Sentiments

Dad's Day

 

Father's Day 2018

 
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Teysia and I met my dad at his place, the house I largely grew up in, though it has mutated away from the hippie kit house it once was. Take note of the perennial hornets nest in the doorway.

 
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The plan for the day was to kayak down at Payne Lake, but upon entering the barn to get the kayaks, I was socked in the face with the putrid smell unique only to the decay of what was once living. Dad was reminded that he'd shot a couple porcupines in the deep annals of the second floor labyrinth of church pews and office furniture. In the absolute deepest part of the barn, two porcupines lie rotting. 

 
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The first one was easy enough, leaving a squirming pool of maggots in its place. The second, however, required a pitchfork, and was barely corporeal enough to lift out. 

Not a celebratory affair, but a necessary one.

 
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We did eventually get to the lake, after two trips with a kayak strapped down to the roof over rolled towels. The air moved over the water like a feather over smooth paper, an effortless breeze.

 
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Dad and I hiked from the house to the cliff's edge one time. The forest rises up to a plateau designated as Pulpit Rock State Forest, with beaver flows occupying the chasms between metamorphic bubbles and pine humus that swallows you up to the midthigh. It's a fairly untouched place. It's a reprieve like that found in the Adirondacks, but you'd be hard-pressed to meet anyone on the (nonexistent) trail there. I had always heard rumors that the army used to rappel off the edge, and that they'd stopped when someone fell and died. Well, when we walked out of the woods to the cliff's edge, I walked straight out to the point where two climbing ropes met at a steel circle about a half-inch thick. The ropes were old, black, and stiff with weathering. At least half the story's true. We climbed down from there and hailed an older couple in a tiny old fishing boat and they graciously ferried us to the landing. Honestly, the boat barely made it, as low as we were. We began to walk along the road that day and made it about a third of the way before a neighbor picked us up. Always an adventure with Dad. 

 
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Jacob Sell Hicks