I work with the young women (ages 12-18) at church. They keep me going and tend to stretch my abilities and capabilities. They wanted to go on a float trip and tried to arrange a float trip on the Payette River but it just didn't work out. They were disappointed but decided floating down the Boise River would be good. O.K. I can do that. (side note.... the last time I floated the Boise River, Don and I were dating). Well we only had one other leader available to go. We needed at least one other adult. Without one more adult we would have to cancel the trip. Both the other leader and I made calls asking other folks at church to go with us but had no luck. I asked MaryKate to go with us and she said yes. Bless her a million times. She was the trip's saving grace. I can't thank her enough.
We met at 12:30 but as most church functions go we didn't make it to the River until 1:45. The girls floated in tubes and MaryKate and I shared a raft. Ahhhh a nice dry warm raft. We we had fun using the oars to get the girls wet and they enjoyed splashing us back and most especially hanging on to the raft so they wouldn't have to use their arms to paddle. Well as most good things, they must come to an end....... about half way down the river our raft drifted over to the trees on the side. We paddled our hearts out but it did no good. The River was stronger then we were. As we got to the trees the river became extremely swift and it pitched us out. One of the branches from a tree was in the water and it hooked my vest and suit and held me under. I said a quick prayer and knew I would be o.k. but I needed to act fast. I decided I would have to take the vest and suit off and save my car keys (they were safely tucked in my cleavage inside my suit) Not my first choice of things to do but I would rather be naked then dead. As I struggled to remove them I felt a snap. The branch broke. Whew. As I quickly swam to the top, I said a quick prayer of thanks. Once my head was above the water I noticed MaryKate was nowhere and then the water pulled me under again. As I was sucked back under I said a prayer for MaryKate's safety. I struggled back up and grabbed around a tree that had fallen in the water. The water was beating against me trying to pull back under but I managed to climb up on the tree. By then a couple of our girls came floating close. One offered to throw me her tube but I told her to stay on her tube and not to come any closer. No sense in two of us being stranded. I asked them to see if they could find MaryKate. I was scared for her and prayed mightily for her safety. I climbed to the top of the tree I had been clinging to and jumped as far into the water as I could get. Whew it was away from the area wanting to pull me under. I swam a little and found a place to get out and walk. I walked a little way and then caught up with some of my group and found MaryKate. Thank heavens! She managed to get back in the raft. She was too far across the water for me to swim too so I shared a tube with one of the other girls. She was so sweet to share the tube with me and we laughed our heads off. Not a bonding moment I would have planned but I guess when the lord provides an opportunity my job is not to question it but to appreciate it and take it. I lost my favorite sunglasses and the girls who had put their shoes in the raft lost their shoes. I cut my hand and dislocated my thumb (I was able to pull it back in place) and today my arms are bruised. The river definitely left it's kiss marks on me but no lives were lost and the girls all said how much fun they had. Strange as it sounds, I really did have a great time and I can't wait to go again.