Last Saturday many from my family and some friends went fishing at our big lake on the new ranch. My eleven year old son, Jake, and an adult family friend decided to go fishing in the rowboat together, which was not a good idea. The boat was not big enough for the two of them.
At first things seemed fine, they rowed out to the middle of the lake with a large expanse of water separating them from the safety of the banks on all sides. As the friend cast out his line, he lost his balance. Jake attempted to correct the momentum of the boat as it rocked far to one side by leaning in the opposite direction. His boat companion tried to regain the boat’s balance by standing up (not a good idea). Jake bailed just in time before the side of the boat smacked the side of his head or landed on top of him.
Jake found himself in the cold water in the middle of the lake fully clothed including his brand-new cowboy boots, which he had just received for his birthday. He can swim, but he has never had to swim so far especially encumbered by so much clothing and footwear.
After making sure that each of them were not hurt, they tried locating the fishing poles and oars. Together they tried to drag the boat with them, but after about fifteen minutes they decided to abandon ship. Both were becoming tired.
Meanwhile, my dad jumped into the lake and began swimming toward the wet fishermen. He is an excellent swimmer and with good presence of mind removed his phone, boots, shirt, etc. before plunging into the cold water. He reached them about the time they decided to just swim to shore without the added burden of the boat. Daddy was surprised to turn around and see his faithful companion, Lily, a dog who does not normally swim, paddling up behind him.
Now there are two men, one boy, and a dog in the lake and at this point all of them are tired. Lily tried to rest by climbing up my dad’s back. Her claws scratched his back badly and he began bleeding. I sure am glad that we do not have sharks or piranha in the lake because they would be in really bad shape at this point.
Thank God, they all made it back onto shore safely. They climbed into chairs deep back in the shade under some trees to rest.
My daughter, Grandma, and the friend’s mother had left to run a short errand on the ranch only to return and see an empty lake with a boat standing straight up in the air and oars floating on top of the water. Panic set in immediately.
It did not take long for the two groups to meet and relief to soothe the fears of both parties. Jake’s boots dried out and he conditioned them well so he should be able to enjoy his birthday present for awhile. It might not have been his actual birthday, but it was definitely a surprise swimming party that we hope will not be repeated.