Yesterday we sat at a dockside restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway and watched the sailboats motoring slowly toward the drawbridge. The wind blew the menu out of my hand and conked the guy at the next table and I had to keep one hand on my grouper pita basket to keep it from following. Not enough wind to blow down a football practice bubble, but it did blow a kid’s stuffed turtle out of his hands and down onto the dock below. . . where, I am pleased to report, it was rescued by one of the dock workers. Don’t even ask about my hair.
I know nothing…and I do mean NOTHING…about sailing, unless I get to count reading Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard which was enough to put me off any thought of sailing…but then again, I never thought of it anyway. (Sailor or not, that book is good!) Yet, on such a beautiful day, after one particularly striking sailboat passed for the second time, just goofing around until time for the bridge to be raised on the hour, I couldn’t stand it any more….
“You know,” I told Dearly Beloved, “I can see us selling out and buying a nice sailboat and heading for the Caribbean. A sea adventure.”
He talked about buying a sailboat for years. Every time he would mention it, I would suggest renting one for a few days. He never rented OR bought…but was interested enough to read several sailing books. He daydreamed about how much fun it would be to take the grandsons out sailing during Camp Granddad. (I can even see that happening, provided I could commandeer a Coast Guard vessel to shadow them and even then the USCG would need to watch out for swimmers ahead because I’m positive that our daughters would already be backstroking alongside that sailboat. We’re talking precious cargo.
Although I can’t remember how many grandsons we had when he spoke of this, they certainly hadn’t all arrived. He may have changed his dream once he realized that our two daughters had, between the two of them, birthed a basketball team. Come to think of it, he did go out and buy a goal and several balls.
Perhaps I should point out that it’s not like we would–or could–actually go out and buy a sailboat on a whim. If so, by now we’d also have bought the farm with horses I thought would be fun when the kids were small…or the condo overlooking Central Park that DB thinks would be stimulating…or even the double-wide I talk about wanting with fenced-in acreage so that I could adopt all the shelter pets.
We love life just as it is…this is simply idle, fun talk now and then.
Yesterday, however, he didn’t bite. He didn’t even give the boat a second glance.
Instead, he asked, “Remember the time we went sailing with the Stan and Cathy on Lake Superior? While the rest of us were all working hard and having a great time– jibing and heeling and making fast– you were down below with the heaves, all huddled up in a ball.”
I do remember that–quite vividly. Frankly, I was working too–working hard to prevent myself from making a new poop deck down there. I’m a child of the South and the only boating I’d ever done was while wearing a swimsuit. ( To be accurate, one time it turned out to be only a half of a swimsuit after I came up on water skis in the Tar River but the top half of my swim suit didn’t. That’s one of the memories that makes me yell, “Bypass!” any time we near my hometown. )
But Lake Superior? We’re talking from 40-degree water up to 700-feet deep. The Edmund Fitzgerald wasn’t just a song, you know. The sea spray felt like sleet that day.
“That was the first time I’d ever been sailing,” I told him. “I didn’t know what to expect.” For goodness’ sakes, that was in the 70’s!
Mr. Elephant Memory had another one: “Do you remember the time we went snorkeling and you threw up from watching the plants sway in the water?”
Ah. . . the 80’s. ” Yes, I remember, but I’d heard people on the boat talking about sharks being attracted by blood. I had my period and I was scared I might be shark bait. That was just nerves!”
“Okay. . . how ’bout the time we went with the board meeting group on the sailboat to that island? You hung off the back of the boat, tossing your cookies the whole trip.”
He was up to the 90’s and okay, I’ll give him that one because I was most embarrassed. People kept calling over to him, asking, “Is your wife feeling any better?” They didn’t see anything but my backside the whole trip. I know I always have a “Yeah, but…” and this is no exception. I’d tried to take precautions! Who would have thought a resort area large enough to hold that board meeting and several other groups wouldn’t sell Dramamine somewhere on the premises?
“If we had a boat, I could keep a case of Dramamine onboard.”
“Oh sure. . . you’d spend the whole time asleep on a bunk.”
Not really. He could rouse me whenever he sighted land. We’d have to shop sometime.
I didn’t argue though. I could tell it was a definite no go on the sailboat.
Hey, if he caves on the double-wide, I’ll let you know where to bring the shelter pets.