Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I’m writing this sentence as I sit at a table overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
And now I’m writing this second sentence five days later. What the heck was I thinking back then? I sat there with my laptop open in an attempt to make a deadline, all the while the lure of the river beckoned.
How futile was that? My fishing boat was tied up at the dock right in plain view and I thought I could concentrate long enough to write a column? It wasn’t going to happen – plain and simple.
Needless to say – but I will anyway - there was a change of plans. I jumped in the boat, called my dog to join me and was set to go. All pumped up, I was ready for some action. Unfortunately, both batteries in the boat were completely dead. A collective sound of relief could be heard coming from the bait box. The worms thought they were off the hook. (Now that’s funny – I don’t care what you say.)
But that’s standard operating procedure for yours truly. Murphy had me in mind when he declared, “If anything can go wrong, it will.”
I had to look on the bright side and be thankful that the battery didn’t fail while I was in the middle of the river … again. Two summers ago I took my son, Paul and granddaughter, Emma out fishing. We had to be towed back to shore. How embarrassing was it? Since then, my boat has been given the official title of “Caboose” by the Indian tribes up there. (I’m sorry, Bernie, I meant … Native Americans.)
Speaking of Paul, he was there with his family again this year. On the first day he arrived, he walked around to where I was working and asked if the water should be spraying out of the PVC line in the back of the cottage.
Murphy had struck again: the line had split. I had seventeen jobs slated ahead of that, so thankfully, he took it upon himself to fix it. Welcome to the Labor Camp.
He wasn’t the only one who helped. My other son, Eric, arrived before his wife and kids. He brought along four of his buddies who were going to stay for a couple of days. They showed up ready to rock and roll. (Apparently, the parole board was in a festive mood that week and let them all out at the same time.)
On the plus side, their vim and vinegar came in handy. They carried two dozen rail-road ties down the 60 steps to where I needed them. But that was nothing compared to the load that two of them brought back from town that night. Tip of the Charles Atlas-hat to Zack, Mike, David and both Erics.
As usual my daughter, Melissa, was a tremendous help to her mother. I have no idea what she did but that’s just the way she rolls. I have the luxury of taking her for granted … in a good way.
Our three kids and 7 grandchildren had congregated there for a family wedding and my wife’s annual family-reunion. Both wing-dings had me scared to death. My wife has 8 siblings. With their children, we have 27 million nephews and nieces … and they all have kids. For a guy who can’t remember his cat’s name, this is a terrifying experience.
I will be back next week for the continuation of this saga in a column titled “Do I know you?”
But for now, that’s the way it looks from the Valley.Tom Valley is a Medina resident. His column appears every Thursday. Contact him at email@example.com.