We are still at Fisherman's Cove on the Mississippi near East Moline, Illinois enjoying a cooler, breezier day. The May Flies are back, but not like they were the first day. Many lie dead on the ground and I am assuming that it must be breeding season.
The breeze feels like cool silk slipping over my arms and face. The Mississippi shimmers as if there were diamonds on the water. Birds are singing their morning songs. What else could anyone ask?
Yesterday was a happening day. After our jaunt to Wal Mart to stock up on more supplies for our extended then extended again stay, we returned to Fisherman's Cove. As we reached our campsite, we noticed we have a new neighbor. Walking over to greet them, we discover that the gentleman has a distinct accent and his wife was standing a bit behind him being very shy. He introduced his wife and said that they were camping so that he and his wife could practice their English. He appeared to be Indian, but I wasn't sure, so I asked him where they were from. He named a country that either I did not understand or have not heard of. He said it is in the corner of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hummmm,, the thoughts that sprung into my mind. I'm not proud.
Were they here to blow up the dam and lock? What were they up to? After a bit more casual conversation, John and I walked back to our lounge chairs and I mentioned to John that I was not proud of my thoughts and he said "you too?" It's sad that we cannot just accept people for who they are and that we have learned to be suspicious of people who are "different".
We returned to our campsite and while sitting on our patio, I saw something strange moving in the water close to the shore. Strange.....it looked to be about two feet in length and appeared to have spikes along its spine! THIS was something I have never seen in ANY water. Not the Atlantic, the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Michigan, Ohio River or the small lakes in Indiana.
I called John to look and we walked the shore as the "creature" continued to swim. It ducked under the water then surfaced and continued to swim. Neither of us could decide what it was. I laughingly said, "hum, you think THEY put that into the water?" (not kind) After following it for approximately thirty yards, I saw a head! Wow, looked like a very large, black, rat's head, oh yuck...those beady eyes! The THING continued to swim another ten yards or so, approaching the shore, Ah ha! it was dragging plant life that that gave the critter an spiky back appearance...It was only a badger (I think). Mystery solved.....no Mississippi Loch Ness like monster here and no terrorist attack on the lock and dam. We retraced our steps back to our campsite chatting about our "monster" and discussing about our thoughts and feelings. Surely we are old enough to not believe in different species, but terrorists? We do need to be vigilant, but not to the point of suspecting others when they have a different color of skin, dress differently and speak with an accent.
Later in the afternoon, a tiny camper was pulled in by a minivan. How cute was this little Scamp? Way too cute. Even though it was only about twelve feet in length, the driver was having a terrible time backing it into their campsite. A woman got out and guided the driver in. Ahh, success.
A grey haired gentleman unfolded himself from the minivan. If this man was less than eighty-five, I'd be surprised! The lady had to be his daughter. What I saw brought tears to my eyes. As the daughter took firewood from the Scamp, she had a huge smile on her face as she talked to her dad.
Then she took a back bag from the minivan and removed what looked like a chair. But this was a special chair. It was a lounge chair, recliner combination. It even had a cushion for the lower back. She showed it to her dad and what a delight to watch his reaction. The daughter helped her aging father into the chair, adjusted the back cushion, showed him how to recline and where the foot rest was.
The daughter returned to the minivan and brought out a blue bag. Out of this bag came just a seat with a back...no frills. She sat down to talk to her dad the rest of the evening. Now, that is a great Father's Day gift. A gift of time and attention.
I miss my dad.