The Boat at Our Little House
Dale and I have never been early season boaters. From the first year we had our boat, when we bought it in July 1996, we usually didn’t get it out until at least July.
Life – or more accurately – work usually got in the way of the maintenance and cleaning it needed before being launched for a new season.
However, we’ve never been as late as we were this year, but given our track record of going against the grain in life, leave it to us to be getting our boat onto the water when most people are pulling theirs out.
A shortage of money for new batteries, gasoline and fishing licenses were our excuses earlier this year and then work, as it usually does, took over our lives for most of the summer.
A couple of weeks ago, I told Dale I could live with his working part of the holiday weekend in lieu of a trip to Kansas City if we could at least get the boat out. We spent all day last Sunday prepping the boat for its’ 2010 inaugural launch and it was well worth it when Saturday rolled around.
We spent the late afternoon and evening floating in our backyard and with the exception of the huge pleasure boats and personal watercraft, it was a glorious day on Bull Shoals Lake in the Ozark Mountains. On Sunday and Monday, it was the sunrises we watched from our seats in the boat.
The trips didn’t yield many fish (we catch and release anyway), but as the old saying goes, “A bad day fishing beats any other day.” We reminisced about our first years with our “new” boat, which was then 17 years old.
When we bought it, the aluminum deep hull V, it was in excellent shape but was completely void of anything on the interior but a small dash. Dale built fishing decks on it and we added a trolling motor and depth finder.
The trips to Wyandotte County Lake in our home city, where our first rescue, a Dachshund named Hershey, was known as the “dog with the pink life jacket,” by park rangers and other regular boaters. Sundays on the lake always ended with a stop at Wyandot Bar-B-Que when of course, Hershey even got a few treats of meat and fries.
Labor Day weekends now long past on a “pond” that was bigger than some lakes, outside of Topeka, Kans. with about a dozen good friends, fine camp food and great fishing. The founder of a large pet food company owned the land and a friend of ours was caretaker.
Those weekends were followed by our annual week-long vacation on Table Rock Lake at a resort where we could rent a boat slip for the week. Of course, it was also dog friendly, as Hershey traveled everywhere with us. Our last trip there was in 2001 when we took my mother, who was already more sick than we realized with COPD.
Of course, this weekend, while floating on the water near our shoreline, we remembered how Emma loved the water. I could almost see her jumping in and swimming from shore to shore in the narrow area of the creek behind our house that empties into the lake. She wasn’t like Hershey, Emma didn’t like the boat and we couldn’t even take her bank fishing as she would chase the lures.
The last time the boat made a trip was Labor Day weekend in 2003 when construction on Our Little House was finally complete. We brought her from KC to her new home. Since that time, Campbell Town has been her permanent dock.
Dale has long wanted a new boat; he thinks this one is ugly and he keeps coming up with reasons to replace her. “They don’t even make parts for a 30 year old motor anymore,” he recently said. “If it breaks, the guy at the repair shop said it would be impossible to fix.”
I know we probably won’t be able to keep our less than attractive 1979 Sea Nymph forever. But she is a part of our history now and holds many good memories. This weekend, she ran better than ever.
For now, it runs, it floats and it continues to deliver good times.
That’s all that’s important.
Is living on the water part of your dream? If so, lake or ocean?