Gross Point Blank

Spoiled rotten

After this past weekend, I'm certain that I am a spoiled rotten brat, something one brother has contended with for all 37 years of my life.

I've always suspected, but a trip down the St. Joe River in Idaho with most of my siblings confirmed it.

Each year my siblings plan a river-float and camping trip just outside of Calder, Idaho. I've never been. That all changed last weekend and, having never done it, I had no idea what I was in for.

After setting up camp on Saturday, we all headed down to the starting point of the float. My oldest brother said the float should take about three and a half hours to complete.

It was beautiful, it was picturesque. The water was warm and no matter how deep the water got, you could see the rocks on the bottom.

For the first portion of the trip, I thought for sure that nothing could be better than this.

Soon though, I started running into trouble. With a strong current in a few select stretches of the river, most of the time you bumble along, kick your legs, flail your arms, whatever you have to do to get moving again.

It would've been faster had I walked.

Unfortunately, I got stuck. Of all the 20-or-so people floating on the river, nobody seemed to notice. They continued down stream, while I kept getting hung up in one portion of the river. I got further and further behind until finally I was by myself.

My son had the smarts to wait for me down-river. He was worried.

By the time I reached him, he suggested we do everything we could to stick together. Finally I just suggested we get out and walk back to camp.

We did. Or tried to.

With one pair of shoes between us, we got out of the river and up onto the gravel road and proceeded to walk.

I'd like to re-state at this point that I'd never been there before. As a result, we kept walking, walking, walking on the road, long-past the gate we were supposed to use to get to the camping area.

A very, very long time later (and much swearing on my part) a car drove by. The driver asked if we needed help. I said I needed to get back to camp, told her who owned the property and admitted I had no clue where I was.

Thank God for small towns. She knew the gal that owned the property and gave us a ride back.

I was so mad I can't even explain it. I am the baby. They all left their baby sister in the river by herself! To me, this was a Big Deal. HUGE.

I ambled into camp, scowling, and my sister Heidi yells, "Lynda! There you are! Did you have fun?"

I can't print my response, but rather than apologize, my sister giggled and said, "I think she's mad." Along came my oldest brother, asking, "What happened now?" After I told him, he said, "Stop your whining. You're back now."

Their lack of sympathy didn't make me mad. In fact, my sister's infectious giggling coupled with the realization that I am no longer a princess, but rather a grown woman, had me laughing.

Either that, or it was a profound shock to learn that, yes, I'm spoiled rotten.

. Lynda Jo Gross can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail

1 - Lynda Jo Gross • August 3, 2007 • 4:12 PM

Proofed_________ • Corrected & Placed in Folder_____________


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