Crow's-Feet Chronicles: Beavers wouldn’t bend
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Jul 30, 2018
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Our kids, grandkids, and extended family members gather at Beavers Bend each year for a long weekend family vacation. Strangely, 2018 will go down in history as the year of a plethora of maladies. The antidote? Fun! (Whiners were ignored.)

One granddaughter had an ear infection and couldn’t hear out of one ear. No problem. The rest of us simply increased our vocal volume, and she never missed a beat. Sympathy was not on the menu.

One of my grandsons had poison ivy on his face, in his hair, on his arms, and down his legs. Since his scratching only affected his pool playing, fishing, kayaking, and driving go-karts, the rest of the grandkids were selfishly tolerant of his malady.

The ingrown toenail belonged to my other grandson, who was scheduled to have it removed the day after we returned from vacation. With his activity somewhat altered, he found little humor in his brother’s teasing and name-calling: “TOBE Bryant.”

Standing at the shore of Oklahoma's Broken Bow Lake in three-digit sweltering weather, Lanny and I looked like an ad for constipation. The last thing he told me before leaving home was to wear sensible hiking shoes. But there I was in flip flops that a three-mile hike on a rocky trail would rip to shreds.

We hiked together all of five minutes before he pushed ahead and left me behind like a bad habit. As I picked my way slowly down the rocky trail to where we planned to stop, I thought a lot about why we were doing this. A sharp pain in my right knee got my attention. Another pain started in my left knee and I found myself grabbing rocks for support with every step.

About two miles down the trail, the sun was beginning to get through to me. My water supply was gone and my knees were killing me. I crawled into a small cave for shade to contemplate my future...if I had one. My toes were begging to be put into my pockets. Surely, my three kids would be saying by this time, “Our mother has stretch marks over ninety percent of her body thanks to us. We're a family. All of you people can go down to the lake if you want, but we're going back on the trail and rescue our mother who has sacrificed so much for us.”

I finally gave up on that ludicrous idea and pulled myself upright to trudge toward Lanny at the bottom of the hill. It wasn't until later that I would realize I had gained three pounds and lost four toenails. When I arrived to where Lanny was standing, he said, “Cindy, you need to stop dilly-dallying. You're the first person to ever start down the trail on foot and end up on her ____.”

I would have put him in his place but I didn’t have a shovel.