OPINION

SPEAK EZ: Hello from down south

Nathan Domenighini

Good afternoon, Morton!

You may have noticed the Web site has been rarely updated this past week. I have an excuse - vacation.

But, I thought I'd share a rather funny story with you.

My clumsiness is still a factor, even on vacation. I am here in Gulf Shores, Ala., staying with my grandfather on his house located on Ono Island, just north of the beach. His place sits on a bay - you can see directly over the beach all the way to the ocean ... a fantastic view.

Anyway, I am here with all of my cousins - a trip we planned a couple of months ago. I have not seen many of them for about 10 years. My two youngest cousins are 15 and 13 years old now - they look nothing like what I remember.

I think they've had quite a laugh since I've been down here ... I have injured myself on multiple occasions.Here is one example ...

Anchor's Away

My grandfather took all of us out on his boat this weekend, as he loves to do every time we visit.

I, as usual, like to play the role of "deck hand," helping out in whatever way I can. It helps me solidify an image I have worked hard to maintain - the marine know-it-all.

That title slipped from my hands, literally.

As we prepared to beach alongside the Gulf of Mexico, it was time to toss the anchors - one in the front and one in the rear.

We approached the beach and prepared to toss the anchors.

I, being responsible for the rear anchor, tossed it out the back as the boat continued to move closer to the beach.

As I did so, I was reminded by someone that the anchor was not attached to the boat. I had to maintain a grip on the anchor's rope while we slowed down.

The boat never slowed down.

Before I knew it, I was holding on to this rope with all my energy, determined to prove I had the strength to hold on.

It pulled tight, and I noticed the boat had not slowed down. Knowing it was just seconds before the anchor grabbed ground, I braced for quite a jolt.

With others on the boat yelling, "Hold on, Nathan! Hold on," I knew I was in for a bit of some pain.

Expecting to be pulled off the rear of the boat, I set my feet to avoid hitting the propeller of the boat. But, what ensued was the least of my expectations.

The rope tightened, the anchor scraped the bottom of the ocean floor, and I was holding on with every ounce of strength.

It was too much.

My grandfather tells me he heard a horrific scream from the back of the boat. It was me, the moment I realized I was in a bit of a "burn."

The rope begins to slide from my hands. As it does, it begins to shave the top layer of skin from my hand.

I knew I had to let go.

Little did I know that the moment I released it, the burn would get worse. With a boat capable of pulling a ton of weight, it began to jerk as I held on.

A split second decision had to be made: Do I hold on to the anchor and jump in to salvage it? Or, do I let it go, losing it forever?

I'm too stubborn to disappoint my grandpop. I maintain my grip until I could no longer hold it.

The pain from the rope tearing into my hand made the decision for me ... I let go.

As I did, the rope pulled even harder, ripping even more fingerprints off my hands.

So, there I stood, in the worst pain of my life, my cousins laughing, and the boat was without a rear anchor.

For eight hours, the pain in my hand was similar to placing it on a searing hot skillet. The only relief was to grab a cold aluminum can, or drag my hand in the salt water.

The pain remains, three days later. I typed this with one hand, and I pray that when I return, it will be functional again.

Until then, I am a one-handed man with blisters throbbing. Don't expect me to shake anyone's hand when I return.

I look forward to returning with more stories. But, until then, I am going to enjoy this vacation and hope that this week's edition, which will be released Wednesday, goes without a hitch.

DeWayne Bartels is playing the role of interim Morton editor while I refresh. And, he has a nice little column as I asked him to provide for the readers.

I figured I'd let him have his way with the Morton Times-News this week, as he is familiar with much of the community.

Until I return ... enjoy the paper, and I will be back with more to share.

Wish you were here!