Daily Archives: August 28, 2010

The problem with keeping vows

Feet. Lake. Cold lake.

I’ll bet you thought I was going to talk about marriage vows or something like that. 

Not at all.  

The latest vow that is challenging me is this:  A week or two ago I realized that Lake Superior was warm.  That means WARM.  I swear the lake has never been warmer in recent years. 

You know how fast winter comes, don’t you? 

So I vowed:  I will swim in Lake Superior every day that it hits 80 degrees. 

Magical water. Cold magical water.

All fine and dandy when you say a vow.  Sometimes we’re thinking clearly; other times we’re not. 

I was roughly thinking:  how many days can it get over 80 degrees anyway? I’ll probably be swimming once or twice or maybe three times.  No problemo. 

Mama and baby in lake...

The first couple of times were a piece of cake.  The water was exquisitely warm. You could bounce up and down in the waves.  You could go under and not freeze.  You could stay out there and luxuriate.  You could float on your back.  You could praise the warm lake and the warm summer and the intelligence of saying vows. 

Until last night.  That’s when something inside started rebelling, “I have to go over there AGAIN?  I don’t want to.  Too busy.  No.  Do…not…want…to…go.” 

But, of course, you’ve said a vow. 

So off you go to the lake.  And the water is warm and exquisite and all is well in the Universe. 


Until tonight.  The inner voice started whining, “BUT I don’t WANT to–” but I cut it off and put on the bathing suit.  Grabbed the towel, the camera and a pair of sandals.  Drove over to Second Sand Beach, sighing.  Wondering how many more days it’s going to be over 80 degrees. 

Got to the lake.  Ventured in. 


Ohmygoodness!  Not a single other bather was in the water.  A few lone beach-goers wandered or sat along the shore.  A young teenage boy stood in wet to his shins. 

Fortunately, a mother and baby disembarked from their car at the same time as I did.  And in the water scampered the mom and baby.  If THEY could swim, so could I.  (And I had to, anyway, because of the vow…) 

Hi doggy! You don't worry about keeping vows, do you?

Out I went.  Cold, cold, cold.  Must have been the direction the wind was blowing.  All the cold water from the middle of the lake must have decided to grace the eastern shore of Keweenaw Bay. 

Got out to maybe five feet in depth…held the breath…dove in!  (Not going all the way under.  The vow didn’t say anything about going under.  Splashed around; swam with gusto for maybe three minutes.  Turned around toward shore and headed in.) 

Exhilarated!  Another successful day with the vow.  And, darn it, didn’t I feel better?  Tingling and grinning.  YES!! 

Just wanted to tell you all:  the vow ends after August 31st.  Don’t care how many days it hits 80 degrees in September…it will not be mandatory to swim. 

Hey what do you think about that doggy?  Isn’t he cute?  

…The cutie went up to my towel and shorts and shook all over them!  How come dogs always know where to shake? 

P.S.  Have you gone swimming this summer?  Taken any vows that you’ve kept or haven’t kept?