Ode to the boat

This is dedicated to a good friend of mine who I spent weekends with on her boat.  We did this for many years and made many great memories.  They weren’t always good times, but as with anything, it is always better to remember the laughter.  So this post is for you, you know who “you” are, and I have only chosen the more “appropriate” things to share, as I know how embarrassed you can get…

A few days ago we took the boat to be fixed up and sold.  I know it isn’t my boat, it belongs to you.  But the memories made on that boat came back so crystal clear to me, that it was almost as if I were experiencing all the wonderful times over again.  So I thought it only fitting that I write you this letter.

You know when you bought the boat in fall, I know it only felt like winter, and we had to get those “hours” on the motor so it would be ready for ski season next year?  So we put on layers and layers of clothes to get on a ski boat and ride around the lake. Weekend after weekend.  Yes, we were camping in the cold too, but it did not seem as bad as being on the lake; of course, the campfire and the schnapps may have helped warm us up, too.

And we can’t forget taking Sammy, the dog, with us on weekends.  You always wanted to see if he could “ski.”  You never tried it though.  He swam, he camped and he went everywhere.  He was truly the all-around companion.  And every weekend he’d be such a mess…guess a lhasa apso was not the best breed for a water dog!

And all the weekends it was just too windy to ski, for you were always “glass-water” skiers, so we had some wonderful lunches  on your “$14,000 floating picnic table!”  I think the lunch consisted of beer,  hard-boiled eggs, cheese, tomatoes and beer.

There were all those sayings we had:

~ 60 and sunny, warm enough to ski!

~ A bad day on the water is better than a good day anywhere else!

~ This sure beats working (which included jobs and household chores)!

~ I wonder what other people do on Saturdays?

~ Throw me the cushion! (This meant I need a beer and the cushion to set it on!)

And you did some fancy skiing behind that boat, I was always impressed, even if you said I was always “easy.”  It was always my job to “watch,” so I knew when it was a good day or not, of course, I always said it was a good day. After all, I wanted to ride back to the dock.  Especially since I could not swim.  It was also my job to grab the ski after your run, pull in the rope, give you towel, get your cover-up and hand you a beer.  We had very specific “jobs” in the boat.  I was told that this was because of the small space and that we were floating on some deep water.  I bought it.  I followed it. I wanted to go.  Even though I couldn’t swim and I didn’t ski, I had fun and I enjoyed being there.  The other two jobs on the boat were “driver” and “skier.”  Because I didn’t ski, I was told I couldn’t drive.  I just didn’t want to “hurt” your boat, so I was really okay with that!

Remember the day I decided that I would try to ski…I remember the looks on both of your faces…”yeah right!”  But you played along nicely and let me try.  I got in the water and put on the skis, you both gave me very good instructions about how to get up and then you pulled the rope tight.  I remember you waited for my nod, just as I had watched for yours all those times and as I gave it, I heard the roar of the motor, felt the pull of the rope and…damn if I didn’t pop out of the water and I was up!  Only one problem, no one told me how to go from that crouching position of getting up, to that standing position of actually skiing! Why, you ask, because no one believed I would ever, really get up!  So in trying to figure it out, I felt myself lean too far and I let go…the one and only time I ever got up and I let go…I felt bad about that for a long time, until I realized I GOT UP and that was the main thing!

I did enjoy that moment of getting back in the boat. When I washable to say: “get the rope, I need my cover up and where is my beer?”  We all looked at each other and laughed. That may have been a big incentive to get out there and try it after all.  I’d always wanted to say that.

Over the years things changed and I did not get to finish the years you spent with the boat with you.  Things happen, life happens.  I was glad I was there the day you took it to the shop to be repaired and sold.  It seemed fitting.  I could tell you were having a rough time and I knew better than to say too much.  So I let you know I knew and I moved on, just as you wanted.  It was another transition in life, letting go and moving on.  Even though that had really happened years ago, this was just the absolute of it.  As you said, “Priorities change, I want to do different things now.”  I can see that, even though I never thought, all those years ago, that I’d ever hear those words!  But it’s time, time for the Campione to give someone else half the fun, half the joy, half the drunken pleasure it gave to us!

 

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