Saturday, July 12, 2014

Adventure on the high seas...

Ahoy Mateys!

It's been a fun filled week as we packed up the Family Truckster (or in our case, the handicapped van; doesn't have quite the same ring to it though, does it?) and made the trek to Rangeley for our annual summer vacation.

Mountain vistas. Tubing on the lake. Multiple moose sightings. Fun little shops to blow all your money in  peruse. Bowling. Yes, my friends, we did it all.














There was one teensy little, well, we'll just call it a life lesson.

It all started when my dad informed us he had rented a pontoon boat so the whole family could enjoy an afternoon together on the lake. And naturally, all I could think of was the movie, The Great Outdoors, with John Candy and Dan Akroyd. You know the one; family vacation at the lake and John Candy wants to take a cruise on the lake in a pontoon boat but Dan Akroyd wants a speed boat? Come on, you must know this movie! No? Okay, well after you read this, go rent that movie. Meanwhile, here's the scene I'm speaking of:


Roman: I think we should go into town tomorrow and pick up a ski boat. Whaddya say? Sound good, guys? Uncle Roman'll blow some coin on a kick-ass drag boat!
Chet: That's OK, we're renting a pontoon boat.
Roman: Pontoon boat? What the hell are you gonna do with a pontoon boat? Retake Omaha Beach?


See? Funny stuff. Anyway, I digress. Back to my tale....

I was a little hesitant because it was pretty windy that day. Like, really windy. Dad made the comment that if the wind hadn't flunked out by the time we were supposed to go, then we would just scrap the whole thing. Also, Tess is not exactly an "outdoors" kinda gal. She's more, put my movie on and make sure I'm warm and comfy type kid.

Well, three o'clock rolled around and I went down to dad's cabin to inquire whether we were still going. In my humble opinion, the wind had not let go but he had other ideas so we all packed up and headed down to the marina.

The pontoon boat we had rented for the afternoon had definitely seen better days but we were not deterred by a few dents and shredded seat cushions! Not us by gosh and by golly! So in hopped  Dad, Ann, and Kris, with Drey and Becca. Next went Blake and Bobby with the tube raft for tubing should the mood strike. They finally got that situated so that I could climb aboard with Oreo, who by the way, gets motion sick and bonus, was completely and totally freaked out by what she must have thought, by the way I had to literally drag her on to the boat, was her imminent demise. Okay, so finally  Oreo was on the boat. Terrified, but on. I handed her leash off to Kris so I could "help" get Tess on the boat. Of course by "help", I mean screech gently and soothingly talk to Oreo and promise her we really weren't trying to kill her while simultaneously giving orders to dad and Charlie on the best way to load Tess, who was in her wheelchair, onto the boat.


The hubby and my dad made it abundantly clear they didn't need my nagging most useful advice so I took a seat and let them finish without my help. Humph!

Jeff had wisely decided to take the small speedboat to tag along beside us with so the kids could go tubing from that (and he was able to be alone 90% of the time-like I said, wise man) and we would anchor our little pontoon boat and just leisurely watch.

Finally, we were all aboard and it was time to set sail!

The boat immediately stalled.

No worries. We're all hearty fishermen here! We'll get her to go!

It stalled again. I shit you not.

At last the little boat that could sputtered to a start and we were off!

Well, as off as you can be in a pontoon boat that is being besieged by wind and waves.

Kris observed that we were the only two boats on the lake. I observed water spraying up over onto us as we hit the chop and then washing over the decking. Oreo took one look at that water and, like a bullet out of a gun, shot herself onto the bench seat with me and laid across my lap, panting and shaking, while trying to bury her head in my armpit to hide from the "rogue waves" she must have been seeing in her hysterical frame of mind.

Tess just looked pissed to be there.



So happy...not. But she rallied later and ended up thinking it was fun!




Naturally we all found this quite amusing. Who, but us, would have a whole boatload full on the lake on one of the windiest day of the summer, complete with disabled child and dog who did not know how to swim?



This picture does ZERO justice to just how choppy it really was.


After about an hour of slamming into the little waves, and me feeling convinced the Oreo was going to vomit everything she's ever eaten in her life onto my feet, we made it to a lee where the wind wasn't so bad and the lake was calm.

We stayed there for about another half hour while the kids swam, and went tubing, then we decided it was time to head back in. Oreo had even calmed down by this point and was actually enjoying the ride as was Tessie, who decided, like everything else now, as long as Oreo is there, she's cool with whatever is going on.

We got safely back to shore and all headed back to our cabins. The next day I went with Dad, Ann, Blake and Bobby to go in my dad's speedboat for a cruise around the lake while Blake and Bobby were being towed in the tube. As we park at the marina we see our little pontoon boat up on the shore. The owner saw dad and came over to tell him that the whole time we had been out in the boat, one of the pontoons had had a small hole in it.

We had been sinking the.whole.damn.time.we.were.out.there.

Naturally.



Our custom pontoon boat


Pshaw! Nothing a little bondo won't fix!



And do you want to hear the best part? The absolute clincher that basically sums us up as a family?

The only person on that boat who had a life jacket on was the dog.

Not the kids. Not even the kid in the wheelchair.

The dog.




It's called good parenting, my friends.  Or complete and total idiocy.  I'll let you be the judge.

PS I still think it's funny. :)

PPS There really was never any danger to Tess. Seriously. Don't send DHS to my house. Tess was very safe and we had a contingency plan all along. ;)





2 comments:

  1. (With a HUGE smile & actually Laughing Out Loud) I'm saying this post made my day. Not because of your....hmmmmmm....mis-judgment....shall we call it...but the way you write it all day in a nail biting story for us all to enjoy. Thrilled that you all enjoyed yourself and happy to read that Oreo & Tess enjoyed the day because of each other :)
    " And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." ~Romans 8:28
    This is why I believe you all made it safely ((HUGS))

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  2. Thanks, Joanna -- another delightful entry for what I hope will be your book someday!

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