read This says is FANTASTIC on audio (Sissy Spacek narrates). Cast your vote for one of these, or give me another suggestion (I have a lot of ceilings and walls to cover; it’s a great summer for audiobooks!)