Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Playing and Packing

Yesterday we (Jeff, William and I) all went over to visit Sam, a two hour drive over the mountains. He'd wanted us to come over for several weekends and I had to cancel, but I really wanted to see him before we left on our trip. He was all excited when I called to see if he'd have time to visit, wrangled the afternoon off work, and said we'd go out in his new boat. He's been wanting us to come see The New Boat ever since he bought it about a month ago.

To be honest, I wasn't really excited about seeing The New Boat. In fact, I was thinking about letting the "boys" go see The New Boat, while I did some last minute shopping, and we could all meet back up for dinner afterwards. But as I thought about it on the drive over, punctuated at regular intervals with cell phone calls from Sam asking "Are we there yet!?", I knew I had to be a good mommy and go see The New Boat and do the expected and appropriate ooohing and ahhhing. So I did. What I didn't expect, was how glad I would be that I decided to go see The New Boat and how much FUN I would have doing so.

I spent a lot of my childhood on boats. Living in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, there are a lot of lakes and we always lived lakeside or somewhere just a short walk to the shore. There was a lot of skiing and floating and fishing and other water related activities. So, from the minute Sam's boat slid off the trailer into the water, my body remembered how much I liked being on a boat. I think I musta been a sailor in a past life, because I take to the motion of a boat like a..... duck to water? Maybe that analogy is a little to close to be of much use, but y'know what I mean.

So there we were, floating and racing and cruising through the water. On a beautiful mountain lake which, since it was a Monday, we pretty much had miles and miles of water to ourselves. The mountains rose blue and green and tall all around us, Mt. Shasta and a few other of the higher ridges snow-capped against a cloudless blue sky, temperatures in the 80's. Happy family. Rosie in her adorable teensy orange doggie life preserver - with handles, in case we had to scoop her out of the water. At one point, as I was happily listening to the lapping of the waves, watching the sun sparkle on the water, I looked around at the grandeur and realized that this was the type of thing people did on a vacation. I know, silly me. I had truly forgotten I could just forget about everything on my to-do list, relax, and have fun for a day.

And The New Boat - she was a beauty - a performance ski boat that costs more that probably all the cars all the members of our family own collectively. (Sam has decided that perhaps this hobby is a bit more expensive then he'd anticipated, specially with the new high gas prices, so we might only have one, at the most two, summers to take advantage our boat owning son - but that's another story.) Sam and William took turns wake boarding, wake surfing, and wake skating. Each required a different kind of board and a different length of rope. We oohed and ahhed over all the boards, the rope handle (made of all new lightweight carbon fibers - everyone, all together now - "Oooooh!"), the special board holders, and so on.

Of course Sam had to have someone else drive the boat while he was in the water and his first thought was his father, who backed away saying he "didn't know nuthin' 'bout birthing no boats!" Er, driving no boats. In fact, he was quite obviously and humorously a landlubber amongst a boatload of seadogs. I don't want to make too much fun of him but...... nevermind, yes I do. When we would hit another boat's wake - you know those big waves that rock the boat? - he would grab his hat, grab the side of the boat, and scream like a girl. (I just asked him if it was okay to tease him in my blog - he said he didn't care. He was headed out the door and I don't think he really knows what he was agreeing to but, there ya go. You have permission to laugh.) This from a man who used to go sailing in his family's sailboat (an old Chinese Junk, actually) on the ocean when he was a kid. He said that didn't count because the sailboat was BIG and it didn't go more then a few miles an hour because it didn't have an engine. Ooooh-kay.

That only left me. I said I knew how to drive a boat. Sam looked at me like I'd just said I knew how to fly an airplane. Because, y'know, mothers don't know how to do anything except mothering things. And mothers had no life prior to being a mother. Therefore, since he'd never seen me drive a boat, the logic of descendants presumed that I did not know how to drive a boat. Eventually, however, his desire to be in the water overcame his fear of having a mother behind the wheel of The New Boat, and he showed me a few tricks and jumped overboard. I think I surprised them all by handling the craft quite well, if I do say so myself. I mean, it's been well over 30 years since I've driven a boat. Oh, did I forget to mention that part?

So, we had a beautiful, lovely, sunny, warm, did I mention lovely, day. We topped it off by picking up Kyla after she got off work and going out to dinner at Applebees, followed by ice cream and Starbucks outside on the plaza patio while the sun set. The only thing that was disappointing was that I forgot to bring my camera, so I can't show you any beautiful, lovely, sunny, warm photographs of our day. If you want to see a photo of the lake, go here.

Oh well, I'll bring the camera next time.

OH! The packing part. I stuck that word in the title and almost forgot to mention it. Yes. Now I'm back home and I have the rest of today and part of tomorrow left to GET READY! I'm making up a teensy tiny address book with addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails I might need while abroad. I'm doing laundry. Then I have to start gathering things up. And spread my clothing choices out on the bed and decide what to pack.

This last thing is causing me the most trouble. The temperatures are supposedly going to run between ..... well, some celsius numbers I don't understand, but translated into Fahrenheit.... I think a low of 45 degrees and a high of 65 degrees. Average rain about 30% of the month. So, what does that translate into in apparel? I'm trying to imagine it. Not cold, but not warm either. I think I'm way overthinking this but hey, it's as good a point to obsess over as anything else. Better then worrying over where we're going to stay the first night we arrive, which I don't have a clue where and I have made no reservations yet.

Okay, off to do some more laundry.


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