Further Tales of the Last Pennsylvania Mermaid

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, crisp and cooler than before, with blue skies and sunshine. We opened our front door and stepped onto the porch only to encounter . . . what? Billows of smoke! The neighbors across the street had lit a fire outside in a burn pit in their yard. Again.

And of course, the smoke always blows uphill right toward our house. I tried to sit in the yard to enjoy the morning, but the air was too stinky. This was not an ideal situation, to be sure. And that whole Love Thy Neighbor thing? Not always quite so easy as you might think or hope it would be!

So my husband and I decided to leave civilization behind, and head for the hills. Literally. There is a pond we know up in the woods not far away, and it seemed like a great time to abandon suburbia and make for Pennsylvania's wild woods and waters. (When the going gets tough, the tough get going . . . outdoors!!!)

We took our swim fins and I took my floatie, and I am happy to report that I must have done a good job the last time we were there, of taping all of the holes shut. For I floated for a very long time without hearing a single hiss of leaking air.

"Where did you say the snapping turtles were, again?" my husband asked, looking a bit worried, as he walked into the water. I gestured to the other end of the pond. But reminded him not to worry, that we are MUCH faster swimmers than the snappers!

We were kept good company by a raucous kingfisher that hooted and hollered as it fished these waters. I actually saw it go down to the water, catch a crayfish, and then sit on a power line to eat it. It flung that fresh seafood up and down and every which way, like it was trying to make it into gumbo! For a while, it seemed as though Lunch was winning. But then down the gullet it went!

You may see the kingfisher and its seafood lunch in the extras. I might have wished for a crisper image, but the camera was zoomed all the way out, hand-held, so I am fortunate to have gotten the image at all!

So we swam, and we swam, like a pair of otters in the water, with me on my floatie, living it up. And we had lots of fun, perhaps in spite of everyone else and every other thing. And by the time we got home, the neighbors' fire was out, thank goodness, and we were able to breathe the air again.

The soundtrack song is this one: Dire Straits, Down to the Waterline.

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