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Ships ahoy and anchors away

We can see the floor of the garage. No. We can see half of the garage. It’s empty, begging for something to move in and occupy it. It makes me think of the movie, Field of Dreams, the part where Kevin Costner's character says, “If you build it, he will come.” In our case, it’s “If you clear it, it will get filled up.” Then again, maybe it's a case of Newton’s Third Law:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Whichever one it is, the empty space is now taken. It’s been a lifetime, a few almost’s, and a lot of careful study, but my husband has at last, bought a boat. He is now the captain of his own ship. It’s not an elaborate boat, or a big boat, but it's sea worthy. At least that’s what its previous owner promised. It’s clean. It has new seat covers.

All right, the engine is a dinosaur. We’ll have to throw some money at it to bring it up to twenty-first century standards, but that’s what boat stands for — Bring out another thousand.

It's a project boat, something empty nest dads need — something to keep them occupied, and give them something to grumble about. My husband needs a project to keep himself busy.

A boat . . . I’m picturing sunny days on quiet lakes. Before kids, we had a canoe. He fished, I read. Now, post-kids, we’ll have a boat with room to relax, even better, space for me to write when I’m tired of fishing. Best yet, we have a motor. There will be no more paddling orders from Captain Bligh at the stern.

I have to practice my maritime commands, learn my lefts from my rights, my port from my starboard. Wait a minute. If my husband is captain, that means he’s the skipper. If he’s the skipper, does that make me Gilligan? No, thank you. I’ll be Ginger. Okay, fine. We can’t all be Gingers. I’ll be Mary-Anne, but not Mrs. Howell . . . unless her money comes with it.

Our new boat is a classic. It’s in pristine condition. The only problem is the engine — it’s older than our daughters. There's a good chance that it was on the assembly line when I was in elementary school. Old engine, new technology. Do you see where this is going? We either fix the antique 60 HP 2-stroke Evinrude, or our classic boat sits in dry dock. That’s okay. Mulling it over gives my husband time to add another layer of wax to the avocado green fiberglass.

So here's to sunny skies and calm seas. What's your next adventure?


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