Accordions and the 4th of July (with birds on the side)

An accordion has a bend in the middle. Okay, a number of bends. So many in fact that the word accordion has become a verb – which is quite an accomplishment, if you ask me, and you haven’t but I’m saying so anyway. “To accordion” means to fold up like an accordion, in pleats. Which is, coincidentally, what has happened to my back.

Well, officially my back is not in pleats, but that is how it feels. I injured it, I suppose you could say. This past Sunday, while we were canoeing the lovely (but don’t tell anyone) Upper Iowa River, we made it a job/task/fun thing to do, to pick up discarded cans along the way. It was the day after the 4th of July, and you know, some people had been celebrating. And a certain percentage of those people celebrating did so in a consume-a-beverage sort of way, and a percentage of those people left their cans behind like so much puffs of firework smoke. So, while we went down the river, husband and I paddled to the shore on occasion to pick up a shiny metal can, or what was left of one, and throw it in the canoe. And then pushing backwards, well, I fell backwards. One time. Which is all it took. I feel completely off my seat to sit on the floor of the canoe behind me, after first impacting the crossbar. Oooph. Actually, I’m pretty sure I said a few words that might better placed in italics, or is it quotation marks? When you don’t have a copyeditor looking over your shoulder, you are left to add emphasis in any way you like. So I will tell you that at this particular moment, when my shoulder blades impacted the metal crosspiece behind me, I added a lot of emphasis.

I couldn’t paddle the canoe the rest of the way, so for an hour and a half I just sort of lazily posed with an oar in one hand while the bald eagles flew overhead and my husband, sitting in the back, paddled us home.

Since that time, my back has improved. For example, I am able to turn over in bed – without emphasis. But I am skipping yoga class tonight, and wasn’t able to run today. (Did you know I am “experimenting” with running? Emphasis intentional. ) It’s been four days, and my upper back is less painful than it was, but I do feel a bit like an accordion. And I own an accordion and sometimes threaten to play one in public so I know what I’m talking about… or pretend to on occasion.

Anyway, here is a picture of our lovely river. I didn’t take this picture because I don’t bring a camera with me on the river for the reason that 1) our canoe leaks and everything in the boat at some point becomes “one” with the water. And 2) I don’t want to get obsessed with trying to take a picture of the bald eagles and herons and would prefer to just enjoy them. (And at this point I will tell you that while I sat bolt upright in the canoe, semi-wincing with pain, we heard the screeches of a juvenile eagle and then saw it with its mom or dad on the edge of the nest as we floated underneath. Breathtaking. I mean, these eagles are really awesome and were such an amazing choice as the official bird of these United States. Happy 4th of July! And Yay, bald eagles. (Not so “yay” to the discarded cans.)

canoeing upper iowa

(not my feet… I stole this pic from the interweb… but this is our river and ain’t she sweet?)



  1. Jolene Allen

    That was a heck of a way to be able to just sit back and have Tim do all of the paddling, while you enjoy the sites. Glad you are feeling better. Now get back out there and get those damn cans. Which by the way, is incredibly wonderful of you two.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s