In April 1968, my dad turned 55 and bought a boat-Hollywood, 16-foot, 65 horsepower Evinrude outboard-that provided more than a dozen years of pleasure. It was his first and only. Earlier in life he had a Firestone outboard that he would attach to rented jon boats. Some of my great fishing memories with dad came in the Hollywood. I'll turn 55 this coming May, and it looks like I'll have a little boat prior to then. And I'm excited (see the "Miles to Go" Listen to Life of a few weeks ago). This will be a first...sort of.
This will be my third boat, but actually my first. The true first was a jon boat purchased more than a dozen years ago that I was only able to use about a half-dozen times, but it continues to bring great pleasure to Cameron now. A few summers ago, I bought an inflatable nine-foot and six-horsepower outboard and that has brought Cameron and me some fun adventures. The boat-yet-to-be-purchased will be something that we (Cameron, Kim, Dion, Candice, Lillian, Justin, Roxie and me) can use, but not at the same time...it won't be that big! Things are different now with an expanding clan and it is time that I allow myself a boat that can be used for fishing, photo shoots, running around, family fun or just anchoring in the bay to write. I've never had a photo shoot on an island; I've never written to the sensation of moving waves and calling seagulls...and many other things that I haven't done but a boat will enable me to try.
Gerry has taken my Memories to Memoirs workshop several times and it is always a pleasure to hear how he is coming with his writings and revelations. One of the things that I emphasize for the attendees is that for all the firsts they have had in their lives, there are still many to be had. He was cited as Gardener of the Month recently, and when I congratulated him with a short e-mail, he replied:
"Every now and then, I even surprise myself! And, when it's a FIRST I always think of you! I've been through so many of your lectures on writing memoirs; FIRSTS remain prominent in my mind. When it happens, I smile and then say, 'Gee, Dion would be proud of me.'" And he is right; I am proud of, and for, him.
This purchase will be a first, of sorts. And I'm proud of me. More stories and memories are in the making.