by Patricia Feager 7/3/2016
This is the starting point of where my life changed in 1987. It's where I began to see things from a different perspective. I walked the dock, swam in the lake, canoed, climbed Pleasant Mountain (broad and rugged), and began to stretch my imagination beyond comprehension. The experience ended in 1992 but the spirit and the lessons I learned at Moose Pond and Wyonegonic continues to live on.
Before any camper, visitor or staff went into the Lake, the owners required a swimming test; if you wanted to canoe, you had to pass a tipping test. If you passed, you got to enjoy the lake; if not, you had an opportunity to learn. Many people moaned, but those were the ones who couldn't swim. The lesson here is liability. When a person doesn't know how to swim they put everyone at risk.
This summer, many people will be heading towards the lakes, swimming pools, oceans and ponds. Water is a contemplation, do I jump in or stand back and watch? Should I get my feet wet or sweat? As for children, they are like monkeys, "Monkey see; monkey do."
Summer is here and it's hot. How hot? Hot enough my air conditioning went out. Of course, Murphy's Law proved once again that if something is going to go wrong, it's not going to be pleasant. This is the Fourth of July weekend. Trying to get a serviceman out is possible, but it will cost you dearly -- or you can wait, sweat it out, think about what you could have done to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Obviously, I neglected to get my AC serviced before the season started.
The service technician and I connected. Rather than let him stand out in the heat alone, I stood there and watched. It took two days because parts weren't available (Murphy's Law strikes again), but he succeeded. We talked about a lot of things pertaining to the Air Conditioning, but suddenly, everything changed. Like many of my conversations, one word said by another causes me to think of something similar; then when I said something, he had something to say, and before you knew it, he told a tale, a true life event that changed his life forever. Suddenly, everything got cool. I didn't think about complaining about my situation. In the heat, sweat pouring down my body, I listened and learned. It was a chilling story.
The AC technician was originally from Florida. He was married and had 3 beautiful children. While his wife was at the pool with her children, her youngest one drowned. She never forgave herself. Their lives changed in an instant. Nothing was the same. Depression took over. The other children lost their sibling and their mother. She never recovered.
Why would I bring up this subject in a blog post beginning with such a beautiful photograph? It's to remind you, if you're reading this, that lakes, though beautiful, need to be respected. A lake, a pool, any body of water puts liability and risk on everyone, regardless of age. The owners of Wyonegonic in Denmark, Maine practice a tradition of making sure everyone who gets into the lake, can swim.
How many parents make sure their children know how to swim? How many adults drink and cause boating accidents? How many people drown trying to save others? A lake is a beautiful body of water - people are too. Lets keep the lakes enjoyable for all. Any time, year round, is a great time to learn how to swim before going to a lake. And of course, the time to get your AC serviced is before summer!