Gone Swimmin'

(Thursday, 30 August 2007) by Michele Cozzens

We “flipped the fish,” our OPEN/CLOSED sign on the front of the shop, at 4:15, turned out all the lights, and headed for the lake. Mother Nature is having hot flashes these past couple of weeks and the Northwoods hasn’t been its usual cool retreat. It’s been sweltering.

Squaw Lake was like a warm bath and I sat in it for nearly two hours—long enough for my fingertips to wrinkle up like prunes. They tingle as I type. Although it wasn’t my first time in the water this season—I’ve water-skied a couple of times—it was my first swim. The kids were so excited to see me in my suit and in the water, they didn’t care that they’d already showered and put on clothes for the evening. They put on their still damp suits and splashed around me, begging me to rate their handstands, watch their somersaults and flips. Boy do I remember being their age and spending countless hours in the lake. Nothing gave me greater joy.

An eagle flew overhead at one point, so close we could see the details of his bright, yellow beak. Then, not thirty feet away, his talons opened and he scooped a 12-inch fish right out of the lake. It was such a smooth, quick move, and witnessing it made us all scream with delight. I’ve seen eagles do this before, but never at such close proximity. Talk about a feeling of great joy. Wow!

Last day of July . . . summer is going far too fast.

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