10 February 2020

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Lake People

I was at a loss for a little while about what to write this week. There’s only so many tales to tell about my kids/monsters growing up, but then an old friend posted something about “Lake People” that kicked my mind into gear.

My kids grew up on Lake Sinclair.

We had an old 19.5’ Chaparral. I still have ‘er. Jackson Lake might have taken her down, prop damage, but she’s not done yet. The old “401-K.” It earned SO much more interest for the kids than any retirement plan.

We went to the lake almost every weekend, and one weekend we decided to go camping on Sinclair’s Goat Island. I can close my eyes and still see all our camping gear in the bow of the boat, with children spread accordingly to hold it all down. We only lost one sleeping bag on the way!

Once on the island, Mama set up camp while the kids played. We had two boats in the water. Ours and a dear friend’s. As luck would have it, their father was called to work.

I was admonished, -repeatedly- before their father left, not to sink the boat. Yes, there was a small leak around the plug. Yes, there was a pump to take care of it. Yes, we played all day and I didn’t lose a child. But… We forgot one really important thing.

As the sun went down, we had a really nice campfire. Both boats tied up for the night, and my friend’s boat blaring music (it had a REALLY good sound system), we all finally nodded off.

When the sun came up, and we all finally -woke- up, it hit me what I’d forgotten.

They drop the water on Lake Sinclair at night. I couldn’t had sunk our boat if I tried.

Both boats were beached. My big behemoth was almost on its side. Our friend’s boat, lighter, a ski boat, was dead. All night music can kill a battery, and we were stranded.

Salvation came in the form of a friend, on a ski-doo, with left-over pizza for breakfast.

And the water eventually comes back up.