on boat slips and time warps

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore.  Specifically, on the small, lazy, and peaceful Sassafras River.  We were an hour and change from Washington, Baltimore, and DC, but felt a million miles away (mostly in a good way, except for when I was a teenager.) 

Every summer morning from age 14-19. I walked across the street and down to the hill to my summer job at Georgetown Yacht Basin.  It's a marina, filled to the brim with stunning sailboats, luxury yachts, people spending the summer relaxing, and people navigating the Bay and on the way elsewhere for adventure, after stopping for a tankful, a night, a shower.

With my fair Irish complexion, I wasn't fit for the docks.  Working on the docks meant being outside all day, fueling up boats, receiving visitors into slips and tying them up, bagging ice to sell, and other things that make you very tan and inordinately sweaty in the wet blanket that is Maryland summer.

I worked in the blissfully air-conditioned marine store.  From Monday through Thursday, I was primarily occupied selling boat parts to the cast of characters that worked as mechanics in the Repair Shop.  On weekends, I sold Tervis Tumblers and clamshell shaped Lucite chip and dip bowl sets to the wives.  And bathing suits.  And I sold Sperry's and Clearly Canadian (!) to EVERYONE.

I do regret not learning how to sail.  



*     *     *     *     *

At the going rate, I expect that what Jack and Sawyer will remember most about summer is swimming.  At his outstanding summer camp, Jack takes a few field trips a week and swims EVERY DAY.  He comes home soggy and happy, with the short fuse that comes from having zero percent body fat and swimming EVERY DAY.  He is often hangry.  We have learned to navigate this, mostly.



Sawyer doesn't know how to swim yet, but he's learning.  Every Tuesday and Thursday, all summer, he and I have made our merry way to one of our lovely neighborhood pools so that Sawyer can attend a swim lesson.  His teacher is funny, patient, creative, and awesome.

At yesterday's lesson, he made a huge leap forward in progress.  He didn't freak out when he was dunked underwater.  He put his face in the water and blew bubbles BY CHOICE!  When told to kick, he kicked with ENTHUSIASM!  He was clearly delighted with himself, and then delighted again by the delight of his teacher and and me, sitting poolside.  



When I remember this summer, I will remember taking Sawyer to swim lessons.

*     *     *     *     *

I approached this summer with my trademark perfectionism.  I made a gargantuan rainbow poster filled with summer activities for the boys and I.  At this point in the summer, I'd say we've done respectably well on crossing things off -- barely.  Many a morning filled with ambition about TODAY being the day for a lemonade stand! trailed off into naps and MineCraft and tickle fights.  I am, I suspect, a Pinterest fail.

Come to think of it, what I remember about summers growing up are lazy nights talking to friends on the water, concerts at Merriweather Post, and the general sense of well-being that comes from being tan and having friends and not having a lot on your schedule.

Come to think of it, maybe I'm not a Pinterest fail.  And while sailing would have been nice, I'm okay with my summers, all of them, just as they are.

Hope you enjoy some well-being today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Sunday, July 31, 2016

on boat slips and time warps

I grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore.  Specifically, on the small, lazy, and peaceful Sassafras River.  We were an hour and change from Washington, Baltimore, and DC, but felt a million miles away (mostly in a good way, except for when I was a teenager.) 

Every summer morning from age 14-19. I walked across the street and down to the hill to my summer job at Georgetown Yacht Basin.  It's a marina, filled to the brim with stunning sailboats, luxury yachts, people spending the summer relaxing, and people navigating the Bay and on the way elsewhere for adventure, after stopping for a tankful, a night, a shower.

With my fair Irish complexion, I wasn't fit for the docks.  Working on the docks meant being outside all day, fueling up boats, receiving visitors into slips and tying them up, bagging ice to sell, and other things that make you very tan and inordinately sweaty in the wet blanket that is Maryland summer.

I worked in the blissfully air-conditioned marine store.  From Monday through Thursday, I was primarily occupied selling boat parts to the cast of characters that worked as mechanics in the Repair Shop.  On weekends, I sold Tervis Tumblers and clamshell shaped Lucite chip and dip bowl sets to the wives.  And bathing suits.  And I sold Sperry's and Clearly Canadian (!) to EVERYONE.

I do regret not learning how to sail.  



*     *     *     *     *

At the going rate, I expect that what Jack and Sawyer will remember most about summer is swimming.  At his outstanding summer camp, Jack takes a few field trips a week and swims EVERY DAY.  He comes home soggy and happy, with the short fuse that comes from having zero percent body fat and swimming EVERY DAY.  He is often hangry.  We have learned to navigate this, mostly.



Sawyer doesn't know how to swim yet, but he's learning.  Every Tuesday and Thursday, all summer, he and I have made our merry way to one of our lovely neighborhood pools so that Sawyer can attend a swim lesson.  His teacher is funny, patient, creative, and awesome.

At yesterday's lesson, he made a huge leap forward in progress.  He didn't freak out when he was dunked underwater.  He put his face in the water and blew bubbles BY CHOICE!  When told to kick, he kicked with ENTHUSIASM!  He was clearly delighted with himself, and then delighted again by the delight of his teacher and and me, sitting poolside.  



When I remember this summer, I will remember taking Sawyer to swim lessons.

*     *     *     *     *

I approached this summer with my trademark perfectionism.  I made a gargantuan rainbow poster filled with summer activities for the boys and I.  At this point in the summer, I'd say we've done respectably well on crossing things off -- barely.  Many a morning filled with ambition about TODAY being the day for a lemonade stand! trailed off into naps and MineCraft and tickle fights.  I am, I suspect, a Pinterest fail.

Come to think of it, what I remember about summers growing up are lazy nights talking to friends on the water, concerts at Merriweather Post, and the general sense of well-being that comes from being tan and having friends and not having a lot on your schedule.

Come to think of it, maybe I'm not a Pinterest fail.  And while sailing would have been nice, I'm okay with my summers, all of them, just as they are.

Hope you enjoy some well-being today.

Talk soon,
Heather

 
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