I’ve had so many thoughts and conversations since that day on the Finley River, some 40 years ago. If you haven’t read the story yet, click here. In the moment we realized we were okay, relief followed fear and peace followed panic. In the hours and days that followed, I was thankful to be alive and unharmed. It took some time to process and draw conclusions about that experience. It’s not a story that follows, but rather groupings of thought.
It was the summer of 1975 and my best friend Vickie and I had just turned 16. Vickie invited me to come to Lindenlure, a popular swimming area on the Finley River situated between Ozark, Sparta and Rogersville, Missouri. Vickie’s mom, Nora, drove us along with Vickie’s sister Elaine, to the river just 20 minutes from our hometown of Springfield. Lindenlure Lake dams up the Finley River but then pours over the edge with varying flow volume depending on current water levels, creating a cascading 8-ft waterfall from river’s edge to river’s edge. From the waterfall, the river flows below the Highway 125 bridge and continues downstream beside several hundred feet of some of the best “beach” a river can tout.
“Loaded for Bear” is a loaded phrase. I used it in my 1/1/17 blog post “The Vision I can’t Unsee.” It needs a bit of unpacking. While I’ve never encountered a bear up close and certainly don’t want to, I have had many outdoor experiences where the potential was present.
If you’ve read Meredith’s 13-part Journey, you’ve no doubt picked up on some of our life adventures. However, it’s imperative I write about the journey from my perspective as well. But, where to start? Present moment? Okay. It’s 12/30/16 as I’m writing this, and now 1/1/17 as I’m posting. I’m "loaded for BEAR!"