Sunday, February 12

A Great Loss

Today was a good day despite two is quite silly, the other is not.

Today was the annual Chili Cookoff youth fundraiser at Centenary UMC. I lost again. Out of ten chilies. But that is a silly disappointment - I talk a lot smack but I don't really care whether I win or not. I just enjoy the challenge and the fact of the matter is - I pleased a lot of people. One of my friends loved my chili so much she was able to overlook the beans therein! "and I loathe beans." Loathe...but she loved mine!

I decided that a better way to rank my success or failure was NOT the people's choice vote (which clearly was rigged...) but by the number of people who came back to get a whole bowl of my chili after tasting all of the offerings. At least 6 people came back for mine...maybe more! The winning chili said he thought that he gave about 2 bowls... So you see - I won!

No, the real disappointment for me today was the disappearance of The Bruised Banana. The old yellow canoe has been with our family for about 30 years. It has taken a beating and kept on going. I remember the day that Gordon and Dad picked it up - second hand, of course - and brought it home. It is a 16 foot fiberglass canoe - so it isn't light. And it is yellow. And when we acquired it, it already had a patch or two.

The bruised banana is in the foreground.
This flood took the dock on the left,
the flagpole, the paddleboat and
the tree they were chained to.
Through the years it got so many patches that it started to take on the appearance of a bruised banana. One of its hardest encounters was with Gordon and Patrick in Higgenbotham Falls. That is a pretty intense set of riffles below Galts Mill, about 10 miles downriver of Lynchburg. They were following the batteau festival one year and each claims the other was responsible for the fact that they ended up sideways against a big rock. Patrick's leg also ended up caught in there during the struggle.

After that beating - Dad had to put new bracing in (I believe he constructed that from old lawn chairs...) and put a big patch on the side.

The most recent patches came from an unusual accident. A tree. Not floating into a tree...a tree fell on the poor canoe while it was resting quietly on the dock. After that event - my sister Susan declared it a goner. She may have been right...except that Dad saw how hard I took the loss and decided that it might recover from the large and splintered hole. It took him a while (to get around to it) but the bruised banana did sail again. And I will hang on to that memory of a late afternoon paddle with Carl. Yes, it still seeped a little water...and by the time we made it back to the dock, my feet were mostly underwater...but I loved that dang boat.

When I shared the news on Facebook of its disappearance: "just found out the bruised banana (aka old yellow canoe) was stolen. Not cool, universe. Not cool."...I got comments of "way not cool", "bummer", "shame on them, sadness" and an entire tangent of it being the Tiki Canoe now and would bring bad luck to the possessor like on the Brady Bunch Hawaiian Vacation. But I think my favorite quote would be this: "That's acquaintance with the bruised banana was brief, but I could tell is was a noble canoe. I hope it finds its way back home."

It was a noble canoe. I shall miss it greatly. It wasn't pretty. Was heavy. Looked darn silly strapped to the top of a Le Car. But it will always be my favorite. Goodbye friend - till we meet again.


  1. Tis a sad day !! Thanks for the tribute to our old friend The Bruised Bannana!!!

    1. Memories are great but would love to have that ole canoe back.