Quite often-mostly in summer- as I comb these beaches, I see someone your size, six-four, with a lively dog, walking the shore. Down this path you and Butters ran up the knoll on the left and then disappeared at the mouth of Lake Garrison.
One summer, you and a friend were planning a canoe trip to the beach at about ten in the morning. It was way in the afternoon when you finally took the canoe late across the mile or so space that separates our house from the beach, the wind making it hard to paddle to the ocean by now. You worked hard, and I could tell, sitting on the deck, and spying through the binoculars, that the wind was making you work even harder than you had anticipated.
Then, I watched as you combed the beach for what seemed like an eternity. I kept hoping you had realized that winds don't disappear; that winds would make the return trip more treacherous.
An hour later, I could see you and your friend paddling against a strong current, and making little progress. Then, you disappeared from my viewfinder and I held my breath in anticipation.
Before I decided to send for help, before I warned your father of your demise, knowing how proud you were, you both walked in the front door, tired and disappointed, and asked Dad to help you retrieve the canoe back in a cove, surrounded by reeds. The three of you had quite a time getting that canoe, dragging it out toward the path that led to the parking area where the suv was waiting.