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Reunion with old fling worth nine-month wait
Small water craft are a must for summer recreation. - photo by Photo by JEFF LUND
Everyone has a song about their summer girl — the seasonal fling or even the one that got away.  

I don’t have a song, but I do have Jenny.

I’ve known her since I was seven, maybe eight and now only see her during my summer trips home.

She loves the water more than I do, in fact, she’s only happy when floating.

Jenny isn’t anything special, in fact she maybe a little ugly.

But it really doesn’t matter when you have so much in common I guess. Even the dimmest light brings attention to her unsightly scars but she doesn’t get embarrassed, which is good, because few things are more unattractive than poor self-image.

My brother and I used to take Jenny out on the bay in front of my house, hook into chum salmon and get pulled around the bay. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous at times, but Jenny was a rock.

When Bryan and I chased seals, it was Jenny that brought us within feet of the man-eating one that eventually scared us back to shore.

I’ve thought about bringing her to California, but she hates traffic, pollution and would miss the ocean too much. I guess if you know what you love, you know what you love.

I made sure I saw her the first day I arrived home. She hadn’t changed much in the past nine months, but was certainly different than those sunny days in elementary and high school.

She was an eerie reminder of what happens when years add up.

I couldn’t wait to take her out again, maybe at sunset, when the blue becomes purple, and sunlight a deep orange, making the green cedar and spruce trees look like dark shadows standing on their own; but I just didn’t get around to it.

It’s one of those things, even after four weeks of days intensely filled with fishing, building, chopping, stacking, sorting, shooting, cleaning, scraping, scrubbing, picking, digging, burning, talking, hiking, biking, grilling and relaxing there is a ton that’s still on the list.

A day on the water with Jenny was a big one.

I took a break from fishing on the fourth of July, to attend a community church service under the west hoop of the covered play area in which I played 3-on-3 basketball for an hour every morning before school from fifth to ninth grade regardless of temperature.

Later, the area was filled with booths serving Indian tacos, burgers, lumpia, herring eggs on kelp, s’mores and all things barbecue. There was even a home-made skee-ball booth.

On the adjacent wood-chip lot where we used to play football during recess, adults watched from chairs as kids competed in relays.

I saw a bunch of my old classmates, teammates and friends.

I talked basketball with the current coach who led my alma mater to the state finals this season and fishing with my Native Arts teacher (who later partook in the hula-hoop competition). It was festive, even though the rain came, went, came again and the high was only 58 degrees.

From there mom and I went to Craig, the rival town seven miles away, for a couple laps around their celebration.

It was at the baseball field, as always, with booths on the infield, and kids running to and from the beach carrying starfish, eels or whatever else they found and couldn’t help but share.

The day had epitomized my summer’s home, a bunch of great stuff getting in the way of the great stuff I’ve wanted to do for nine months. That’s usually how life in general works out, isn’t it?

That evening, after hot dogs and ribs at the Fireweed Lodge, I finally got the guts to go get Jenny.

I splashed her into the bay in front of the house for a pre-fireworks row.

It was nice, but she took on a little water.

I guess I need to do a little more patch work on her hull before I take her to the lake for trout.

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail