101

Today was the virgin voyage of my new kayak

Dalmatians? I wondered aloud.

No, a list of one hundred and one things that bring you joy, she said.

Like a favorite movie? or book?

It could be; that’s up to you. I don’t know what brings you joy, but you need to list them.

She suggested using note cards and writing just a word or two on the front and fleshing out the exact details on the opposite side of the card.

Sure, just start a list. Add to it, grow it to at least one hundred and one things that bring you joy.

This was her advice in the midst of my last battle with depression. I was no longer taking medication, but still struggled. Her idea seemed too simple, too easy.

So, it could just be a song? I probed. It sounded too simplistic.

I recall the struggle. Should I list Led Zeppelin, or just “Fool In the Rain?” I realized I am not knowledgeable about much of their music, but that song made the list.

Also at the top of the list was the word Kayak.
My sister had taken me for my first paddle in her two- man on a lake in MN at least 15 years prior. I loved it.

While on my residency in 2011, I rented one and went out with friends, a number who had never done it before and afterwards, were hooked. It is so easy. It feels like you just sit on the very top of the water, and tool around.

I rented one to paddle down the Mississippi while in the Midwest.

I took my father at the age of 80 to Leaser Lake in PA https://www.facebook.com/LeaserLakeBoatsBikesBait/ and convinced him to try it. He had every argument in the book, “It’s going to be cold and buggy out there. What if I get tired?”

You can just come back in, I countered.

He enjoyed it.

When I landed at my new place on a lake, I knew what I needed – a kayak! But, I hesitated.

The first friends to visit my abode were long-standing sister-friends I have known for almost 30 years.

“Where is your kayak? You need to get a kayak for your spirit’s sake,” one said to me. It was surprising coming from such a gentle soul. It was November and I had told myself I could wait until spring. There were moving expenses I had not anticipated. What would heat cost this winter? Living on my own, is an adventure, but a tad nerve-racking financially. I don’t know what I don’t know, and I am discovering as I go.

I did notice the kayak rack in my storage area.

Then, the Christmas card came that made me cry. Tucked inside was a check. “I hope you will accept this small gift in the spirit given – toward a kayak for your beautiful lake.” I still cry when I look at it. And yes, I still look at it.

I found a used one; its just like its new owner, small, zippy, bright, slightly scuffed. Plus, It fits in my car, so I do not need a roof rack. Perfect!

And today, I took it out on Lake Beseck.

One hundred and one? I’m up to 4,793.

By Catstrav

Reindeer handler. NDT tech. Mother of four. Aspiring astronaut.