Feb 19, 201312:30 PM
Running In Fog: HeartLand Boating Humor
Forgotten in the Sun
I took a little road trip away from my normal stomping grounds last week. Only for three days. Some may call it a vacation, but I bring so many to-do lists and books and my computer that it really isn’t a vacation by the Webster’s definition. My new theory is that if you take a cell phone with you, you really aren’t getting away from it all. But that’s a topic for another day.
Naturally, Captain Nemo, my black lab, came along with me. So, there we were, in the middle of a new place I didn’t know, and Nemo needs to go walkies. Walking a lab is work. They’re friendly and curious and have to check out everyone and everything all of the time.
Off we go. Hoping to avoid crowds, I took a side road. Lots of sunshine beating down and a view of the water. We walked past three small marinas. These were small private places, nothing fancy, just a safe place to slide your boat into a slip. No pool or tennis courts, restaurants or bars. Just docks and slips.
Nemo was checking out his 14th turtle, and I urged him along. “Come on, pup, we’ll both have cheeseburgers when we get back.” He’s 8, but I still refer to him as a pup. Labs never really grow up.
We went around the bend and saw a big empty lot. No cars, no people. Just one lone boat propped up on wood and cinder blocks baking in the sun. She was about 30 feet in length, I guess. A Carver. Lovely lines, paint faded and sun-bleached. She had a crooked “for sale” sign in the front window of the bridge.
“Nemo, come here,” I said. He trotted over and sat down in front of me. I sat down in front of the boat.
“Speak to me,” I said. Nemo started to bark. “No, Nemo, I was talking to the boat.” Because that’s what vacation is really about. It’s about having the time to sit and contemplate when you want to sit and contemplate.
I sat and just thought about this boat for a while. At one time, someone was very proud of this boat, made memories on this boat, laughed and smiled, told people stories about the days on the water.
I punched in the numbers on my cell phone.
“Hi. My name is Pam, and I’m sitting here on some road next to an old Carver that has your phone number in the window. Can you tell me about the boat?”
“Wow. You’re really calling about that old tub?”
“You know, if you’d called me just two months ago, I would’ve sold that boat to you for twenty bucks.”
“You’re kidding me. Why?”
“I needed the money. Lost my job almost three years ago.”
“What changed in two months?”
“Got a new, better job. She isn’t for sale anymore. Sorry.”
“Are you trading her in for a new one now?”
“Trade in my boat? Never! I love that boat. That ol’ tub is going into dry dock for the winter. Going over her from bow to stern. New insides, new outsides. Make her as pretty as she deserves to be. ”
“Mister, I don’t know you, but you just made my day. I was thinking this poor old boat was forgotten and unloved.”
“No way. Never ever think that just because a boat is sitting that it’s unloved. She was just…uh…on vacation while I needed to look for a job.”
We hung up after a few more minutes. I was so happy for the “ol’ tub,” as he called the Carver. I walked around the whole boat. There, painted in lovely letters, was her name.
Her name was Love Ya.