|Banks County Opinions...||
NOVEMBER 13, 2002
By: Angie Gary
Phil Vassar show
For the second time in my life I found myself in a pond because of Ole Agnes Scott.
I went through the traditional tossing of the newly engaged into the Pond in my sophomore year at Agnes Scott College. It took six girls to drag me kicking and squeeling on that sunny April day to the 8 x 10 bricked pond in the alumna gardens. By the time I came up sputtering and pushing wet hair out of my face, my friends were gone. Their laughter echoed behind cheering me out of the pond and onward to my dorm. It was over. I wouldnt have to dread it any longer.
So why you might ask was I in a pond again because of my alma mater?
This, too, I can blame on my husband. You see he decided to get a culinary degree in July and he is currently baking enough bread to send all of the Canadian geese to Bermuda with their bellies full. So because of him and his baking I was standing on the shores of the Winder-Barrow YMCA pond with three bags of rolls and donuts, my toddler in tow, her Winnie-the-Pooh costume hanging in our truck just waiting for the chance to Trick-or-Treat.
It started out as me trying to lure the geese closer. They were resting on the other side of the pond. I broke off chunks of bread and threw them at the geese. Of course it didnt go nearly far enough so I continued to throw harder and harder my rolls making it about 40 feet, a quarter of the distance to the geese. The geese began to swim closer to me and thats when it happened. I realized it in the instant it happened. My college ring, the symbol of the sorority of Agnes Scott women, the epitome of my hard work and accomplishment flew off my middle finger and soared through the air, bulleting into the water 20 feet from where I stood gaping. In that instant, my daughters memory vanished, I was no longer Mama. I was the sophomore who cried when my first paper earned me only a C-plus and went to bed at a modest 10 p.m. every night after studying for three hours. I was the junior who enjoyed walking among the books on the 7th floor of the library and finding the quietest spot on campus among the older and seldom used books. I was the senior whose heart soared as my goal of graduation was reached and it was my turn to take the graduation walk with my professors and mentors. And I was diving into that frigid pond on the last day of October- make no doubt about that. Before the wake of my zinging ring had cleared, I was there waist deep, dredging the bottom of the pond with my numb fingers sifting through slimey, oozy gunk.
It seemed to take a year, but my ring wasnt off my finger for more than a minute before I chanced upon the signature square onyx stone with my right hand. I breathed again, noticing the freezing water soaked through my clothes and shoes, the honking geese and the rolls floating past my eyes. Further away, I could see cars speeding by on the main road in downtown Winder. Reality returned in a rush and I turned to see my daughter Piper standing where I had left her, limply holding a roll in each hand and staring at me as if to say Just what are you doing in the water Mama?
Climbing out of the pond in my jeans and T-shirt, water trailing behind, I knew someday she would understand why I went into the pond after my college ring, which is insured for my lifetime. What she may not understand is why I finished feeding the geese the two bags of bread while 40 -degree winds chilled my body to the point that I still shiver when I think of it. Heck, I cant even figure out why I did that.
Rochelle Beckstine is a columnist for MainStreet Newspapers.
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