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Rogers: Weekend visit anything but down the tubes

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:32 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 9:54 p.m. CST

This past week we had family coming in to visit from out of town. I knew that the weather was supposed to be good, so of course I wanted to do something outside. Too often when people get together they just end up sitting around the TV, wasting the day.

The first evening was ideal for sitting out and watching my two boys and my nephew kayak across the bay. The water was calm and the temperature perfect. The boys took turns racing from one end of the bay to the other, effortlessly sending the kayak on a perfect glide that cut through the water and left a symmetrical V-shaped wake. Before long it was dark and we went in and wrapped the day up.

The next morning I woke up and thought about what we should do. I had planned to go for some boat rides on the lake and look at all the amazing houses, but that wouldn’t take long. I checked the weather forecast and saw that day was going to be downright hot. Well, let’s see. It’s going to be hot out, we live on a lake. Yep, I think we are going to go tubing.

The first problem was I needed to go and get a tube and tow ropes. I had never pulled a tube with my bass boat because it isn’t really set up for doing things like that, but, I’ve seen plenty of people use them for it. I did some quick research, ran to a store in town and in less than an hour we were hooked up and ready to go.

When I mentioned to the boys that we were going to go tubing all afternoon the smiles were instantaneous. Massive jaw-splitting grins popped forth and cheers cut through the air. They were pumped up.

My sister-in-law’s husband and I were pretty sure we had things hooked up properly. In fact, we were so confident that we were willing to strap my 12-year old son to the thing and see if it held up under pressure. It did.

When my nephew hopped on with him they were both smiling and laughing so hard I thought they might actually pull a muscle in their face.

Boy, did they have a blast. Turn after turn, they held on and begged for more. The boys swapped positions with my other son and he, too, loved every minute of it.

Now it was time for the real challenge. We had to get my wife and her sister on that over-priced inner tube. The stars and moon must have been aligned right, because both of them got changed and jumped in the lake. I was impressed.

They did struggle getting up on the two-man tube for a while, but once they did, they never let go. I bounced them, twisted them, and sent them catching air over waves and not once did they fall off. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve seen my wife laugh so hard.

Finally, it was the guys’ turn. My sister-in-law’s husband and I hopped into the water and climbed onto the tube with ease. I made sure to catch my wife’s attention so she knew how skilled we were at boarding flimsy rubber craft. We yelled up to her that we were all set and to put the motor in gear.

The rope in front of us slowly pulled up slack and in a snap, we were starting to scoot across the water. It was intense. The bouncing and twisting seemed to never end. The ripple from the water underneath sent pulsing vibrations though our bodies that made our teeth chatter. Crystal clear spray from the lake peppered our faces. We laughed, we cheered, we yelled.

I wasn’t sure how fast we were going, but I knew that we were riding that tube like pros. Our skills were clearly amongst the best to ever tame the water riding a giant donut. We were on top of the world.

Then my wife actually pushed the throttle down. I was so embarrassed. Oh well, everyone had a great time being in the outdoors together.

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