Friday, April 23, 2010

this summer

Below is something written ten years ago. This boat has been sold, along with the old motor that never ran right after 2002, not even with a thousand dollars in repairs.

John helped me take it to the repair shop several times, early in the morning. It was at a marina, and that lake was gorgeous in the morning--the sunshine, and seagulls, everything fresh and cool...the streets getting narrower and smaller the closer they ran to the shore... but the motor never was well again.

After the last repair, we took it to Jay's parents' to try it out. It ran perfectly for thirty minutes, the boat moving in arcs, slicing elegantly through glossy water, and then it crapped out again. That was the end. It was the end of summer, and Tim was born the following week. We never got back to it, and weren't even sure what to do.

AND this cabin rental: It's not happening this year. For an array of reasons, my folks decided to skip a year.

But it's okay. It's all just life evolving... and that baby Karinka-Doodle didn't stay a baby for long, as they never ever do. It's all good. love, Val

"On our last night at the lake we all went out together for a boat ride in the evening. For years we have laughed about this boat, joking that it dates, “to the time of Christ,” but really it dates only to the 50s. The lines and shape of it are of that time, the chrome is thick and heavy and the design reminds me of the cartoon rockets and outer space stuff from my childhood.

We took a long meandering route around the shoreline, and checked out what was new and what hadn’t changed. It was Kari’s first boat ride, and she peeked out of the bulky foam of her life jacket with a skeptical look on her face, squinting and taking it all in.

On the way back to the cabin we drove straight east and I turned around to face backwards so Kari could see better.

Five of her brothers and sisters sat in a row across the seat in back: bright life jackets, pretty faces, big blue eyes, red cheeks, and chins curving all in the same way, and the wake from the motor spread out behind us like a giant green fan, churning foam at the edges.

As we got out at the dock, the sun slipped away and turned the sand of the beach pink and the all the window panes of the cabin orange.

In a year where our family has been in a continuous state of change and adjustment, things that stay the same mean a lot to me. I noticed this during our weeks at the lake—a vacation that thankfully never changes.

I felt comforted by the familiar rumble of our ancient boat motor, the same old marshmallows in the fire, the box of sand toys dumped out on the beach along with the very same sand we packed them up with a year before, the familiar pleasure of a baby in my arms...

More change lies ahead and will continue to for many years, so I might as well brace myself--just please, nobody sell the boat or call off the cabin rental."

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