9/28/08

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Here's an extended tweet. Don called me on to more blogging, so I suppose I'll do it now while I have time. I'm alone at my parents' lake cabin, having just said goodbye to the last of the friends that came to hang out with me this weekend. There were up to 11 of us at one point, and most of us went to SJC around the same time. Some of us are married, some are dating, some are single. We did these sorts of gatherings more frequently a couple years ago and earlier, but life happened and I wasn't setting aside time to plan and do this.

The weekend had already started Friday evening with a birthday party for Sheila at the Brewer's, fireworks at the POP community center, and meeting for drinks/snacks at a local restaurant afterwards. I probably caused it to adjourn a bit early since I wanted to get home to pack and be on the road by midnight, heading for Crooked Lake. I didn't make it there till about 1:30, and Theresa from Cincinnati was making the night drive too so she showed up at 2. Others started trickling in throughout Saturday morning and early afternoon. Joe-john from Chicago, Don & Jackie from Goshen, Jen & Craig from Indy, Amber from Decatur, Sarah & Andy from Indy, and Nick from Rensselaer. Craig, Amber, and Andy had not been here before, so props to them for braving the rest of us and our incessant reminiscing!

It was a pretty standard get-together, with one extra incident. The jet-ski got lots of wonderful use all day Saturday, but towards the end of the day, Don & Jackie went out on it together, and it has not been used since! It was actually pretty scary while it was happening: The rest of us were at the cabin preparing dinner, when a boat full of guys we didn't know pulled up near our dock, and we saw that Jackie was in there with them, and she jumped out of the boat and swam to the dock! While she climbed up the ladder, the guys in the boat were telling me, "You'd better go get your other guy and the jet-ski quick, it's going down!" Jackie was in tears and all we could gather was that they had rolled the jet-ski, couldn't get it back up, and Don was still out there in the water with it. So 4 of us guys hopped in the ski boat, while everyone prayed, and we went over to the 2nd basin of the lake. Note that this is the deepest part of the lake, dropping to 87 feet deep at one point. Based on our existing evidence, I was expecting the worst, perhaps that Don was injured in some way. When we arrived, he was ok, just floating in his life-vest holding onto the side of the jet-ski. The men in the other boat (saints!) had jumped in the water and helped flip the jet-ski back over. But it was still floundering in the water. Andy climbed onto it, and it immediately began to sink, tail-end first. We popped the seat off and discovered the engine compartment filled to the brim with water. It tipped Andy off, and this time it was floating half-submerged from the tail-end. At this point, I began imagining it drifting down to the bottom of the 2nd basin. Andy quickly tied our ski-rope to the bow of the jet-ski, I tested the starter (and failed), and we began slowly towing it back to the cabin. Thank God the waterline as we pulled it slowly was just below the lip of the bow, which otherwise would have accelerated the sinking. We made it back, and have since then been draining various compartments of all the water, and scheduled a checkup on the starter and battery. Andy was especially helpful, showing us how to remove the spark plugs and check them for water.

That venture included, this was a fun weekend of a bunch of people at many different places in life gathering and strengthening bonds of friendship. There will be a few photos up on Flickr shortly.