Labor Day weekend at my parents’ camp is often cold or rainy, coming as it does at the end of the season. But this year, the weekend was sunny and warm. “This feels like July,” we all kept saying. It felt like a wonderful bonus.
About fifteen family members gathered for the weekend, bringing tents and food. My brother brought his sailboat so that he and my father could take several long sails on the river. Red-haired Niece and her boyfriend brought their dog and their motorboat: I went out on the river with them for the fun of leaping off the boat into the deep, clear water. We ate corn on the cob that had been picked that morning, we swam in the afternoon, and we sat by the fire in the evening, enjoying the absence of the mosquitoes.
Schoolteacher Niece brought her one-year-old daughter, who had fun playing at the beach. She seems to love water in all forms, whether it’s water to drink or water to play in. When I handed her an empty bucket, she started right down to the dock with the intent of filling it up with water.
I took several leisurely paddles in my little red kayak. I love the river in September when the cattails are high, the water is low, and the creeks are secret, hidden places. I usually start off by paddling as hard as I can against the wind, and then once I’ve gone far enough, I drift with the wind, taking photos and looking down at the water to spot fish swimming through the weeds. When I was a child, I used to spend hours lying on the bow of my father’s sailboat, staring down at the underwater world of mysterious green weeds and imaging the fairy people who probably lived there.