ucc logo
dcc logo Historic Gladden Chapel, view from Bridge Street
line decor
line decor



Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

August 13, 2010


I refer to the lake and my morning kayaking, but I rarely go into details. It’s nothing exhausting or dangerous. The greatest threat to me is leg cramps due to sitting in the kayak for about 2 hours, but the rewards are immense.

Come along with me for a morning trip from this week.

I awoke on Tuesday with the lake socked in with fog. I could see the dock, but a foot beyond that, nothing. Everything was white or gray: monochrome. Yet propped up next to the dock was my red kayak. THAT came out as the only color amidst the lake of slate gray.

I always carry an iPod and usually play certain types of music for the journey. I discovered the other day that I had a CD called “Purple Passage” by Uman. I cued it up and it/she/he?? accompanied me for the first part of the journey.

I head east around the north side of the bay. With the fog, I hugged the shore though I could go blindfolded and eventually hit a beach within 10 minutes in all directions. This lake is not exactly the Mediterranean in size.  Paddling along I glance at the cottages but don’t look for anyone, I imagine many folks are at their kitchen tables with coffee telling one another, “There he goes Stan. Every morning, I tell you!”

I wonder if I appear as driven as say, Lance Armstrong, to succeed in my training regimen each morning? When I round the end of the bay I switch off the music and let the wind carry me a bit and I do a very slow 360 (“Stan, what IS that guy doing??”) as I take my coffee mug and drink slowly and survey the giant pine tree on the next outcropping where the Bald Eagle perches to survey the lake. No eagle this morning.

No one can see me across the bay, only those on the immediate shoreline due to the fog. I drink slowly and decide I need to hear Sinatra. “Moonlight in Vermont” is perhaps the best for floating on a lake at 7am in the fog. The Peet’s Coffee is strong.

I continue east along the shore where the cottages are mostly hidden. This is one of the older parts of the lake and was settled in the 1920’s and for some reason the folks here seem to want to remain anonymous. Their cottages are hidden. The docks are modest, though I have noticed that their cars are rather pricey, so these are not hermits along here. But, I salute them; they have kept the shore line lovely and natural and lawn-fertilizer-free. Fallen trees remain fallen in the lake and so become docks for the turtles to sun themselves.

At the end of the eastern edge, I stop completely and just float. A few weeks ago I encountered five muskrats or beavers (I decided later they were beavers) swimming into the channel to the other nearby small lake. I noted then that the sides of my kayak are about 4 inches above the water or about the same size as a chomping tooth of a beaver. I remain wary but I suppose they are just as wary of me.

I float. I go nowhere and let the wind touch me a bit, but mainly I sit on the water among the lily pads. I eat yogurt (this is my breakfast time, folks), drink coffee and listen to Michael Franks. Anything of Michael’s is perfect for this spot at 7:15am. One guy across the bay sits on his cabin porch every morning and watches me. He says nothing and probably thinks I don’t see him, but I do. (Then again, maybe he wants me to think that he doesn’t know that I see him, when in reality he knows that I think that he doesn’t know that I see him??? It’s all too tiring to think about, besides he is less dangerous than five angry beavers circling a small red kayak in 15 foot water. I shut off the iPod and head south around the bay as the fog lifts.)

I pass the old summer camp where kids from Chicago used to come for their wilderness experience. Big city kids experiencing pines, groundhogs, campfires, swimming, skiing, canoeing and sleeping in bunks. As a kid, we used to paddle our canoes across the lake and tell the Chicago kids that we were from the Camp Jolly Roger on the other side of the lake. They didn’t know. A bunch of us had blue “Jolly Roger” T-Shirts and for them the other side of the lake was on the other side of the moon. I paddle past the old swimming spot. The camp was left in some old guy’s will. It was to remain a camp forever. But forever (or in perpetuity) lasted until 1970 when the will was broken and the land was sold and very pricey cottages and homes were erected. I paddle past them this morning. My paddle makes suds due to the lawn chemicals the owners dump on the lawn to keep it green. I wash dishes in fewer suds. One of the owners told me the suds come from a plant in the lake.

That owner must be one of the kids I told in 1960 about Camp Jolly Roger. It’s payback. We’ll believe anything on vacation.

I continue on as two loons fly overhead mournfully calling to the woods. I am out of coffee. I put on the earphones and I and Carlos Santana paddle back to the cottage.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

Current Year E-Grams
Archives from Prior Years