I’m a hard working person, perhaps obsessively so. I tend to think, “Once I get ____ done, then I can relax, get together with my friends, go horseback riding – in other words, after the work comes the fun and not one moment before.

The only problem is that once I finish ____, there’s always another ____ to take its place. I never seem to arrive at Nirvana.

So even when the most funnest thing comes up, I’m tempted to say I’m too busy. But one thing I’ve learned from a pile of regrets is that given a choice of doing something out of duty versus something that could become a treasured memory, go with the memory builder.

So that’s what I did Saturday morning. Despite the cloudy skies and start and stop of rain showers, I headed to my friend Sue’s house with my blowup swan.


Yes, my blow up swan. And I was joined by several other swanners that Sue had pulled together for the float. I wonder what people were thinking when they saw us drive by?

There were three kayaks, a canoe, and a duck boat that were manned or girled by people who were willing to tow the swans to make sure they went in the right direction and didn’t run into islands or trees.

As we floated down the river I quickly felt the tight grip of constant demands drift away. It was a physical feeling so pronounced that I recognized instantly when my mind stopped racing and I felt the lightness of being free of worries.

With all the rain that the Mississippi has been accumulating, the river was high but while balanced on my comfortable, humungous swan, I felt perfectly at ease.

There was nothing but the river, a bunch of swans, and smiling ladies. I was in no hurry to get to our landing point.

I didn’t realize that at the end of our journey, when we tried to get back to shore, a few of us were going to encounter a bit of a predicament.

Two kayaks and swans made it quite effortlessly to shore. The rest of us did not. This may have been because the three remaining crafts were towing two swans and were too wide to thread through the width between the shore and an overhanging branch. I’m unclear whether the branch caused the problem or if it saved our bacon by giving us something to grab onto and not be propelled by the current farther down stream.

(The branch in question, hanging over the river)

It all turned out swell because fortunately, people worked together, stayed calm, and a human chain with an outreached oar helped get the last two remaining stranded swanners to shore.

Did the ending of our maiden voyage make me regret going or even question the wisdom of it? No. Like most things, I just figure that we learned a few things and will do it better next time.

I know that when I am 90 years old, the swan adventure is going to make a great story. Heck, it makes a great story right now! It’s a better story than if all I was telling you was that I spent Saturday cleaning house and working on my book.

Actually, I did that Sunday after a very hazardous bike ride to Walgreens and the Grassroots Coop. I almost fell over when my gallon of milk tilted my bike off to the left. That could have been ugly!

What about you? Do you make an effort to collect memories?

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  1. Lori – I read somewhere that a person should shoot for one memorable moment a day, not big stuff, but something unique about that day. I haven’t mastered that but something to shoot for.

  2. Oh yes, Maery. Whenever you have the choice, go with the memories because life is just too dang short! As you know by now, I LOVE stuff like this. Good for you. It made such a great post, too. 🙂

  3. What an awesome story. I’d love to do that on the Hudson in front of Manhattan, that would get some attention!
    Heck I’d like on in my pool!

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