So, I recently told you all I had lots of stories to tell you that happened over our ten-day vacation at the river. I told you two so far over the past two weeks. These next few things happened when we were at the river over the Fourth and were so good that I just had to share.
When we got up to the river that Friday night, we unpacked, got everything out, and opened up the camper. We were all just so excited to be up there.
As soon as the kids were settled in, they asked to go down and see the neighbors. Dinner wasn’t going to be delivered for another hour, so I told them to go ahead. Our river neighbors are all like family. All the kids know they are safe and in good hands at all our lots, and all of us parents are good friends. We all are there when we need each other and enjoy being together each weekend. We are a river family.
That evening, our neighbors had something on their fishing pole. The fishing pole sits in a long tube attached to their upper deck, and when they catch something, someone yells, “Fish on!” Someone goes and grabs the pole and starts reeling it in as they are walking the pole down to the docks to bring in the fish. That night, they caught an eel. A very long, long eel. Now, I never got to see it, but Ty showed me pictures of that bad boy. Whoa, they are eerie looking. Tyler was skimming through the pictures, showing me the size and then the video of them catching this thing.
“Mom,” he said. “I am never EVER swimming in the river again. I didn’t know we had eels in the river, and I really don’t want to get electrocuted!”
Oh, my goodness, my husband and I just started cracking up and explained to him that these were not that kind of eel. I told him I had been swimming in the Susquehanna River for my entire life and was never once electrocuted. I promised he would be OK. We giggled about this and shared it with family all week. I thought it was the cutest thing that my teenage son thought there was an electric eel in the Susquehanny.
Now, wait, it gets better!
We went down to our favorite spot along the river a few days later. The spot where the stream from the mountain runs off right into the river. It’s so peaceful there. As we floated in on our boat, my husband said, “Look, guys! There’s a deer over at our spot.” We have been to this spot many times and never once saw a deer that close to the river. She seemed to be enjoying herself and stuck around for a while.
We got all our tubes out and attached them to the back of the boat. It was getting hot, so we all jumped in. Our friend Lindsay Mertes was with us that day. Linds and I were floating off the back of the boat while my husband, kids, and sweetheart of a dog, Bear, were off the edge of the riverbank.
“Heyyy! There’s something dead floating down your guys’ way. It’s one of those animals that live in the river.” Chris yelled up to us.
Lindsay and I said at the same time, “A beaver!?”
“No, not one of those. It has a flappy thing for a tail,” he said.
“A beaver!” We exclaimed.
“No. It’s not a beaver, it’s the other things with a flat tail!”
Chris was sure it was NOT a beaver.
“A platypus!?” Lindsay asked.
“Yessss! That’s it!!” Chris said. “A platypus!”
Linds and I started cracking up, and I yelled, “Babe! There are no damn platypuses in the river! For the love of God, I don’t even think they live in the US!”
Then, no lie, he asked, “Are you sure!?”
We laughed so hard, even Chris, once he realized it was indeed a beaver. As the beaver passed us, it looked like he was praying when he passed away. His little hands held together, resting on his belly while he was faced up, looking into the sky. (Poor bugger.)
When we got on the boat, Lindsay Googled a platypus and showed Chris a picture. We decided a platypus is a mixture of a beaver and a duck. (Google it, you’ll agree.)
I just couldn’t believe the week we were having. Finding out electric eels and platypuses have been living in the river all this time, and we never knew it!! Remarkable really.
So watch out if you swim in the Susquehanny. Electric eels will shock your toes, and watch for platypuses floating down the river, prayin’ to Jesus!
Oh, and by the way, my husband read this and was cracking up at himself. Literally laughing out loud on the couch. More reasons for me to love this man!
Secret Sauce Fruit Salad
• 6 cups of your favorite fruit (Apples, grapes, cherries, & blueberries make a mean combo!)
• 1 box (5.7 ounces) Jello Vanilla Pudding
• 1 cup of orange juice OR pineapple juice
Mix all ingredients together and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. The pudding will glaze the fruit, and it tastes so good! Simple and delicious. Great for camping, picnics, or just to pick at home. Enjoy!