THERE I WAS ON a real adventure, sharing my love for the outdoors with my five year old granddaughter Selina. It was a warm June morning and the air was sweet.
Selina was such a beautiful girl—olive skin, big brown eyes, and thick curly long brown hair, a smile full of fun. She was a bright and happy child. I wanted her to remember this time always.
It was my grandfather who taught me to ‘read’ the water, the trees, the breezes and the sky.
We had our little rented boat with our fishing poles, packed lunches, and cooler of bottled water and yoohoos. Just us two girls, no boys. Just us, the fish, the water.
It seemed like days but in all reality it was only a few hours. In the river, in our little rented boat how proud I felt and in total control of the situation. Selina was depending on me, and only me. According to Selina I knew everything.
Isn’t it amazing how a young child can make you feel so confident and smart? She doesn’t know I have a horrible sense of direction, or that I’m completely relying on my ‘smart phone’ to find our way back.
We left about nine thirty in the morning and it was noon now. The boat was to be back by six in the evening when my parents would be waiting to pick us up in a small town called Greene at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.
I saw a port ahead with docks and fishing boats. People seemed busy and it looked like a nice place to stop for lunch. I hoped we could find a bench, or a nice grassy spot to picnic on and find a restroom for Selina of course.
“Ahoy!” called a funny looking man from the dock, as he waved us in. The man wore rubber overalls and you could see his chubby sunburned face. He offered a warm smile and a hand as he welcomed us and helped us off our boat. He then tied it to the dock, and assured us it would be safe there.
There were old looking buildings and shacks, old trucks and boats. Just very old fashioned.
Quaint, simple, yet busy.
Fishermen were slicing and weighing fish. Others were emptying big nets onto wooden tables.
Selina’s eyes got even bigger as she absorbed our surroundings. I grabbed our lunches and we found a nice grassy spot to picnic on near the river where we could also keep an eye on our boat.
The place was like a town from a fairy tale. There were Cobblestone streets and automobiles from the 30s. Horses and wagons, a small post office, a general store, and even a blacksmith! The people were even dressed like they did in the ‘old days’: Women in dresses, hats, and petticoats, while men were in suits and hats and little boys in knickers. What an awesome little tourist place!
We finished our lunch and it was time to find a restroom. Selina and I walked across the little cobblestone street to the general store. A nice woman stood behind the counter and directed us to the back of the store. We found the restroom which had an old fashioned toilet, with a chain to pull to flush. The sink was a pedestal with claw feet; beautiful antiques. The woman gave Selina some rock candy on a string as we left.
We walked hand in hand down to the riverfront. When Selina asked, where we were.
I responded, “I really don’t know, but we’ll find out.” I slipped my phone out of my pocket and asked it… “Where am I?”
No response. My phone was blank. The moisture must have messed with the battery. Don’t panic, I told myself, we’ll be fine.
Soon a little boy in knickers and a hat approached us. “Lady?” he asked, “why are you and the little girl wearing pants?”
“Well.” I said, “we’re fishing, no need to dress up for that.”
He looked a bit puzzled but said okay and skipped away. What an odd question I thought.
“He’s a silly boy,” said Selina.
“Yes he is,” I agreed. This has to be some tourist place, I thought.