Monday, June 16, 2008

On Swan River

While much has happened in the last couple of weeks, nothing was more noteworthy than my husband's attempt to collect my life insurance policy.

I mean, I know things have been tight lately, but I'm not sure the $300,000 I'm worth dead would be quite enough incentive for him to try and kill me.

You see, while we were on Cape Cod, we had the brilliant idea to take the kids kayaking on a small waterway called Swan River. For only fifty bucks, we could rent two tandem kayaks for an hour and a half. In that amount of time we could either head upriver to Swan Pond or downriver to the ocean side beach.

I was leaning toward Swan Pond.

I was a little nervous about kayaking, as I have never done it before. But when I saw the retired couple gearing up in front of us, I felt a little better. The women overheard my husband ask, "Which way do you want to go?" and piped right up to tell us that the tide was going out so we should head upriver toward the pond.

"You don't want to have to fight the current back up when you're tired," she said. "If you head to the pond, you can practically float back here on the tide."

Sounded good to me. "Did you hear that?" I asked my husband.

"Well, yeah, but I really want to go to the beach." he replied.

"Are you sure? I'm not in very good shape, you know." I felt the need to point out.

"You'll be fine," he assured me as he always does. And we set off.

The first forty-five minutes or so of our trip were quite fun. I was even thinking about buying our own kayak to use on our own much larger river. Then we passed under a bridge. And we saw the ocean.

"I want to turn around!" my son yelled over his shoulder to me.

I have to admit, I was of the same mind. That ocean looked awfully big from that little kayak. But suddenly, we had no choice.

I knew if I stayed broadside against the current for too long that we would get swept away. So I used my paddle as a rudder to make the sharpest turn possible.

And then we were headed broadside out into the Atlantic.

My son, clearly the smartest of the whole family, decided he wanted to bail out before we hit the big surf. I agreed. As I screamed for my husband (who had steered himself and my daughter onto a sandbar) to help us my son gracefully climbed out.

My husband was able to grab onto our kayak as we passed, and I took a full on header into the water.

We rested for a while on the sandbar, but we knew we'd have to get back upriver somehow. And the tide was going out fast.

After walking the kayaks upriver twenty feet at a time for well over a half hour, my husband decided I was ready to paddle. I lasted for all of about two minutes before I had a total breakdown.

If I stopped paddling at all, we'd start drifting backward toward the ocean again. In my panicked mind at the time, I was fighting for my son's life. Though I kept paddling, even though my arms were on fire I was also sobbing and alternating between crying "I can't do this" and yelling "I'm so mad at your father!"

My husband and daughter ended up towing us back to the rental place.

And I haven't been able to life my hands above my waist since then.

I don't know. $300,000 is a lot of money, but my husband should have considered that he'd have to pay for the lost kayak. And that retired woman could have been a witness should my husband have been brought up on murder charges. I'm just not sure if the risk was worth it.

Next time, we head toward the pond.

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