A Visit to the Tranquility Zone by Barbara Dexter

A Visit to the Tranquility Zone by Barbara Dexter


Tranquility- need I say more?


After a fifty minutes of travel, I have entered the so called “Tranquility Zone.” It is so called because someone actually thought to post a sign with tranquility in the label. The front tie down securing my kayak to the front of my Forester had come loose, but not undone. I was grateful I didn’t have to pull along the road on interstate 287 to fix it. This is my first kayaking trip of the season.

A view of the reservoir and dock.


The picnic tables near the dock.


The gentle rocking of the kayak under me has already subdued my mood. I am in a section that once provided ample growing room for trees.  Apparently most of these are now partially to fully submerged under the water. Motor boats don’t usually come on this section for fear of damage to their engine propellers.

It is Friday morning and the temperature is hovering around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It is no wonder that I am the only sole on the water. I figure, as long as I don’t fall in, I will be warm enough with my ugly fleece jacket over my life jacket. I put it over just in case I get warm. This way my life jacket will still be on when I need to take the fleece jacket off. Since I swim, but I am not the strongest swimmer, this is important.

As I sit here in my little alcove, forgotten are the events of yesterday. Well at least they don’t seem as important as they once did just hours ago.

I have a turtle that keeps surfacing for air and a yellow and black beaked, white swan for company. In the distance are the large trucks and cars as they carry their important cargo of materialistic supplies for the market place or people.

The trees on the hills surrounding the reservoir have started growing leaves as all along the ridge there are varying shades of green. At his distance some of the trees appear to look like cotton balls that have been pasted to some board as in a model train display.

My agenda is simple. I have none. IF I  feel as I want to paddle around, I do. I have a couple of books to read and of course a snack. I realized that I forgot my water at home so I had to make a detour to get some from the 7 eleven on my way here. I have a simple rule when I go out and enjoy nature. Water don’t leave home without it.

Storms clouds appear to be rolling in. It looks as though a rain shower is on the way. I guess I should paddle back.  I decide to load up my kayak and drive down to the other end of the reservoir. There are large dark clouds in the sky. I sit in my vehicle and observe an older gentlemen unload his yellow kayak and gear and proceed to start out into the water. I begin to question his sanity or do I question mine? For  I still want to be on the water even in the face of the pending storm. I decide it was the appropriate time to head home before I find myself out there in the storm.

As I drive home the storm clouds maintain their dark presence in the sky. I exit  from route 280 at the Livingston Avenue exit and there it is a lovely blue sky with white fluffy clouds.  There is apparently no evidence of mother nature’s wrath. While unloading my kayak my neighbor stated what lovely day it was to be out on the water. Well for a time it was a lovely day, I thought.


My Theory of Socks and Sock Problems by Barbara Dexter

My Theory of Socks and Sock Problems by Barbara Dexter

So you believe in sock fairies? I do because of the actions of socks. Socks can be defined as problem children, misfits that do not belong. How dare they be dingy and dark when they are supposed to be white after they are washed. How dare they just up and disappear without proper notice and then reappear sometimes up to two years later. This is usually just after you have thrown away the matching one.

Socks how dare they intermingle with socks of all colors and sizes, only to be sorted before and after the wash cycle. These little miscreants need to be taught a lesson.  I say buy all the same color socks. This leaves out the sorting. Wash them together. Dry them together. Roll them without fighting to find the match in the pile, because who is ever going to know or even care if the are a perfect match.

I have not seen anyone hold up a magnifying glass to examine a pair of socks while they were attached to their human. But it must be said, that strange things do happen. Now if one sock is dingier than the other, simply throw it out. That’s right socks, we’ll show you. We will never have to sort or look for you again.