Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Sailor I Never Was

Life sometimes takes odd turns and gets in the way of things like posting blogs, so it's been a couple of days. Babs had her manuscript ready to be copied and FedExed off to New York one day, so we went and copied it and sent off copies to New York to her editor at Random House, to her agent in New Jersey, to her co-author in Oregon, and of course copies to her sister and mother in Iowa. I suddenly hear strains of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show in my head, "Gonna send 5 copies to my mother...." It was unreal after a year and a half ordeal for "The Book" to be finished so we went to a bar and had wine and hors d'oeuvres. As it turns out we wandered in on 1/2 price bottle of wine night and it was a reasonably inexpensive celebration.

Yesterday I was just late getting home from work and had to go to the gym to work out. By the time I got home it was time for dinner, and then it was late, and well another day gone. I do try to be daily in my writing so I have to apologize to myself for missing.

It's the second day of an early March cold snap today, 25 degrees at the Mini under mostly cloudy, somewhat windy skies. Tomorrow it's supposed to warm up a bit and more so on Saturday. All of the ice is finally gone from the lake, so I'm actually looking at water of a blue color out in the deep water. Closer to the shore, inside the concrete barrier, and consequently in shallower water the wind and waves make it a bit murkier. It still bodes well for the near future, however. The tour boats will be back soon, and in a little longer while the sailboats will be back. Hold that thought. It's warming.

It's funny how things develop in your life. As a child, my family didn't have much money and none of my relatives had any either, so we didn't do boat things. Boat things are expensive. I had one uncle with a small ski boat, but we didn't like him much, so we didn't ride in the ski boat, or ski often. I remember, exactly once on the boat. Then too,as it happens, I chose to play Little League Baseball instead of going to swimming lessons at the pool so I didn't learn to swim, and when any boating opportunities came along I never was never very hot on such activities.

As an adult I finally learned to swim when I was in my 40's. I was teaching on the island of Guam and friends took us snorkeling. I put on a mask and took one look under that clear blue water in the tropics and I was hooked. Babs wouldn't let me even think about it until I learned to swim. I would come home from work every afternoon and we would go to the pool in the complex where I lived for swimming lessons. Babs grew up with a swimming pool in her back yard and was once a competitive swimmer, as was her mother. Part of the family history is that Babs's mother and her two sisters and herself taught nearly an entire town of 1000 people in Northern Iowa to swim. She was Red Cross certified and quite adequate as a swimming instructor. I was not just taught to swim. I had to learn to tread water. I had to learn to dive. As I recall Babs held up a broomstick and I had to go over it in perfect form for my dive. No belly flops here.

Then I was allowed to go snorkeling and snorkeling we did. In Guam, in Yap, In Palau, in Saipan, in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand. With all of this water, you'd think boats would come into the picture too. Not so. As it turns out, Babs gets motion sickness. No boats for her. A friend in Chicago restored a 1950's vintage wooden sailboat and invited us out for a sail on Lake Michigan. Babs got sick and the trip got cut short. Babs worked as a journalist and she was hired to write a piece about this Japanese sail training outfit that gets people to pay them for trips on their 3 masted briggantine and teaches them how to sail it. Babs got sick, but she couldn't get off the boat. She puked for days and still had to write the article about what a wonderful thing learning to sail is. Swimming, yes. Boats, no.

I could list the times Babs has had to go on boats of one sort or another and the times she has been sick as a result. Ferry across the English Channel. Check. Ferry from Phuket to Ko Phi Phi. Check. Don't get me started on canoes and sea kayaks. That's another issue as well. Anyway, it's a lock, Babs and I don't do boats and frankly I don't miss them. I'm just not a big water kind of guy, except for the occasional snorkeling excursion. Life directed me in such a way that I went in other directions. As life turned out, I hooked up with a love of my life who doesn't do boats either, for a whole other reason. Still, they're really lovely to watch on the lake in the summertime, when the water is aqua, and the sky is blue, and the sails are white and full of wind.

1 comment:

  1. I liked them better when I was younger. I have less patience for boats as I get older and probably wouldn't care if I were never on one again. I think I took my last canoe ride about 2 years ago... this came about 3 years after I would have preferred to stop, but we do a lot of crazy stuff for loved ones... and if we're lucky, our loved ones understand when we finally say no.

    Love being by the water... don't really need to be in it or on it.