Kayaking in Lightning Storm

Kayaking in Lightning Storm - Aug 8, '08

Buddha and Shaolin priests in monastery shine on Master and Mrs. Po yesterday while kayaking in Wilmore water dam. We thankful we still alive today.

Bad weather forecast is early sign we should not go, but Master Po fear he disappoint Mrs. Po if he not take her kayaking. Later, Mrs. Po admit that she not have good feeling about going, but she afraid to disappoint Master, so neither speak up. This is typical problem when married folk afraid to ruin each other's day.

We get there with no problem, but again, not speaking up take toll on our minds. Mrs. Po suggest that we avoid men fishing from bank, even though they are fishing two feet off shore and dunking baits right next to shore line. So Master Po, not want to offend Mrs. Po, and we begin paddling kayaks to OTHER SIDE of large dam.

Sun shining brightly, but dark clouds begin to form in distance. We still paddle further away from dock. Again, not wanting to take away each other’s desire to HAVE FUN.
Soon drizzle start to hit bodies, and distant thunder sound over large mountain. We dock kayaks and Mrs. Po get out of water and stand on shore for long time. Only large, tall trees are in this area, NO SHORT ONES. Master Po enjoying wading and catching aquatic life under rocks and in weeds next to bank. BIG BOOM HIT CLOSE, and it start raining very hard.

Master Po turn kayaks over and rest them diagonally against large fallen tree, just enough room for two Po’s to sit on life jackets, and get under very little protection. It rain harder, and harder, and BOOMS get closer and closer.

Surprisingly, Mrs. Po not saying much, as I think she begin to suffer shock from whole experience. So, Master Po try to rub her shoulder and back to comfort her all while saying “it’s about over – we’ll be fine.” But Mrs. Po not stupid lady, and knows our feet are only 18 centimeters out of water. This not matter, as we are soaking wet anyway. And comfort efforts do little good. Mrs. Po later admit fear that she think If Master Po get hit by lightning, it will travel down his arm and go through her too, thus killing both Po’s. She not understand, if bolt strike, that we both dead right away, as we sit so close together. But all during storm, Mrs. Po have very little to say. She say many prayers instead of wanting to chit chat.

Storm seem to last for very long time. This is not fun for kayakers.

When thunder subside long enough, we try to paddle quickly back across water. We get half way – and storm again return. We get very wet, and not have good time, but Master Po admire how fast Mrs. Po can paddle kayak and has rough time keeping up with her.
What seem like whole summer later, we get to dock, and get out of water but it still raining, and thunder Gods not happy. Master Po get gear together, while Mrs. Po go to Jeep and bring jeep and trailer close to dock. Mrs. Po, think that trailer is 150 meters long, and passes up place where Master Po is waiting for trailer. She think she park trailer right next to kayaks, but she far down road. Master Po not say much as to not want to ruin outing or to ruin our fun.

He also worry when Mrs. Po starts to BACK UP in Jeep. This not good because she not ever back up with trailer before, so Master Po carries gear to trailer rather than risk further loss of fun. He sacrifice taking gear 150 meters down road way.

Later on way home, Mrs. Po admit another worry, only common to women. She picture the authorities finding our electrocuted bodies, and notifying the kids. She think as only women can think –“what would our kids think was going through our minds”? when we went kayaking in bad weather. This not enter Master Po’s mind once during whole ordeal. He instead think bodies will be found quickly under brightly colored, fluorescent kayaks, when sun come out. As kayaks were very close to shore line.

When you see Mrs. Po, please give her a hug – she need it.

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA