Sunday, March 21, 2010

Memories: King of the Dock

One of my favorite families to stay at the ranch was a large family that had been coming every summer since basically the place opened. They came in and took over the ranch. They knew what they liked and they got their way every time. They had so many traditions that they would carry out every summer. King of the dock was one of my favorites. I was invited to join the fun of that one though I came too late.
The swimming hole was just over the hill. By mid summer it wasn't as swollen from the rains as earlier in the spring. The sun warmed up the water my midday though if you went to deep the water would still give you goosebumps. The lake was surrounded by a split rail fence to keep the horses out. There were a handful of trees inside the enclosure, a scattering of benches and tree swings, and a million cattails that threatened to take over the swimmable portion of the lake. A wooden dock spread from the shore over part of the lake. It was sheltered by a grape vine. Of course, it was in the middle of wine country California.
In the middle of the lake was a blue floating dock tethered to a concrete block anchored in the inky depths. It was a favorite for the geese and ducks to land upon and do their business. It was also the arena for the most epic battle of the summer.
The entire family would swim out and stand on the dock all vying to stand without knocking themselves or anyone else into the drink accidentally before the game began. A few false starts and the unfortunate would climb back up and find a new spot from which to take his stand. From this precarious position they would embark upon the largest game of king of the hill (or dock in this case) I had ever seen.
Almost twenty people ranging in ages from mid forties to seven stood on the dock together before the whistle rang out. With that, people were flying over the edges of the dock into the water every which way. Aunts were shoving their husbands, sisters and brothers were body slamming each other into the water. A few of the younger kids just sat and grabbed at feet in effort to make their target lose their balance and topple in to the water. A slim few climbed the way back into the fray to try again to claim the title of king but in the end it was down to two boys.
Two cousins. A twenty something guy and a ten year old boy. Those who had given in to labored breathing and shaking muscles were floating the the water surrounding the floating wrestling match. All eyes were on the dock and the lone pair struggling to keep their footing. There were more false starts and several grabs and misses. It was almost over and a running tackle missed its mark and the boy dove to the right in effort to save himself from his own momentum. But one deft duck from him as the older tried to take him out and it was over, the ten year old had won.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What qualifies as depression?

Clinical DepressionImage by Yuliya Libkina via Flickr

Do you have to think about killing yourself to be depressed? I've looked at a lot of self questionnaires in the last few months since I really haven't been feeling myself. I don't think about death. Or if I do it's rare and even then it's about what people would think about me when I died. Nothing in there about killing myself.
I cry more than I used to. I lack the drive to get anything done. My appetite changes on a daily basis... but then it always has. I'm cursed(blessed with a fast metabolism. It happens.
Just look at this blog. I've neglected it for months at a time this time. Not because I have been busy as I may have professed but because I felt I had nothing to write about. Nothing has pierced this fog I feel like I've been in.
You may say 'See a doctor'. But I'm broke with no health insurance. So that isn't going to happen anytime soon. I'm trying to get my back fixed first... and my teeth. And pay off the credit card from my root canal from almost a year ago when I got fired.
A friend suggested SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) because when winter goes away I seem to be better. That probably is the case, actually. I'll find out this summer, I guess. Hopefully everything will be back to normal.
The boy hates to see me sad.
I hate to see me sad.
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