For years and years, it's been one of my husband's dreams to build himself a wooden canoe or kayak (he's flipped flopped a bit about the two at different times). For awhile we lived in perfect kayak territory - but at the time, we were both struggling grad students living in a 500 square foot portion of a row house. Needless to say, we were lacking in a suitable place in which to build a boat.
Then we moved to where we live now. And we still live around lots of water. But they're all the damned-up or man-made type that just don't have the same appeal to our love for the old and historical. There's no daydreaming or romantic mental images of life along these waterways centuries ago. Ah...what's romance without a good long story, eh? So for a long while, he's just felt less inspired to go forth with the dream, you know.
Then one day, a few months ago, he mentioned that the day before he had seen a pretty little canoe/sailboat in a nearby front yard that was for sale. But he talked himself out of stopping to look at it more, knowing that we really didn't need it nor was it in our budget. I couldn't help but encourage him to check it out anyway. I mean, he's always wanted one. He went back to the house but he didn't see it up for sale so he assumed that the owner had already sold it.
Me: Well did you get out and ask for sure?
Him: No, he sold it.
Whatever, I'm so much more persistent than he is sometimes.
A couple of days later, Bea and I are driving by and I see it - it hasn't sold - it's still there. Byron is out of town. So I call him and let him know.
I know nothing - about small wooden boats - or how to buy a used one. So naturally, I ask Byron what I should ask the owner. And he says, no joke: "Just look and see if it has any holes." Huh. Um OK.
So I decide to go the upfront and honest route with the man. I ask if it's a good boat. I admit to him that I have not one intelligent question to ask in regards to this boat. But basically, my husband left me charge of determining its ability to float. The owner, a tall, burly, 60 something year old professor doesn't as much as crack a grin. I seem to be doing a lousy job of charming him. And I'm pretty sure I've annoyed the #$%$ out of him. But, he puts up with me, and he assures me that it's a great, handmade boat, which he made himself, in some sort of style (I can't remember the term) which dates back to the vikings.
He sold me with the reference to vikings. And I decide that this is a good boat to buy for our family.
It's quite a little beauty. Not handmade by Byron himself, but handmade with love, nonetheless. We took it out for the first time this weekend. No, we were nowhere near the historical waterways of the Chesapeake. But we had fun just the same. Bea had fun just the same. To her, lucky enough, water is water and a boat is a boat.