Old Boating Blogs...
| By Bryan Lowe - Seattle, Washington
While preparing my
boat for the Summer ahead I came across my old boating
blog entries.. and started to read of a day five years
every time I plan to go out in boat the rest of
my life wakes up.
A hole in the deck.
raises the question... how does one make life more
of what they WANT? How do I make life more boating,
and less deck repair? Tonight, it was my 12 year
old son who tried to blend his finger. We bought
a blender last night, so today with a babysitter
at home my son decides to make a slushy of some
sort. But the ice got stuck so he reached in and
basically blended his finger. That was when I walked
in from work, early so I could get the boat ready
for our planned overnight in the local river. I
spent the afternoon getting my son to the doctor
and helping him through a couple of stitches.
son has had literally hundred of stitches due to
all his operations due to a genetic problem, but
for those he was under anesthesia. Here there was
only a local... and getting the local was the worst
mixture of love, concern, caring, and.... oh...
a touch of crankiness for yet another day of boating
daughter could see it in me. She is nine. Here I
am, 44, and SHE is the one who notices my.... oh....
crankiness and tries to comfort ME. Pulled me back
to what was real.
Back to the question... how do I make my life more
of what I want and less of what I must?
the question is a different one. Life includes it
all... guaranteed. Decks will need repair. Wives
will have birthdays. Rain will fall. Inquisitive
boys will blend their fingertips in the new blender.
I guess the effort is more one of balance. How do
I balance all that is my life?
there is one more question lurking in there as well.
How do you make all that is your life... a natural
part of your life? Meaning... when the weather turns
wet... do you really want to spend your life wishing
for something different? Isn't there a way to make
that part of your life an accepted part of your
life? Too many days dreaming of tomorrow can lead
to a bunch of empty yesterdays.
blending delays boating.. but it happens.
decided to leave for the river in the morning.
It's a slough really. Either way it was total heaven.
There in the midst of this big city was a scene
right out of Tom Sawyer. A slow meandering river,
cat tails, heron, king fisher, willows falling like
a curtain into the river.
is one of the rivers I dreamed of when I dreamed
of my boat. I have driven over it on the way to
work for years. Dreamed of floating on it for just
as long. And now I was on it. And the reality of
it was better than the dream. The unseen portion
of the river I explored..... unseen from my commuting
to work vantage point.... was truly heaven.
river was slow and narrow and a series of slow turns...
with each rounding something new. Giggling girls
fishing from a kayak, who when asked if they had
caught anything seemed to not understand my meaning.
they say suddenly seeming to remember they were
also fishing while they talked and giggled. "No.
Nothing". They are of the age where giggling
talk of boys is so much more interesting than...
anything. The fishing is just an excuse.
the river my boat seems at home. It seemed as much
a part of the river as anything there. I leaned
forward resting my head on the curving roof ...
just an occasional nudge of the rudder with my foot
to keep me on course, the engine running at idle
and moving me at a speed that matched the pace of
this new world around me.
this curve there was a mobile home park, but the
homes seemed luxurious in their 30 year old premanufactured
way. Their modest size allowed them to nestle in
closer to the river as though they were part of
the riverbank itself. They seemed a part of my river
old man slept at his post... slept in his somewhat
tattered La-Z-Boy as he must have done for years
now. His wife nudged him excitedly at the sight
of my boat passing by... she seemed to recognize
my boat as being a part of the river that had been
long missing. He didn't wake up.
next corner had a dock to nowhere. Docks like that
always strike some strange chord within me. They
were someone's dream once too. Built to capture
some of the wonder of the river, but now merely
a graying ghost.... with mere shimmers of a long
gone couple stealing their first kiss.... of little
children and old men fishing, bamboo poles, or perhaps
mere long sticks with a string, a float, and a few
drowned worms. Shadows of those who always seem
to come to the water... to dream... to hope... to
forget. Now there are pilings, broken and splintered
boards... the only life the blackberry vines that
seem to be trying to pull the ghost back into the
riverbank is still living though. As the river widens
a beaver has made his home. Probably most of this
massive dome of sticks and branches comes from the
careful plantings of the occasional river front
home with a tended yard.
aren't a lot of boats on the river, just enough
to remind me that this river is not my private domain.
Amongst the dinghies and canoes and kayaks there
are a few powerboats. Most are the latest expensive
high powered plastic made today. Boats popular with
those who prefer to continue the too fast pace of
shore life, on the water.
with every other bend or so you see a boat that
seems more at home here. Every one of them seems
weathered... a part of the imagery of the river.
One is a once happy blue, virtually a pickup trucks
camper shell from the early sixties perched atop
twin pontoons. Again, clearly someone's dream...
a dream of families playfully shouting, jumping
into the water, falling asleep snug in their bunks
at the end of a long beautiful day. Families grown
Five years have passed since I wrote
all that, written for my online diary of sorts, a
blog before blogs were blogs.
My own family is almost grown now.
My daugter, though chronologically
14, looks 19, and the local boys think so, too. She
finds the boat embarassing now. I don't take it too
personally. She is such a wonderful girl, and I couldn't
We find time through her school plays or through her
music. They aren't distractions by any stretch, they
are wonderful time together.
In my diary I wrote a great deal
about my son, now 17.
Eleven operations to reduce the size of his skull,
but none in at least 6 years or so. Years of fear
and worry. Now it's one more year of high school,
then off to some tech school to become a diesel technician,
or so he thinks now. Or will it be stage lighting,
something he has done in high school for some years
now? It doesn't matter. Anything will be wonderful
compared to those nightmare operations of a few years
I return to my post of five years
ago. Find a place in your life, I said, for that which
gets in the way of your dreams. Meld the dreams with
the other realities of life.
Girlfriends. Friends. School. For
me a raise and new responisbilities at work. Dementia
for my mother, still living, but in a dark world where
the people and creatures in her dreams are the inhabitants
she believes and trusts, no matter how dark their
In spite of it, we've found ways
to blend our want to's with our have to's. Tomorrow
my son is washing the boat, getting it ready for the
annual July 4th weekend show at the Center for Wooden
Boats. He'll invite his friends down, which is great,
but we also have an evening planned just for family.
This will be the fifth year in the show, time for
the family to work together to get the boat ready,
and then time to spend at the show as well.
Or maybe he'll blend his finger
We'll do our best to live either
path to it's fullest.
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