As a 13-year-old, I tried rowing out to the island in the middle of Rangeley Lake, a little north of where we summer here in Maine. A major storm blew up out of nowhere. (There was no Doppler forecasting back then.) So I lay down flat in the bottom of the boat and was finally pushed by the waves to shore near a cabin. The family there saw my plight and helped me get the boat in. Meanwhile, my father had borrowed our neighboring camper’s powerboat to try to rescue me, but he got driven ashore too, on the side of the lake nearest to our rental cabin.
There weren’t many phones up there then, and that very helpful family didn’t have one but said they would load my little boat into the back of their pickup truck and take me back to the other side of the lake once the storm lifted. When I casually strolled into camp later that day, my parents looked like they were seeing a ghost. They were so happily shocked that the scolding I should have gotten never materialized, but that was our last vacation on Rangeley Lake. I swim to an island now on a much smaller lake (called a “pond” up here), and it’s a lot closer to shore, but I still keep my eye out and check the forecasts for lightning, knowing firsthand that the weather can change in only a few minutes up here in northwestern Maine.