Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rainy River Cruise

I took the Toys for Tots Marsh Cruise from Hammock’s Beach State Park, with several garden club members, in the pouring rain.

It was a lovely day to be inside with the pontoon curtains down.
I sat on the outside bench, where slowly but surely, my backside got wet.
I was wearing a raincoat, but it didn't cover everything.

The pontoon’s captain guided us expertly to places along the river that I had never been to or seen from the waterside.
Periodically, the boat would stop and either he or the Park Ranger would interject a bit of trivia.

Several of the islands were referred to as part of the “Redneck Riviera”.
Use your imagination.


I remembered giving small talks to groups while I was a Park Naturalist. That was the best job I’d ever had, with the ugliest uniform anyone could wear.

I always wanted to know who picked out the colors: grey shirt and forest green pants. He must have been colorblind.

The Park Ranger on duty was young and unlike a Naturalist, he carried a gun.

I’m so glad I didn’t have to wear one.
Imagine showing Boy Scouts how to catch crawfish in the middle of a stream, or catching butterflies with a gun. What would I do with it? I couldn’t even lift it, much less shoot it.


During the lull time, I made a huge mistake in trying to make conversation.

“I used to wear the same uniform as a Park Naturalist at W.B. Umstead State Park.”

“When was that?”

“1979.”

“Oh wow, that was 2 years before I was born.”

That shut my mouth.



May all your days be filled with matching clothing and a dry backside.

I'd love to hear about your time on the "Redneck Riviera".
Email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com


Please support the Marine Corps Reserve by donating new,unwrapped toys for Christmas cheer.


Have a wonderful day.

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