On the way home from Mississippi, we stopped for a few days at The Antlers. The Antlers is a log cabin on Lake Cherokee that was built by Reese's great grandfather, Ewart Hoyt Lightfoot in 1948. Descendants of his son, Reese's grandfather Thomas Ewart Lightfoot have had use of the cabin in the six decades since. For a few more years, before the Antlers changes ownership, Reese and I have limited use of the cabin, and consequently the lake.
As mentioned in the last blog entry, Skipper, the petite pedigreed poodle pet of ours follows me with great devotion. He, at least with regards to me, truly is an always faithful dog as his middle names imply; Semper (always) Fido (faithful dog.) No question about it, Skipper adores me. In fact, it's fairly common knowledge that if Skipper had the strength to force Reese to walk the plank, he would, just so that he (Skipper) could have his mistress (moi) to himself.
Skipper, poor dear, is getting old. His teeth are falling out, his hair is so thin that one can see all his liver spots on his pink skin, undeniably, he has cataracts, and it appears that he may actually be blind in one eye. We had newly arrived at the Antlers, and were already on our second journey to pier's end to enjoy the view. Skipper is not new to the lake house. Skipper has walked on the pier many times. As I mentioned, he follows me everywhere, so back and forth on the pier is no exception. We heard his little clickety paws trailing behind us as we walked; and then.....the tiniest of splashes. Skipper, bless his teeny fast beating heart, pranced stage right off the pier and into the lake. Accidentally, of course. Thank God that Reese has long arms. He prostrated himself and rescued the poor pooch just before he swam out of reach. Reese gallantly took off his shirt, wrapped the pitiful sorrowful waterlogged pet in it, held him until his body heat transferred to Skipper and the shivering stopped. We were naturally distraught for Skipper and yet extremely tickled at the same time. Honestly, at random intervals throughout the evening, one or the other of us would laugh, and in the next breath say, "Oh, the poor dear."
The lake house is in possession, thanks years ago to Reese's dad, of a 1970's small fiberglass Sunfish sailboat. Some of Reese's fondest memories have been out on the lake in that little sailboat. This trip was no exception. After repairing the rudder, and re-attaching the sail, we harnessed what little wind there was and headed for a small island several miles away. Reese tacked back and forth and about 45 minutes later, we had sailed around, what is commonly referred to as Bikini Island. We paused, took a dip in the lake to cool off, refilled our water bottles, pointed north, and set sail for the cabin. Only now, there was no wind. In the space of a few minutes at the island, the lake surface had literally become as smooth as glass. It would have been perfect for water skiing had we the use of a ski boat, but it was not so great for sailing. Without wind to fill the sail, we were so still that we actually had time to become friends with a family on shore. It took us so long to "sail" past their pier that we watched a young teenage girl walk to the end of a pier, start fishing, catch a fish, the grandparents come out to congratulate the young fisherman, and us all discuss how proud we were of this young lady's accomplishment. [The fish was this big, as I hold my hands apart to demonstrate.]
Still no wind. Reese paddled. Reese jumped in the lake to push and pull us. Reese paddled some more. Every now and then I would shout, "I feel a breeze!" We would catch a wisp of air that would take us about twenty feet, and then perfect stillness again. It was a good thing that before our journey began, Reese encouraged me to bring a book and snacks. I have borderline hypoglycemic tendencies, which means that it's best for the environment at large that I eat on a regular basis. The book was Jane Eyre, which is so wordy and antiquated, that, being well fed, I was therefore quite distracted with reading. Hours passed, but many thanks to Reese's valiant efforts, by the grace of God above, we safely made it back to the Antlers. In my humble opinion, not sailing that afternoon made for an absolutely wonderfully charming memory with the most amazing Reese. And of course, our little pet couldn't have been more content. He was with me on the sailboat and he spent the entire time imagining that he was finally my Skipper, (and naturally Reese would have been his Gilligan) on our slightly more than three hour tour. Oh, the poor dear; Skipper still doesn't win.....I have always had a preference for Gilligan. :)