While Kate may have been busy with her sophisticated city adventures, I was busy showing my friends a good time in the country. Once the snow melted and we had all already tromped a few miles up and up and eventually down the hills surrounding our home in Middle Ridge, WI, it was time to come up with something more daring to do. And so I proposed the idea of a little Polar Bear Swim in the creek. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from my Southern friends, but to my happy surprise they did not look at me like I was a crazy idiot and walk away shaking their heads. “Haha, suckers,” I thought to myself. “You don’t know what you’ve been swindled into.”
What we had in store were the icy waters of Coon Creek, the little swimming hole which my family has populated every summer for as long as I can remember. Spring fed with a surprisingly strong current, the deep green waters have chilled me on even the hottest summer days. Luckily, I was the only one with this knowledge, and not wanting to scare my friends off, I kept it that way. And so, on a sunny but brisk 35 degree day, we made the ten mile drive down to Coon Valley and to the creek.
The troops and I made the walk down the path to the creekside.
Layers were shed.
And consultations about the the intelligence of this move were made.
“Okay guys, now how the heck are we gonna do this??” Selena, Hermes, and Killian, weaklings all, were worried about the rocks. Pffffttt, come on! There was no choice but a heroic leap. And so we all lined up for the Olympian feat.
Too impatient to listen to their dither, I ran on headlong and leapt into the icy waters, followed closely by the rest.
And it was cold, oh so very cold. To my utter humiliation, it was noted by everyone that I screamed loudest upon breaking surface. Texas-what have you done to my Midwestern toughness?? But to climb out of the water was amazing. The cold penetrated everything but in a way, I was the most awake and alive then I’d ever been. From my purple feet to my blue lips, I tingled and shook. And it was lovely. I looked into the pale noonday sun and just smiled with joy.
I was so proud of my friends, each of which fared as well or better than I in our creek jumpin’ excursion. To finally find people as crazy as me, what a blessing! I think I have the toughest Southern friends ever. And I think that maybe, just maybe, next time I’ll take them to the creek when it’s oh, say 50 degrees?, hotter. But I don’t think it will be nearly the same.