September 18, 2020

On the River in the time of COVID

 I try to get to the River at least once a day.  Usually it is when I venture out to buy my lunch.  I'm not much of a cook nor do I care to be.  Low on the "to learn, do or moan over not doing" list.

Now, in the fall, is the time I come alive.  I am largely Scandinavian and find the hot weather totally intolerable. Ask my favorite horse trainer about the ice water bucket when she would unglue me from my horse at a show in the heat of the summer.  So the cool weather, cloudy, breezy day and brilliant fall colors attract me like a 1000 pound magnet to the Water Street parking lot where I can sit in the parking lot just a few yards from the South Branch where it joins the mill pond and think.


I am also not a morning person.  NOT NOT NOT.  But today I was up early, so early that I thought Shop Rite might not have my salad bar open.  It was.  I pulled in to a perfect spot in time to eat brunch and watch a heron freezing stock still out near the edge, looking for her morning repast.

If I come here on weekends it is a never ending parade of masked parents and children getting in and out of cars, walking in the park by the river, and coping with the various life shattering disasters that befall children (dumped ice cream cones, "I wanna go home" and "Why can't I hold the dog's leash").

This morning was different.  

A car pulled up beside mine with the obligatory kayak tied down on top.  I expected the usual guy, flexing his muscles and, well, being guy.

Instead a late middle aged woman pulled the kayak off, checked her paddles, put on her hat and mask, and slipped into her flotation device.  Without words and in a semblance of an orchestrated ballet, cars pulled in one by one and disgorged late middle aged and older women who silently equipped themselves and slid their brightly colored water vehicles into the river.

It was such a refreshing sight.

I might even get up early to see it again sometime.  Maybe not.