Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Being on a boat that's moving through the water, it's clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what's important and what's not." ~James Taylor

My life practically began on a boat. This boat actually . . .

Papa Mac and Nana's Orange Gulfstream.

Being first time parents, Mom and Dad decided to accompany the Hardings to Jackson Lake for a camping trip when I was two weeks old. Of course I didn't mind . . . I just slept in my little orange life jacket while the family played on the water, but my parents didn't understand why all the other campers were making such a big fuss. My life on the lake progressed nicely after that.

I found this picture of Mom and me on Jackson Lake. Obviously this isn't the Orange Gulfstream but my cousins' Grandparent's boat.

There were many times when Dad strapped me into the yellow-trainer-skis and threw me overboard, as I screamed and attempted to kick the skis off. "You can't get back in the boat until you've skied," Dad would tell me. Bribes were also involved. "If you ski you can get a new Barbie. Do you want a Barbie?" the adults would clamor. My aversion to the water didn't last long. Soon I was pouting if someone got to ski before me.

In 2000, Mom and Dad decided it was time to get a boat of our own and I was thrilled.

This is the first day we took the Chaparral out on the lake. Yes I'm wearing sweats, I had a fever that day. The Chaparral has been the best boat. It's been our baby.

But the past few years I've been bugging the parents for an inboard because it has a smaller wake for skiing as well as the added bonus of wake surfing. So, upon my return from London Mom and I went to work on Dad, because we know that Dad needs a lot of thinking time before a big purchase. I got online and designed my own boats, printing them out and placing them strategically around the house. When the boat show rolled around I grabbed my "boats" and dragged Dad around to the salesmen, letting the professionals do their work. But Dad's a salesman and knows the ploys. Mom and I never gave up. I began slipping my boat printouts under Dad's pillow so that he could "sleep on it" and the boat catalogs under the bathroom door for a little light reading. Dad wanted a new boat just as much as the rest of us but he had to be convinced that it was the logical and economical thing to do! To our delight Dad began searching for boats too. And I began to hope, this just might actually happen!!!

As the weeks past my hope began to fail. We couldn't find exactly what we were looking for and then there was the issue of money. Two Saturdays ago Dad and I were up skiing at Snowbird and Dad carefully told me that we would probably end up waiting a year or two before getting a new boat. Although I was sad, I understood, times are harder and we didn't want to settle. Later that day we were on the Tram and Dad got a phone call from a Malibu dealer in Texas who might have the boat we were looking for but I never heard anything further, I kind of backed-off the not-so-subtle reminders to protect myself when the boat thing didn't pan out.

The Sunday of General Conference we were watching Conference in the basement as a family. As the morning session ended and we got up to find some lunch Dad told us he had something for us. He disappeared into his office and reappeared with a gift-wrapped box for us kids to open. The three of us sat on the floor and I watched as Nate ripped the wrapping paper off and lifted the lid of the box to reveal a piece of paper that said: "Happy . . ." followed by a list of all the holidays for the rest of the year. But what really caught my eye was this picture underneath . . .

I thought Mom and Dad were playing a mean joke on us. I looked at the books underneath the picture in confusion but Dad said, "Those are just there to weigh the box down." I looked up at him and realized that it was no joke and I jumped to my feet and threw my arms around him as I burst into tears.

You know those clips on Funniest Home Videos where the little five-year-old boy bursts into tears upon opening his new game system?

. . .Ya, I had one of those moments. . . .

After I hugged Dad I ran to Mom and cried some more as the family stared at me in bewilderment. I was totally convinced that a boat was not in the cards for this year so I was more than surprised.

I will miss the Chaparral, it has brought us a lot of fun and many adventures, but I know it's going to a great home (my cousins) and we will get to see it at least once a year at Powell. I can't wait to see our new baby, the Malibu, in a couple of weeks . . . stay posted for more info and pics as we rock out the summer on the lake!


baucomfamily said...

I am so happy for you!!!! It is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

yeahhhh! Maybe your red hottie, could "date" our 'Black Pearl', I think it'll be a match made in heaven!!

Did you seriously cry? WOW! You are a girl after your Daddy's heart.!!