"You know what they call a boat, don't you?" R asked as we were driving to Bob the Boatman's store to pick up a new starter for the boat.
"I don't," I said.
"A hole in the water where you throw your money."
The previous evening we'd had a glorious time skiing and tubing until our digits were all numb from the boat's vibrations. Just as we were packing it all in-- kaput-- the engine wouldn't start. R thought it was the battery. We were, of course, at the far end of the lake, so we took turns paddling, and it was slow going-- especially with Buckaroo (who had been so patient until this point) whimpering, "I want to go home now." Did I mention we hadn't eaten dinner?
I've never been a big fan of motorized thingies. A friend in high school said, "I don't like things that make noise in nature," and I totally agreed with her. Sweet P's dad taught her to call any sail-less boat a stink pot, and I was really ok with that.
Then I bought a house in the woods, and it came with a motor boat. What are you gonna do? Learn to ski! That's what you're gonna do! Now I can't imagine why I didn't learn to ski twenty years ago.
Still, when we were ever-so-slowly paddling our way across the lake, and the sun was just melting, and there were the brightest patches of blue sky between the gray clouds-- and then-- a perfect rainbow all the way from one side of the lake to the other, and it was so quiet, and I remembered what it was I liked about a motorless boat: the calm.
Maybe there was a reason our boat broke down with all of us in it. It forced us to take some time to look around and appreciate the beauty instead of zipping past it at high speeds.
Then, today, as we were splashing around on the beach, I said, "It would be fun to have a sailboat," and Sweet P said, "I was just thinking that!"
Not a half an hour later, a neighbor's tiny sail boat washed up on our shore.