What is it about water, being near it, in it, or on it has the ability to make me feel so comfortable, so carefree?
I was in a very cranky mood and not feeling well last Sunday. I was tired of sitting in the car. Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was go on another trip. I was exhausted. I didn’t want to listen to what anyone had to say. I had helped my family sell popcorn at a big festival for the past two nights. That in and of itself was exhausting. There were hundreds of people and it was hot. The loud music and awful quality sound system wasn’t helping my headache. ha ha Needless to say I just wasn’t having it. I was in some serious need of alone time.
But that wasn’t coming anytime soon, because we were on our way again. This time two cars packed full of family, heading to Kanchanaburi to stay in a raft house.
We got to the lake a few hours later and all my crankiness slipped away. The view was breath taking, the lake in the middle with mountains surrounding all sides. Raft houses filled the picture perfect lake. Looking to the left, there was a little village of raft houses complete with water toys and slides. Immediately in front of us raft houses were being ushered out onto the lake. On the right side and on the island, a handful of raft houses, secured along the shore.
We loaded up the raft house with snacks, food and drinks. We had stuffed animals, pillows, guitars, etc. as if we were going for a week or two. We were ready for anything. We took in the beautiful view as we waited to be taken out to our spot on the lake.
After not too long, Dad and Yo started to play guitar. I watched in amazement. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar but never had anyone to teach me. So I convinced them to show me a few things and OH my fingers hurt and playing will definitely take some practice. But they taught me a few chords and I practiced for a good while.
Anyway, back to the raft, It was huge! It had 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, 2 generators, a little deck and a sitting area with stools, benches and a table. It was all we would need for our short trip. It took us about a half hour to get to our spot on the lake. The owner then tied us off to a few different boulders and said they’d be back to pick us up the following day around 11am. We didn’t waste much time to jump into the water. The air was cool, it felt like a perfect summer day in…wait for it…Maine. (All you Mainah’s can sigh now-I know how precious those days are!). I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to swim. I jumped in first and my fearless little cousin Gam was right behind me. The water was a beautiful green color, emerald would be the word that Thai’s would use to describe it. Can you picture it now?
We swam for hours. It reminded me of when I was a kid, spending summers in Maine with my family, cousins, aunts, uncles, everyone. We would spend hours in the lake. And just like home, we were there, family, cousins, aunts, uncles swimming in the lake. I helped teach my little sister and niece how to swim. We would jump in, climb up on the raft only to immediately jump back into the water again. Floating in the lake, feeling so free and relaxed. Every stressed and tensed muscle in my body relaxed. My headache dissipated, my heart grew warmer and my crankiness was still no where to be found. We laughed and had a great time.
Later on in the night, after the sun went down we had dinner and settled in for a rowdy night of UNO! You know that game that families love? Well, my Thai family now loves it too! We played for what must have been 2 hours. At one point there were no more cards left to draw, so we had to start again. It was a blast. Before someone would lay down a skip, reverse, of +2, +4 card, they would apologize or say I love you to the next player hoping to soften the blow. ha ha.
In the morning it was anything but quiet. Aunt Meow was making rice soup, my cousin Gam was playing, my grandfather was chillen, Mom and P’Kate were chatting. At around 8, my Aunt Krathai’s cat, Angelo decided to go off on an adventure. All of us took turns looking for Angelo. Dad, Yo and Namnan hiked up the mountain. Gam and Aunt Krathai looked all over the raft. Everyone took a break for a while, to have breakfast and to play in the water. A little while later, Yo and I swam to both the right and left of the raft in hopes that we would find Angelo. No such luck.
At around 10:45, the boat was on its way to pick us up. The energy on the raft was sad. The loss of Angelo really upset my Aunt. I’ve never been an animal person, but I have seen the love she has for her animals and I empathize with her. The boat pulled us away from the shore and everyone watched the mountain, hoping for one more sign. Angelo, if you’re out there I hope you know Aunt Krathai loves you!
It was a quiet ride back to the shore. Sadness for Aunt Krathai. We were tired. And I was sad to be leaving the water, leaving this place that was so refreshing and relaxing. Something that I haven’t felt in Thailand for a long time. I was surrounded by loving family and on the water. It doesn’t get much better than that…well, except if both my families were together!
It’s alright. I’ll be back on or near the water again, feeling careless and free.