Friday, August 29, 2008

In Paddle Boats

For all the complaining, sometimes I think that we just don't have enough hard times to bring out the best in us. We loll around thinking, hmmmm, what do I want right now, what would perfectly reflect my individuality and sensibility at this moment, making ourselves or other people sick. Secretly longing for the cure to complacency and self-involvement, the blackout or other interruption in the usual order of things.

Case in point: yesterday, the kids were very excited about the paddle boating until we were actually in the boat. Then they were too hot and it was boring. Clearly, they don't know anything about hot, and they don't know anything about boring. One child says, "you know it would be perfect to do this on a cold, rainy day." I'd love to see how that would go. Soon, they got tired of paddling. They wanted to pour water on their heads. Maybe paddle boating is something you have to be in a very specific mood for.

A boat filled with an Orthodox family chugged by us and I amused myself by demanding to know where they'd hidden the treasure. They kids answered that they wouldn't tell, while the father's look indicated he'd identified me as a loose cannon capable of god knows what.

If I had passed out on the boat at that moment and fallen into the water, it would have been quite a spectacle for everyone, and the girls would have had the mutiny they secretly desired, they are ready for so much more challenge than this civilized tableau allows them. Not that they don't love me, but they need a chance to be brave.

I know the park's been trying to get rid of the phragmites to allow native plants to grow. I saw a bed that was covered by black plastic next to one that was thriving. I love the way those grasses look, it always seems like they hold so much mystery between the stalks, mystery staunchly protected by those most exacting snipers, the skeeters. What I don't know is what might grow there in their stead. But it doesn't look like the Parks Department will win the battle against the phragmites. Not without a WPA to tackle it anyway, or perhaps we could start thatching the rooftops.


Parker said...

Awesome post, and very funny. As usual, we were tracking each other - my trip yesterday took me around the lake, and I was wonder what all that black plastic was for!

amarilla said...

I ran into a massive thorn yesterday. Not rose, I think Locust. 2 inches long, at the base of the lawn below the Maryland Monument. I thought of you. Did I really read a post about thorns yesterday, or was it just my imagination, running away with me?