It had arrived. The three days in which I would spend with the boys in the gang. My brothers, my father, my two brothers in law (how I dislike that phrasing…”in law”, it seems so degrading, as if I am not proud to call them family.) and a couple of their youngins (boys trip ONLY). Destination was Payson lakes. This wondersome land was somewhere that I wanted to experience with my brothers and father. I had never organized such an event, where people were driving from all over just to have a weekend in the mountains. I felt a bit of pressure, but under pressure is where a man might perform best. We met at Willamette MTN and then it was off to Payson. The hopes were high for good fishing, good food, and good conversation. We got there with wonderful weather. With camp up we headed down to the lake to have the boys get some swimming in. I brought my newest homemade addition to my ever-growing collection of lawn/outdoor games. This one called KUBB, an old Scandinavian wood block game. I had fashioned it out of an old closet dowel and a 4x4 that was purchased at the local lumberyard. The point of the game is to knock down the other teams wood blocks using 6 dowels to get the job done. The game was easy to make and was an instant JAMES GANG favorite around the lake that fine Friday afternoon.
Justin. Football. Mountains. Magic.
KUBB in the MTNS.
During the intense focusing of the tossing, the knocking down, and the stressful nature of the game our bodies temperature was at an all time high (the sun helped with this as well). The moment had arrived in which skin was to meet her summer lover…water. As my father sat to relax with the two “BROTHERS IN-LAW” my younger two brothers and I headed to the dock to jump. It was a 1-2-3, in. Colby (youngest) and I swam to the other end where Justin (middle boy) was to meet us with our shoes, shirts, etc. We treaded lightly out of the lake seeing as how the shoreline was littered with rusty hooks and power bait. Having avoided any case of tetanus we headed back to find Father and the other boys. We headed back to camp to set up for post lunch, pre dinner. We sat around eating and chatting about what had been happening in each other’s lives over the last year or so. The sun began to sink behind the mountains setting a soft glow through the surrounding aspens. As the night began to set in each boy would quietly retire to his tent to enjoy a good sleep beneath the Utah sky, until it was just father and me. We decided to take a walk around the lake. The conversation and the company were MIGHTY. About half way around the lake I spotted a resting canoe along the bank. I whispered quietly.
“We should take that Canoe…head out on the lake”
“No, No, NO..That is not a good idea..” My father replied.
I paid no heed to his silly suggestion of abandoning what I deemed to be the greatest idea of the day. I began to grab the front of the boat, and put it into the water..
“JOSHUA!! NO! This is not a good idea..”
“DAD…” I replied
“We have to do this, embrace the night. Just get in!”
It didn’t take much to sway him into getting in to the back of the canoe. I pushed out us out off the shore and we began to paddle across the lake. The stars painting the night sky like I had never seen her. We talked in a soft tone as we paddled from one end to the other, discussing the grandiose ideas of existence. Chatting about my childhood, and about his Father. The experience that we were in, that we were living and creating would be hard to trump with any thing from that night on, and to realize that while “in it” was something that I rarely feel. As we got to the other side there was something that was creeping into the canoe..
“Joshua, I think there is a leak in this canoe..there is water back here.”
My father was on the back end of the boat and I glanced back to notice that there was a good size pool of water near his feet.
“We gotta get back….SOON!” he said.
We began to paddle with a bit more purpose this time to get us back to the shoreline to assure the safety of both of us. About half way there I hear:
“I am getting pretty nervous back here, my feet are completely submerged…we have to hurry!”
The canoe was slowly filling up with water, and in the pitch of night could complicate things a bit. We feverishly paddled to the shoreline where we initially found the canoe. I hopped out and pulled the boat to safety. We made it out safely and walked back to camp. When we got back it was late, and we both decided it was time to sleep. The next day followed suit. We woke up early to try our luck at fishing…nada. Around 9am we started in on a proper camping breakfast. 10 grain pancakes, eggs from my ladies at Willamette MTN, and a good cup of coffee made with a French press. That afternoon we played more KUBB during which I convinced my other brother, Justin, and my father to swim across the lake with both Colby and I. Again, we headed to the dock to jump in. The shock of the water was a short-lived feeling and we all made it safely to the other end. The night ended like the one the day before sans canoe stealing. The TRUTH behind this all?
Family. Father. Brother. Friends. LOVE.
We made it home safely early Sunday morning.
Monday consisted of Beet harvesting, swimming and animal husbandry. The pups needed time to reconnect, and that’s what happened. The intense connection? Yes. And how INCREDIBLE!
GOOD GOD! BLESS THOSE THAT I LOVE, and THOSE THAT I DON’T.
Tuck n I. Climb.
Sister as a Ghost
Kisses for the Mrs.
An embracing touch is what I need.