July 13, 2013

Naked kayaking

Every morning at camp, after we’d all eaten breakfast and were sitting lazily in lawn chairs, my mother would take out a cell phone and call my oldest sister to see how Blond Brother-in-law was doing. For the first time in years, he couldn’t join our gathering. He had surgery that week, something scary called spinal fusion. So while we were swimming and kayaking and playing bocce, he spent the week in the hospital, with his wife and sometimes his daughters at his side.

He’d been in terrible pain, even in May when he was orchestrating the secret dock building project. He’s so easy-going that it’s hard to tell when he’s in pain, but I do know he was on a whole lot of drugs. He had hoped to have the surgery earlier in the summer and be on the road to recovery by the time July arrived. He’d even agreed to pose naked on the new dock to celebrate.

But things don’t always go as you plan, and his surgery took place on the Monday of our vacation week. We missed his presence: not just his great cooking over the grill, but also his sense of humor, his easy-going personality, and his fun-loving spirit. My husband and Tie-Dye Brother-in-law both willingly helped out with the cooking, and my sons chimed in with extra inappropriate jokes to make up for Blond Brother-in-law’s absence.

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law made the ultimate sacrifice, “I guess I’ll have to take the spot of naked brother-in-law,” he said. We figured the best tribute to Blond Brother-in-law would be to show someone enjoying the dock he’d helped build. So I stood on the dock while Tie-Dye Brother-in-law stripped off his clothes, jumped into the kayak, and happily paddled about naked in the evening sun.

Naked Kayaking

Read more about the history of the naked blogging project and check out the gallery of photos.

Blond Brother-in-law is home from the hospital now, but still recovering from the surgery. We're hopeful that he'll be back to normal soon. Perhaps by Labor Day Weekend he'll be ready to pose naked on the new dock.


Anonymous said...

Love the light in this photo! And I hope your brother-in-law continues to heal.


Lorianne said...

Forgive me, but all I could think of while reading this was how *sticky* a kayak seat would feel if you were sitting on it naked. As Seinfeld would say, "There's good naked and there's bad naked."

So, bonus points to Tie-Dye BIN for withstanding discomfort in the name of tradition...and I hope Blond BIN feels better soon.

Terry said...

Great picture! Long live the naked photo tradition!

Sending prayers out to Blond Brother-in-law.

Tina said...

Naked canoeing is called "canuding."

I don't know what naked kayaking is called.

Amelie said...

Your family is awesome!
I hope Blond Brother in Law feels better soon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks J,

Great article... Maybe I'll be able to pose for a picture by September.


Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

I had planned on leaving my shorts and (tie-dyed) T-shirt on the dock, and then snaking off my Speedo in the kayak, but as I started to do so I realized that I had already changed out of the Speedo, so I just left it all on the dock.

That made it interesting when jo(e) was done taking pictures and I paddled back to the dock, just as my father-in-law started heading for the dock.

I had to grab my shorts and paddle back out a little, then slide into the shorts while sitting in the kayak and trying to keep a (rather low) rowboat between us.

Jeff C. said...

I hope your brother-in-law has a speedy recovery. My brother was just released from the hospital so my anxiety dropped when I heard his voice saying he was out.

Great story from joe and tie-dye brother-in-law.

Lorianne's "Seinfeld" comment made me laugh. I remember the episode with Seinfeld walking around his apartment wearing nothing but a tool belt... :)