Hang in there, baby!!

We are definitely feeling summer! Hot days, afternoon thunderstorms, sitting on the back porch swing watching fireflies in the evening, visits and sweet conversations with friends on the lake. Seems it took a long time to get here, so you won’t hear me complaining about the heat. Life truly is good! This all brings to mind a good “summer” story…

Most of my friends and family know that as much as I love the water, I have a healthy respect for it, and would not really be considered a “strong” swimmer. It is well known that I cannot properly hold my breath under water without the use of “nose clips.” I don’t know what the problem is, but ever since I had my adenoids removed, water just pours up my nose when I swim underwater. I will do almost anything though, if I have those trusty nose clips…

As I have gotten older, my selection of appropriate swimwear has become a major production each summer…no more bikinis, no two-pieces, and I have developed a fondness for those “body-enhancing” swimsuits. They claim to take 10 pounds off of you, and even have the ability to transform or camouflage “problematic” body parts. A true, modern day miracle!

On this particular occasion, we had just gotten a new tube to pull behind the boat…a “Hydra-Maniac.” We were out in the middle of the lake, and it was my turn to experience the “maniac.” I stepped toward the back of the boat, slung my legs over the side, and was about to get into the tube. Now, someone with half a brain would have known to slowly lower their body into the tube…But, me, in my infinite wisdom, determined that the best way to get in, was to simply step into the middle of the tube. Of course, as I did this, the middle of the tube collapsed with my weight, and I began pitching forward, arms flailing wildly about, as I tried to correct my fall. The last words I heard my friends screaming, just before I stepped off the boat were, “Cat! Nooooooo!!” So as I am wildly sliding upside down into the water, the bottom of my one-piece swimsuit caught on one of the boat cleats. This stopped my fall, however, now I was hanging upside down, on the side of the boat…laughing hysterically at my stupidity and predicament. Hanging there, by the bottom of my swimsuit, I was thinking…”Wow! This fabric really IS phenomenal!” Everyone was trying to figure out how to help me. They really could not get to me, to pull me back into the boat, and the prevailing thought was that eventually the swimsuit fabric would tear….no such luck! I’m telling you, this was some kind of space age, supersonic material!! The decision was finally made to try and ease the fabric off the cleat, and simply let me drop into the water. Of course, by this time (and you should already be picking up on this lifetime pattern of mine…) a crowd of observers had gathered…I plopped into the water with as much dignity as I could muster, and came up sputtering like a drowned rat. Everything turned out OK, but it did give new meaning to the words, “Hang in there!”

Have you noticed that people say those words a lot when you are going through “tough” times? “Hang in there!” What does that actually mean? And how does it help? I have figured out that the words are meaningless. What they really mean to me is, “I’m not going to take any of my own time to offer you true assistance, support, comfort, or help. However, I have done my part by offering those consoling words, hang in there.”

I no longer use that phrase! If my path runs across someone who is going through a difficult time, I offer whatever I can do to help…whatever they will accept, whatever they need that I can provide. People need more than words…they need action! Won’t you join me? Just for this week….

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