One summer my grandma wanted to go fishing and decided we all should go. While my great-grandma—Mamo, we called her, because someone else did long ago--looked forward to the opportunity to escape the desert heat, my younger sister wondered if cabins in the woods came with television. At thirteen, I wanted no part of any of it. I also had no choice in the matter.
Late afternoon sun set hundreds of crystals ablaze on the lake and men in safari hats waved from their boats as we motored around to cabin #3. We all waved back as if we knew them. We had no more than put our meager belongings inside when the sound of tires crunching gravel drew us out to see who had come to visit so soon.
The Indian man in a Ranger uniform stepped out of a jeep the color of Aspen leaves and welcomed us warmly. As he went on to tell grandma all about the Tackle, Bait and Boat Rental shop around the bend, Mamo lost interest and returned inside, sister ran off to collect pine cones and I sat on the porch step and tried not to sigh too loudly. I was wondering how the headlines would read about a girl who died of boredom, when I realized the Ranger was speaking directly to me.
“I’m sorry?” I stammered
“Here,” he handed me a colorful pamphlet “Be there at 7 o’clock tomorrow morning, you won’t regret it.”
I stared at the pamphlet, dubious. Horseback riding? By myself? Oh, I didn’t think so. But the Ranger had already returned to his jeep, and grandma was waving him off.
“Sound good?” grandma asked, and I shrugged noncommittally. “It’s settled.” she said.
I didn’t want to think about it, but that night I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I gazed through the window at a million brilliant stars, twinkling just above the treeline, and wished I could climb a tree and get one. I thought I might well need the magic of a star for the task ahead of me.
Are you adventurous? Have you ever done something you weren’t sure you’d enjoy?
In the interest of time and space, I’ll finish this summer memory next time – stay tuned!