by Denise Kranich, Powhatan, VA

Story prompt: Write your own story!

When the pandemic hit in 2020 we were all trying to get outdoors more. I have a kayak, actually two kayaks, and I live close to Maidens Landing, so I love to go kayaking on the James. It is so peaceful and really puts me in a calm state of mind. I am from Florida, so being near any type of water makes me happy.

If you remember, we were all very nervous about being around people in early 2020. People were getting very sick, and some very healthy people were dying. My daughter, Karley lives in Arlington, and she decided to come home to stay with me for awhile. I am not sure if she wanted to take care of me, wanted company since we were all teleworking or just wanted to get away from the DC area for awhile. For whatever reason, she packed her bags and came home. When we started talking about getting outdoors when it was warm enough, she immediately thought about kayaking because I had two kayaks. Well, I only had one set of paddles and one personal flotation device (PFD). So I immediately went online and bought them. Even though it was challenging transporting two kayaks to Maidens Landing (I only have one set of kayak racks), we did it because we wanted to get out on the water so much and breathe the fresh air with no chance of Covid-19 infections.

I must say the investment of another set of paddles and a PFD was one of the best things I did because we thoroughly enjoyed spending time together on the James River during a very volatile and scary time in all of our lives. And now, I have an extra set of everything (except the racks) for anyone who wants to come and paddle on the James with me.

Photo provided by Denise Kranich