What is most important ?
Its all about health isn't it? Body, mind and spirit. I think what people want most in life is peace of mind and a sense security for themselves and their loved ones. You should do this once in awhile. Just dont do anything. yep. Go nowhere. Just sit. With your feet propped up, peek through half closed eyes down your dock. Let yourself slip into neutral. Listen. Listen to what draws your attention next. Usually a passing boat or a splash of a jumping fish. The only thing I worked on that weekend was the small spring latch on the door to the head. My point? You dont need to untie and venture forth to have a good time. Stop working so hard on it and start using it! So what if the engines are out. They will get done. (Sooner or later) Take some time to make better friends with your fellow dock mates. Talk to your wife and kids. "A glass of wine and wet your line."
Try spending more "do nothing" time with the ones you love. Theres a lot to be said for idle time spent together. When you have a good long sit-down next to someone, the first half hour is usually local catch up type talk. Then the chit chat finally peters away and you enter the "lull in the conversation stage". This is the time to aim for. Conversations change a little bit from this point, things get a bit more serious. More heartfelt or way-out things are offered up to discussion. Deeper questions asked. Things are more completely talked out, and thoughts and ideals more explored. I just cant get enough idle down time with my sons. I wish I could get more/any idle time with my dad. Even better, my sons and my dad together at the same time.
Listen up! These are those days. Dont miss them. They're going fast. The days you and your kids will remember fondly when you are old. What we do and how we act now will be very important root memories for the kids. Early morning smells of bacon and delta brush. The morning silence broken by the sound of a fish breaking water. The still and calm of swinging on the hook. Watching wild life. Yes, we still see wild life out here in the valley delta. Lots of fish, all kinds. Beaver, otter and foul. My favorite, birds of prey. Not to mention the strange and sometimes dangerous "Spotted eyed blue nose whipnecked weekender" (Lots of those). All new and wonderful memories, to be stacked on top of other wonderful days gone by. All they have to do is show up.
Another good past time, cheap entertainment, and a lesson in logic. Early this season a buddy and I sat for two hours and watched the ever mind boggling antics of the public in and out ramp. About 4:00 P.M. It's a busy one with a double in, double out. I think most seasoned boaters agree with me when I say you should pass some kind of a test before you can drive or operate any type of boat. Oh but what a row we saw when this clearly inexperienced and ignorant boater with his shiny new PWC toy cuts straight to the front of the coming out line and ties up flat in the way and goes up the ramp to get his car and trailer. You mean to say there is such a thing called boating etiquette??? Im sure glad my boat lives in the water. I dont miss that kind of thing at all.
There are a lot of you guys out there in that same age bracket as I am (41-on). We still strut around with our chests puffed out and we walk with the big dogs on the porch. But lately sometimes we just got to sit down now and then. We eat the red meat, drink the good beer and at the same time we push our bodies to their limits. Sometimes to the limits of failure. I can smell it coming. Heart Attack. I'd just as soon skip that whole scene thank you very much so I quit smoking after 25 years and got on a diet. All well worth it. My renewed sense of smell has kicked in and fresh new sense of wanderlust as well! The taste for good food. Yes, its the "Change!" Do it, or die early. For me now instead of beers and whiskey up late, now its wine before an early dinner then not up too late and off to bed. Another beautiful morning awaits me. Am I beating around the bush? Catch my point? I say "Take care of yourselves"do it now "Take care of your families" Ill be damned if I'm going to pour all my resources and time into this boat refit and then die from a heart attack and not get to use any of it or see my boys graduate school. I have 24 years til forced retirement. Time is on my side. Im planning on long lazy days on the water in my future. I wish the same for you.
Mike Wolfe "The River Queen Refit." Summer 2000
Return to River Queen.