I contemplated naming this post P is for Pathetic. Perhaps D is for Determined might have been a good subtitle. But I found the silver lining of my boating woes in the cloud of friends with which I am blessed.
Friday afternoon Dale and I headed for Red Wing to try yet another can of Sea Foam in the gas tank of my dilapidated vessel. We were greeted by a full campground and dock loaded with a Glastron Classic Boat Convention. It looked very interesting, but we didn't want to waste any more daylight, so we drained the additive into the gas tank and took off.
Usually when I find myself on the river, especially the Mississippi, I feel as though I can breath more deeply, relax more fully, appreciate creation with wonder. This summer, hopping into my poor ancient boat, my stomach twists into a knot of hopeful anxiety. I find myself intently focused, not on the majestic and peaceful surroundings, but on the boat, wishing its mechanical systems into compliance and desirable behavior, listening keenly for the least little engine hiccup, primed to feel the slightest hitch through the frame of the vehicle.
For the second time in as many days we were able to make it out of the no-wake zone above Bay Point Park and open up the throttle a little bit . . . . and sure enough, there it was, the warning hiccup that precedes certain disaster.
So back we went. We stopped at the fuel dock, barely able to keep the boat running. After inputting a few gallons of gas we limped back to our own marina, fingers crossed, lurching through the swift current. So we tied off the boat and began looking at all the classic Glastrons gathered. Our first boat was a Glastron. We named it The Honeymoon because we spent Dale's pittance of a pension on its purchase when he changed jobs just prior to our wedding.
Once we were confident that no one was bleeding, burned, or in the water I looked down our dock at my beloved to see him attempting to stifle the giggles. He burst into laughter that was no longer containable and cackled for a solid five minutes. It was highly contagious and we both laughed long and hard. One of Dale's favorite past times is people-watching at boat landings. Note to self: bring the video camera so we can win big on America's Funniest Videos!
Prescott Boat Club. They had a pontoon boat reserved and invited several members of the local village to join them for a day of leisure. Some Skovs and a Schlafge joined them in spite of the cool, overcast weather. I gotta give it to Bud. The minute we cleared the Prescott bridges and were on our way upriver, the sun broke from the clouds and we had a beautiful day before us. Danika tolerated me tubing with her and participated in my stunts and antics. We had a great time giggling and maneuvering. We even went down to Diamond Bluff on the Mississippi to try for a bite to eat at the Nauti-Hog, but they were too busy and the wait was too long. Hastings Old Time Car Show vendors helped us abate the hunger. It was a great day with fantastic friends.
Sunday, after church (and a super sermon by Fr. Frank) I went to Red Wing to clean my boat, pouting and scheming that if I'm going to get it running I should sell it right away so I can use the money as a down payment on something more reliable. It was my passive aggressive mode of cleaning when I'm pissed and wishing that I could play with my own toys. Just as I was working up a sweat the rescue team arrived in the persons of Dale, Beth and Tom. Let's go boating in the Wanamakers' new boat.
So off we went, down to Lake Pepin. I was breathing more deeply, relaxing more fully, and truly appreciating the spectacular view of limestone palisades, marshy sandbars, and eagles. We floated around in the middle of Pepin in our upside down life jackets (diaper mode), played some dice, and even attempted some water skiing. In five tries I wasn't able to coordinate my waning strength and rusty technique to get up on one ski, so we abandoned the plan and decided to call it a day.
Finding both gas docks already closed, we did luck out in getting to tour the model for the newly forming floating condominium concept; The Marquette. It's very similar to our retirement on a barge idea. None of us have that kind of money yet. But the concept is pretty nifty. I posted to the their blog to encourage them to get the motorcycle transport sorted out. We'll see. Could be a deal-breaker for these River Rats.
So this morning, as I get my writing skills honed to create some devotions for work, I sit mostly content, and with many stiff muscles, my heart full of gratitude for friends and opportunities.
So, anyone wanna trade?