It’ll be Fun!

“No! NO! Put it in REVERSE!” Jeremy yelled at me from the shore, as the boat drifted into the middle of the lake.

The Pattersons are in a boat together, and Edgar's drool is flying in the wind, hitting Elly, who thinks it's raining from a cloudless sky.

“Boats go in REVERSE?” I screamed, as I yanked on the trolling motor. The kids were surprisingly calm as we floated away from Jeremy. Bundled up in lifejackets, two-year-old Andy played with his toy fishing rod, while five-year-old Molly held onto Teddy, the dog.

“Let’s go fishing,” I’d said an hour ago, “it’ll be fun,” I’d said. Famous last words. We’d loaded the boat onto the trailer, hooked it up to the car and headed over to a local lake. The trouble started when launching the craft; the lake was shallow, and our Jeep was in danger of sinking if Jeremy backed the trailer in too far. The kids and I perched in the boat while he pushed us out; tragically, he pushed too hard and couldn’t climb in quick enough! Like a 19th century sailor, I watched the shore slide further and further away. The propeller on the motor kept scraping the lake bottom, so I tilted it into the boat and cursed at it. Luckily, the water was only 18 inches deep, so I hopped over the side and pulled the vessel back to shore. “Wanna ride?” I asked Jeremy. If looks could kill, I would’ve died right then!

With the four of us reunited, Jeremy carefully piloted the boat into deeper water and set up the fishing gear; soon all of us had lines in the water and we settled in. I can’t remember the last time I felt so peaceful; nothing but the gentle rocking of the boat, the warm caress of the breeze, the azure blue of a cloudless sky. No traffic, no airplanes, just the sound of the wind in the trees and……. “uh oh,” came Andy’s little voice. He’d dropped his cookie overboard and was gazing sadly into the water as it floated away. The dog, wasting no time, leapt into the water in hot pursuit. Jeremy revved up the motor and now the boat was chasing the dog, who was chasing the cookie! Can I have just ONE calamity-free afternoon? I leaned over and scooped Teddy into the bow, who thanked me by violently shaking himself. Andy was sad about his lost cookie, Molly was whining, and I was covered in dog water. Seems like a good time to leave, no?

Jeremy and I struggled the boat onto the trailer, buckled up the kids, and dried off the dog with an old sock. We drove away from the lake as a pink and orange sunset blazed behind us. Reconnecting with nature gave me a sense of peace. I need more tranquility in my life; those brief moments floating in the lake made me forget about the world. Despite the whining and the foolhardy dog, I was already planning our next fishing trip; crazily, I’d enjoyed myself!