Rabbit, rabbit. Ah yes, the silly, superstitious phrase my college friend Amy L. taught me. How is it that that’s one of the main bits I remember from my Jesuit education? Certainly worth many thousands of dollars, no doubt, for all the good it has done me over the years. My parents must be so proud.

I’m not proud that many a morning on the first of a month when I’m up early to use the facilities and say a word or two to my husband and then get back to a half sleep, I think, “Shit, I didn’t say ‘Rabbit, rabbit.'” But then I tell myself that if I say “Rabbit, rabbit” when I truly wake up for the day, it will work as advertised. That probably is true, at least to the extent that it ever could. And then I move on to debating how many angels are dancing on top of that pin. Perhaps the truth is that I’ve never really ever woken up. I’m living in a hallucinatory state where uttering meaningless phrases changes one’s life. I’m tempted to say some funny and biting things about my years of Catholic schooling, but I think I’ll bite my tongue instead. Let’s just say I’ve woken up.

It is your good fortune that I went to Fountain Lake at Byrd Park yesterday with my two sisters and two nephews. Ok, so you didn’t get to ride the pedal boats (or paddle boats, but I did most of the pedaling, hence calling a spade a spade) or eat a boxed lunch from Sally Bell\’s. (And I ate a mocha/chocolate cupcake–of course I did. That was the whole reason for the adventure. Odd that neither of my sisters did. They let  their children eat their cupcakes. Unlucky–and unthinkable for me.)

You are lucky because you are getting a reminder that it’s what you should do this summer if you’re in Richmond. Even on a Wednesday, lots of people were out on the lake, either avoiding the windswept fountain in the middle

Captain Emmet and his crew

or, if you happened to be in the boat with the diabolical Ethan, getting sopping wet. Of course, it was his only shower of the week, so it was well worth it.

no one went down with the ship

Before this most  pleasant outing, my love of Fountain Lake was limited. I had run around it during the Frostbite 15k in January one year and spent a couple of hours manning a booth at It Starts in Parks a few years back. I’ve driven by it and noticed the pedal boats, but was never a believer until the promise of cupcakes sealed the deal. Let there be no doubt that spending $12 for a half hour of boating (as many as 4 people can fit) on a lovely, breezy summer day, knowing that you are at all times within five minutes of cupcakes and egg salad and root beer floats, is my kind of boating. Plus there was an adorable duck family with four little ones paddling (not pedaling) around. Once ashore, we sat overlooking the lake at one of several picnic tables with new and festive umbrellas. By the looks of everyone–age 3 to 80-plus– enjoying the spot, it was their lucky day, too.

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