Living Wright: A dry love affair with the lake
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Thursday, May 24, 2012
5/24/12 at 6:16 AM
Go to Jason Ashley Wright's BlogOriginal Print Headline: Dry love affair with the lake
Once upon a few summers, I was a lake bum. Or, at least, I fancied myself as such.
Having grown up within a two-hours-or-less drive from the Gulf coasts of Mississippi, Alabama or Florida, I have to admit feeling a tad landlocked since moving to Oklahoma 14 summers ago. Lakes were for fishing, I thought. And I've refused to bait my own hook since the first and last time I went fishing with my brother and cousin in our papaw's pond. So why in the world would I go to a lake?
Enter my buddy Banshee. After she married Mr. Clean, they bought a boat, which came with skis and a big inner tube. It wasn't long before they extended an invitation to me.
Before I met them that first morning I stepped on the boat, I prayed for my survival. I can't swim, after all, and I'd almost drowned in ninth grade. So speeding across a body of water through which I couldn't see the bottom made me more than a little nervous. I even contemplated Spider-Man floaties on my arms (I never had any as a kid but always coveted the pair I spied once). Or maybe one of those yellow inner tubes with the duck head on the front. Alas, the tan lines would've been atrocious, so I stuck with prayer, sunblock and a cooler of Diet Coke.
But 10 minutes into the ride, I was hooked. Any time they invited me, I said yes. In fact, I'm sure I probably ingratiated myself into their company a few times when they were too sweet to say they wanted to be alone.
I rarely got in the water, though, unless it was approaching or past 100 degrees, or when rubbing ice cubes all over myself became a smidgen unseemly - and, depending on my girth at the time, quite wasteful of ice.
I love the calm and serenity of lying in a boat, gently bobbing, roasting under the sun and listening to Banshee & Co. swap jokes and be silly. It was the perfect opportunity to unplug.
And people wave at one another! It's like being back in Mississippi on a country road, when you'd give an index-finger salute from the steering wheel to acknowledge the stranger passing you.
When Youngun died June 1, 2010, and I moved into his house, I became a bit of a hermit. I didn't care about going to the lake, but Banshee and Mr. Clean always asked. Same thing happened when I fell in love last summer - I was scarce. But the invitations still came.
This year, bless their forgiving hearts, I've been invited back. In fact, I've been asked to go this weekend, to bring a cooler and just lie there to my heart's content. Well, that and fetch drinks whenever they're in the water because I'm still too skittish to jump in. Perhaps I'll invest in some floaties.
Whether you're a water bug or too skittish to swim, the lake has a charm that makes it a hot-spot in summer months. Tulsa World file