Having nothing to do and plenty of time to do it in
I suppose those summer days of 1976 were the best for me as I had no summer job except to make my bed and keep my room neat.
The only appointments on my schedule were two hours of Little League baseball on week days and making sure my dog Mutt got a dish of food every evening.
With so few things on my daily “to do” list, I had plenty of time for things that just sort of happened when they happened.
My only requirement was that I let my mother know where I was going.
I assumed she understood that when I said I was going down to the lake it left room for the many possibilities that could happen on the way there and what I might do when I got there.
On one particular day, I told my mother I was headed to the lake.
I grabbed a towel off the clothesline and called Mutt to join me.
It seemed like this day was going to be like every other.
The pavement under my feet was warm, the slight breeze smelled of boat exhaust, and there did not appear to be a thing standing in my way of doing exactly what I wanted to do.
We made a stop at the end of the road where I peeled off my shoes and socks and stepped onto the hot sand leading to the beach.
Mutt gave me that look and I gave her the go ahead to get wet.
She was off in a flash, bounding into the water while I stowed my sneaks on a huge White Pine log.
I wasn’t ready for a swim just yet, so I searched around for a pinecone to toss out in the lake for Mutt to chase.
Instead I discovered a turquoise-colored piece of plastic sticking out of the sand.
I began digging around it and unearthed a small toy float plane.
I decided that the small sea plane was going on a long distance journey with us that day.
Mutt stood chest deep in the water as I swished away the sand from the wings and inside the craft.
Although one of its pontoons was slightly cracked, it still floated pretty well on the surface of the lake.
I spent some time making a small sand castle sea plane base. I began making sounds of an engine firing up.
Mutt was quick to chime in, as if she was asking me when I was going to start throwing a stick her way.
We continued our journey down the beach, landing every so often to fuel up at various remote locations.
At each stop we took time to take in the sights and pick the wild strawberries that were growing in the stone and sand break walls.
I inspected every new dock and canoe that had appeared that very week.
Folks who had summer homes along the beach must have thought I was crazy—flying my plane, talking to my dog co-pilot and making engine noises.
They could not have known that I was just a normal 10 year old boy with a lot of time on his hands who was enjoying whatever came his way.