Pictures in My Head

sailboatSome of the best pictures that I have are the memories in my head — the stories that I have told over and over again and the tale comes to life each time I tell the story.

I was lucky enough to grow up on a lake.  We swam in the lake in the summers and we ice skated in the winters.  On this March day, my best friend Kendra and I decided that we were done being cooped up for the winter and we wanted to get out.  The ice had thawed.  It was windy.  And it was warm for March — sunny and in the 50’s.

We put on warm clothes and we took the green and white Sunfish out for it’s maiden voyage of the year.  We navigated to an open, windy area.  We zig zagged our way across the lake when all of a sudden a huge gust of wind caught our sail.  The boat started to tilt at a severe angle.  I was in front – Kendra in the back.  I looked back and saw Kendra slipping off the boat and into the cold water.  Those few seconds are etched into my mind in slow motion.  I thought “should I just let the boat tip over and join Kendra – or should I right the boat?”  I decided a moment too late that I should right the boat … and boom, I was in the water too.

The great thing about being with Kendra is that we find these things funny.  It was freezing and our lungs were constricting, but we were laughing.  Laughing took up way too much energy and we needed to focus!  We swam over to the rudder, stood on it, and flipped the boat to it’s proper position.  We climbed on board and really started laughing.

Fisherman on the banks were concerned.  We waved them off.  We shivered and giggled and sailed slowly back to the dock.  Once we were safely on land, our first thought was not getting a warm shower.  We asked Kendra’s mom to take a picture of our ridiculousness – two shivering teenaged girls in soaking wet sweat shirts and jeans – and a twinkle in our eyes knowing that we had just created a great memory.  I have seen that picture since then, and it shows how we physically looked after falling into the lake, but the real story is the one that we keep stored in our memories.

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3 Responses to Pictures in My Head

  1. Ramona says:

    Hope it’s okay if I share this slice tomorrow in a meeting with teachers. It’s a wonderful example of how to turn a past experience into a slice of life. Your words made this tale come to life!

  2. Kay Swenson says:


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