We won’t have to do that again this summer

The Friday Photo
June 6, 2014
20140606-065046-24646278.jpgLast Saturday we climbed, hiked, spelunked, swam, and paddled the Upper Ogeechee. Five hours after putting in for a short paddle (that included a thirty minute storm delay), we finally made it to our take out point. We can check the Upper Ogeechee off our list for this year.

Spare motor photography

The Friday Photo
A weekly photo celebrating art, spontaneity, and community
August 30, 2013

photo by Ella Cummings-Thompson
photo by Ella Cummings-Thompson

Ella wanted to paddle in my boat on Monday.
She said she would be my spare motor.
She also got to take some pictures.
Her mom is in front of us paddling The Jenny,
the kayak given to me last summer by Jenny Craigie Riffe

Earlier this summer I bought a larger kayak so I can paddle with a spare motor.
I have a feeling that before too Ella will begin building her skills in The Jenny
while an adult holds the throw rope.

As we ease into the shorter days of fall

imagesA few years ago I read an article in the AJC (I think) about how Labor Day and the return to school impact people, even those who have long ago sent their last child to school. The article described the way we remain tied to the traditional school year. As school buses slow traffic, adults often find renewed vigor in picking up projects abandoned in the excitement of spring and the heat of summer. For those of us in the soggy South, gardeners are still hoping for a few good tomatoes, yards have grown tall, and dogs have been told too often “We can’t go walk in this storm.”

In June, six months after welcoming 2013 with three of the finest women I am so grateful to call my friends, I took measure of the first six months of this year and checked in to see where they/we are. We will spend the last hours of 2013 together too. Sizing up, bidding farewell, celebrating, and welcoming anew, all rituals of the seasons.

In the mean time my list is full. There are at least two rooms and one porch floor to paint, pictures to hang, and furniture to sell, donate, or put to use where we see better purpose. I have a new website and Etsy shop to launch for my handmade goods. My goal of paddling 12 rivers in Georgia finds me with the plans to make the Savannah the ninth on the list in two weeks. I’ll spend a weekend with college friends and feel like we never left campus at all.

The summer long project I have called The Big Shed will continue until the content of every box we have stashed away is explored, and every drawer opened. I have too many clothes waiting to be listed on eBay that no longer fit my life or my waistline. In a few weeks I’ll have a “you pick, she picks” with my daughters to send things to their households.

I don’t long for the short dim days of winter, but I love what fall has on tap for me.

Both oars in the water

The Friday Photo
A weekly photo inspired by art, community and spontaneity
May 31, 2013

Ogeechee River upstream, our family farm is on the left bank
Ogeechee River upstream, our family farm is on the left bank

Late last summer my friend Jenny Craigie Riffe gave me a kayak she no longer uses and my adventures as a beginner paddler began. I missed the Georgia River Network (GRN) 12 in 2012 Challenge to paddle 12 rivers in Georgia, but this year I have decided to do last year’s challenge (this is not the first time I have been late to the starting line).

Last weekend we got out on the Ogeechee and Oconee Rivers, in addition to the lake at Hamburg State Park. We saw carp bedding down in a shallow cove, along with longnose gar, on the Oconee where Putnam and Hancock Counties meet on Hwy 16. We also learned that anyone and everyone can get out on a noisy, gasoline smelling jet ski by late in the morning on a Saturday holiday weekend.

Oconee River at Wallace Dam
Oconee River at Wallace Dam

The Savannah and Ocmulgee are at the top of our list now, plus the Augusta canal. This year GRN’s challenge is to get 13 people out to paddle who wouldn’t have been out on one of Georgia’s rivers or streams. Since I convinced my husband to buy a boat so we could paddle together. I think my work is done for the 2013 challenge. Two down, ten to go.