Puffer’s Island

Rip Van Winkle Illustration by NC Wyeth
Rip Van Winkle Illustration by NC Wyeth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

August has been a beautiful month — warm days, cool nights, clear blue or puffy, cloud–dotted skies, tree frogs, dark green foliage and refreshing breezes.

I remember long summer days as a child, just like these, the deep–blue water, choppy and diamond–spotted, the boat ploughing through waves, thumpy drops that our bums felt on the hard cedar seats as the boat climbed and fell in its watery progress.

Of course we went full speed, racing to Mimie’s1 to buy orange or grape popsicles, bright orange or dark purple, and comic books; the weeklies, 10¢; the monthlies, 25¢; Superman© and Archie© our favourites.

Mostly Barry drove and Paul and I sat on the front bench for ballast, so the wind couldn’t grab the bow and flip us.

We wore our bathing suits, wet when we started our journey2, dry by arrival ten minutes later. We wore lime–green rubber flip-flops and bright red life preservers buckled and tied with wide yellow tape.

Our hair blew dry into fantastic coiffures. Our skin tanned and freckled.

We were little beasties on the island and in the water surrounding us. We rafted like Huckleberry Finn, canoed like Pocahontas, swam like Moby Dick, slept like Rip van Winkle.

It was a true fairy tale childhood, for which I am forever grateful on this gorgeous August afternoon.

  1. Mimie’s General Store and Post Office, Ingoldsby
  2. from Puffer’s Island to the general store in Ingoldsby
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