- Drenched in North Hatley
Drenched in North Hatley
By Didi Gorman
Originally, I had intended to title this piece ‘A beautiful afternoon in picturesque North Hatley’ or ‘A picturesque afternoon in beautiful North Hatley’. I was going to tell you all about our leisurely kayaking experience on Lake Massawippi.
As life would have it though, the weather had a mind of its own that day.
It was cloudy when my daughter and I set sail; the light drizzle too gentle to distinguish from the splashes of our own paddles. But when we reached farther towards the center of the lake, the rain was getting stronger. Brisk waves were slapping at the sides of the kayak, rattling the watercraft with every bash.
Thankfully, the kayak was impressively steady. (The same could not be said about my nerves, unfortunately.) The lake had changed its character in a matter of minutes. It was not docile anymore, but moody.
For some reason, this delighted my daughter to no end. “Woohoo! This is so much fun!” she kept squealing.
As for me, I just wanted my mommy.
By the time we managed to steer the kayak back to shore, it was pouring with rain. We were soaking and I was shaking.
When we stepped on firm land, me tottering, my daughter skipping, she asked, “Are you going to write an article about it?”
“I believe so,” I said, still shivering. “It’s my duty to warn the populace that North Hatley is not for the faint of heart.”
This made her laugh. “So you’re going to make it sound very dramatic, right?” she teased. “You’ll probably describe the gentle breeze and mild sprinkle like some kind of a hurricane, and the teensy waves like a gushing tsunami!”
My creative liberty had never been challenged like that before. But okay, I concede. There will be no tsunamis and no hurricanes in my article about Lake Massawippi.
Even so, I was still offended. “We were at great peril, mind you!” I blurted. “We were far away from the coast with no soul in sight. You’re lucky I managed to keep my cool and maneuver us back to safety!”
There. That would teach her.
“Mommy, we were barely thirty meters away from the beach, and the lake was full of other kayaks,” countered the young lady. “Besides, it was ME who paddled us back to the shore. You just smacked the water with your paddle, which is why we got so wet. Seriously, mommy, you were more dangerous to us than the lake itself!”
Mmm, actually she has a point.
Of course, she wants to go kayaking again next weekend, but on condition I don’t paddle. This way, to use her exact words, we’ll be safer and dryer. She’ll do all the paddling while I just sit back and RELAX. (There was something odd in the way she emphasized the word ‘relax’. I’m not sure I liked it.)
Fine, no problem, I’ll just swallow my pride.
Still, what if the lake misbehaves again?
I’d better come prepared, just in case.
Waterproof jacket – check. Waterproof shoes – check. Anti-stress tablets to reduce anxiety – check, check, and check!