This is my dream – beautiful boat sailing into the clear blue warm waters of the South Pacific. Reality is a little bit different, on more than one count.
Our sailboat came to us “free” by way of an acquaintance of an acquaintances friends brothers girlfriends nephew. It was thrilling! I’ve always wanted a sail boat and my husband could hardly argue with “free”, right? It just needed a little work, just a little – couldn’t he see that? It wouldn’t cost much at all and in two weeks in would be done and in the water. What a deal!
In the months that have past since we legally signed the adoption papers from a guy who could hardly wait to sign it over, our lovely lady has sat at the marina, in dry dock. She looks less than dreamy, her worn old sails wound tightly around the boom, a boom that houses hornets we can’t seem to get rid of. Not that the entire interior was dry rot, just about ninety percent of it I’d say. And it would have been fine without the exterior paint job and new stripping, it just wouldn’t have been quite so cute, and she has to be cute if nothing else. Right?
Our son has been a lifesaver. He has worked tirelessly and cheerfully on “The Adeline,” ripping out and putting back the entire interior of the boat. He has calked, drilled, sanded, reinforced, fiber-glassed, and replaced everything and anything there was, and not because he wanted to; but because it had to be done. Good thing she’s not any bigger than she is. The hours we have put in are adding up to ridiculous, and I have put in about half of what he has.
As we bid each other farewell yesterday, packing up a truck load of tools, replacing lids on paint cans, securing tarps over the boat, we looked exhaustedly at each other. “I’m sick of this,” I had to admit. “Me too,” he agreed. “Mom, if anyone ever offers you anything free again in your whole life, run for it.”
We parted ways, making plans to meet the following week. Weary bones and sore muscles settling behind our steering wheels. I wondered if I’d ever get all the paint out of my hair. I’m sure he was wondering why he’d ever agreed to do this. Yet, the prospect of putting a sailboat in the water on a nice sunny day with a good wind is enchanting, isn’t it? I only hope we live to see the day.