Wednesday, March 28, 2012

St. Anthony

There is more to the story that I shared in the blog Like a Water Fall, that adds a touch of humor to that whole scenario.

The first camp was on a beautiful beach with a canyon that yawned behind us and a creek running through the canyon.  We could climb up into the cave of this canyon from our camp site and bask in a water fall (the picture used on my last blog is that water fall).  This creek exited right by our camp and on the other side of this little stream - that drained into the big river - was a private beach and perfect tent site for one tent.  Tom graciously gave Dave and I this little private spot as we would be spending two nights at this site in order to climb and hike deeper into the canyon.

the main camp our first night
Staying organized with personal gear is difficult while camping and seemed especially difficult to me on the river as everything had to be in dry bags or water proof containers and tied down.  I wear hearing aids so these were a concern for me especially if we hit big enough rapids and might tip the raft or I pop off the back with my hearing aids in.  Thus, Dave had found the perfect little dry box that held my hearing aid case, extra batteries and even could hold my extra camera card.  It would float and was bright yellow, but for added safety we put it in the ammo can that sat right on the raft deck and held all the things we needed to have easy access to.  Dave instructed me that I didn't need to put them in this case while on this section of the river to our first camp site, so I kept my aids in my ears.

When we unloaded to set up camp I decided to grab this hearing aid box thinking it would be a safe spot to house the aids, in their case, over night while in the tent.  I jammed the box into the pocket of my shorts, grabbed as much of our gear as I could and hauled things over to the little private beach ... which meant crossing the stream and clamboring up a bank.  I needed to make two of these trips and then I got the tent set up and the sleeping bags laid out for Dave and I (who was dealing with securing the rafts and other useful stuff!).  This was when I noticed the aid box was gone.  I must have set it down in the main camp.  I went looking for it.  I told everyone what it looked like in hopes that it was in the sand and easy to spot.  Folks kept their eyes opened and a few helped me retrace steps and look for it.  Nothing.

Now, there was nothing in this box I couldn't live without.  My aids were in my ears so that wasn't the problem.  I just hated being so disorganized that I was already losing stuff on the first night!

Jim and his sisters, who were all raised Catholic, would always pray to St. Anthony whenever they lost something:  "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down, something is lost and must be found." And for Jim this always worked.

I said the prayer that night ... and again the next morning.  I was now convinced that the box had fallen out of my pocket when I crossed the stream and had probably floated to the main river and was in Lake Mead by now.  I let it go.

This second night at this camp site, after a wonderful day of rock climbing and exploring deep into the cactus world of the canyon, is when Dave and I had our little .... encounter.  Poor Dave, he told me he was so worried about what he might find when he came to look for me down by the river that night.  He was afraid I might have a "melt down" on him or be so angry with him that the trip could be ruined.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting on that boulder thinking about compassion when I looked into the river and ... Holy Crap .... bobbing in a little eddie right in front of me is MY AID BOX!  I started to yell, "St Anthony, St. Anthony!!" hauled my pants up and headed into the river, determined not to let that box float into the main stream that was a rushing torrent!

It was at this moment that Dave came around a rock pile, all worried and sheepish, and saw me heading into the rapids of the Colorado!  Frantic, he yelled for me, "MARY!"  I turned holding the little yellow box overhead and said "ST. ANTHONY!!"

Oh, how we laughed.  And then we got to the business of apologizing and talking out what needed to be said.

When I returned to the camp with the box in hand I told everyone that I am not catholic but if they ever lose anything they just might try that prayer .... as it does seem to work!

Loving you all back,

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