No Plan Wanted, No Plan Needed

Dale’s primary rule:  plan your dive and dive your plan.  For years he’d done exactly that, and not just in diving. The long years made of seemingly identical days of hurried breakfast and work and weekends. The kids moved from grade school to middle school to college and finally off into their own lives.

Through it all, he’d managed to dive nearly every weekend, hard to do in the midwest but just possible if you were inventive. Lakes and rivers in the summer, caves and ice-dives in winter months. Dale liked ice-diving best despite the discomfort of 32-degree water. The cold blue light of the frozen roof above the black fingers of submerged trees was strangely haunting.

At seventy, Dale cashed out. He bought a Carver C-37 and a slip in St. Thomas. He cruises the islands and cays, dropping anchor if he chooses. No plan wanted, no plan needed.


What Pegman Saw


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  1. 4963andypop

    A truly committed diver! Im glad he got his just desserts. I tripped a little, over your sentence fragment, starting with “the long years”…i think if you remove the “the” or add a verb, it might flow better. Sorry to nitpick. Otherwise beautifully written, as usual, and containing a definite aura of rigid self-discipline, followed by luxurious release. Now that’s retirement.

    Love the scene from under the ice.

  2. Dale

    Good for Dale! There are worse places to retire (Ironically, this Dale’s father had a sailboat once upon a time and, if life had been different, would have ended up sailing those very waters.)

Don't just stand there.