July 23, 2015

Summer Stories by Lynn J Simpson

A few weeks ago at a local lake I watched a half a dozen ladies standing strong on paddle boards, their laughter and light chatter traveling across calm waters to me. I drew my knees up to my chest, as late sunlight reflections danced across the dark waters that lapped against the dock where I rested.

And I wanted to be on those waters too, with those ladies. How hard could it be? Balancing on still waters on a paddle board?

Growing up in Ontario, and blessed with a best-friend forever (BFF) who had a pool, I spent hours upon hours daily in the water; swimming, diving, playing pool tag, and having breath holding competitions under water. When not in her pool, my BFF and I would be off finding another water adventure in the creeks of the local parks, or in the cottage lakes of relatives.

Our summers, always full of water adventures.

And often after the adventure, tired out from our escapades, we would find ourselves on her living room couch; her with a story book in hand, and me with pencil and a spiral note book, printing the adventure story of the day.

Recently I spent a week in British Columbia at my high-school friend's cottage on the lake. It was in celebration of our 50th birthdays. It would have been my BFF's 50th birthday too.

She passed away April 12th after 4 years of battling cancer.

One day, after returning from a boat ride where we had sat in a cove watching cliff jumpers, my high school girlfriend and I walked down to the beach carrying a kayak, and following us walked her husband carrying a paddle board.  With us were my late BFF's two grown daughters and her husband, along with the two daughters of my high school girlfriend.

I eyed the paddle board.

Why not? I thought. Time for a water adventure.

After a quick demonstration by my girlfriend's husband, I hopped into the water, balanced myself on my knees on the board, paddle in hand.  I felt the wind pick up behind my back. Began paddling, the waters underneath me seeming to become darker as clouds drifted in above me.

Wow, I am going pretty fast, I thought.

But I kind of want to turn around.

The lake water rippled beside me as I paddled but I couldn't turn. I just kept drifting faster away from the shore, away from the direction I wanted to go. The wind pushed harder against my back. The water appeared even darker. Raindrops tapped my hands. My hat blew off into the increasing waves.

Wow, those look like white cap waves, I thought.

I turned to look behind me, seeing my girlfriend's husband running down the beach toward me.

I think I am in trouble, I thought, for him to be waving at me like that.

Moments later I was in the water, holding on to the paddle board with one arm, my toes gripping my sandals as I kicked against the lake waves, the shore ahead of me. Eventually I hit shallow enough waters to stand, my girlfriend's husband meeting me in the water.

And to my surprise, he jumped on the board.

I'll get your hat, he shouted to me, paddling into the white cap waves.

Later, all of us cozy on the cabin couch, my hat drying on a towel rack, we laughed about our afternoon escapade. My spiral notebook on my lap and pencil in hand, I began printing the adventure of the day.

My BFF would have loved this moment too, of another summer story.

Decided to try the kayak out the following day! 

Blog-Connecting Stories


  1. What an adventure! So nice that you could spend time with all those friends.

  2. How brave of you to try paddle boarding! What a ride! Yes, I think your BFF would have loved that story and the time together. Keep writing.

  3. I am enthralled that you print when you record your adventures in your notebook. Do you really always print, Lynn? I love that.

  4. I love your adventurous spirit and your compelling voice. And your story makes me want to try paddle boarding someday. Thanks for sharing Lynn.

  5. That was fun, experiencing this with you, Lynn, and I'm so sorry about your dear friend. I lost 3 dear friends and my beloved kitty cat in the past year, and I have learned that it can still blindside me with confusion and numbness when I least expected. God bless you, dear.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.