Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When You Swim in the Lake, DO NOT Think About What's In the Water

What a beautiful day to work at the lake! Sunshine, blue sky, nice breeze, green grass, sandy sand and wavey lake. Each spring Jerm and I pair up with Dad to help get the cottages ready to go for summer renting. We put in the screens on the cottage porches, putting away the winter boards. Not a difficult job, just takes a while. Thankfully, Levi and Isaac came along to help. They were so eager to help, it was a lot of fun to have them there. Good times. Eli came along too, but he stayed upstairs with Grandma Rozer to play with Lydia. That was a very nice arrangement.

When we arrived at the lake, one of the first things we did was to walk over to inspect the neighbors new lakehouse. It is gigantic. And beautiful. I'm not jealous or envious, but the thing dwarfs our cottages! This led to walking around our property, checking out the grounds for standing water - three inches of rain over the weekend tends to flood the yard. It had drained away pretty well. After lunch, Jerm and I headed over to look at the neighbors enormous house again, this time with Dad. The contractor was there, so we chatted with him about the yard elevation and grading, since we're a little concerned about excess rainwater pouring onto our area. He assured us that it would all work out. We'll see.

The biggest chore of the day is to put on the waders and then set up the piers. They are long metal docks that have to get bolted together. Not hard, just takes a while. Since it's not a job that Levi and Isaac can help with, they got a little bored. Eventually they ended up with nets to catch fish. Unfortunately the little minnows never got close enough to the boys. Next they tried to catch the turtle. But the handle on their net was too short, and they weren't sure they wanted to wade four feet into the water to capture the turtle.  Much to my delight, they called for me to capture the turtle for them.

I waded over in my waders to the spot where the non-moving turtle was laying. I took their net and scooped up the turtle. It was very dead. Once I pulled it out of the water, we discovered that it was very stinky. Disgustingly wretched stinky. And decomposing. Some of the back foot was missing, only bone remaining. It looked like some of the guts were leaking out. Enough to make you gag.

I asked Dad where to bury it; he suggested I throw it on the neighbors yard (the neighbors with the great big gorgeous house). He insisted that it'd be all right, since they still had to grade the yard and seed it. I had my doubts that this was acceptable. I again suggested we bury it, but he didn't give me any ideas on where. So I dumped it out on the ground. Right by our next work spot. Fortunately the wind was blowing away from us. Jerm refused to gaze upon the rotting turtle. He turned pale every time I invited him to go look at it. I enjoyed bringing up the turtle-visit often with him!  The boys were curious, but they kept their distance.

Isaac begged me to let him wade around in the water. I said no, he didn't have waders like Uncle Jerm. He didn't care, he wanted to get in the water and walk around like what I was doing. No, no, no, no Isaac! He wouldn't take no for an answer. Finally I told him: "We just pulled a rotting, stenchy, disgusting turtle from the water, and you want to walk around in it?" He promptly replied, "Yes!" Ack! I could barely stomach the thought of even touching the lakewater.

Isaac is a very sly dog. His next question was, "Can we play in the sand?"Sure, I said. No dead turtle carcasses there. At this point Jerm and I started working on the sandpile, digging out grass and expanding the sandpile out, doubling it's size. And guess what that sneaky Isaac and Levi start doing. Getting buckets of water and dumping it in a sandhole. Within minutes they are soaked up to their knees. They're wading around in the water, right close to where I netted out that wretched turtle. It was enough to make my skin crawl. But they were having fun. Remarking to Jerm how I had to constantly NOT think about what was in the lakewater when swimming, all I could focus on was all the time I'll be spending this summer in that lake. As long as we're all having fun, what does it matter. As long as I don't see any other rotting aquatic carcasses, they don't exist, right?

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