When we were little, my dad bought his first boat and decided to take us all to the lake to learn to ski. I don’t remember how old we were, but we were pretty young… maybe 6, 7 and 8 at the time. We were so excited! We just thought this was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
When we got to the lake, Dad instructed us on how he was going to slowly back the boat (trailer and all) down the ramp with us in it. Mom was going to be holding the rope, so NOTHING was going to happen to us. But, we needed to be still and quiet so that we would not fall out. We were all dressed in life vests, and every safety precaution had been made. Mom was smiling, but let me tell you that she worries about EVERYTHING, so I’m sure her brain was going about 100 mph.
So… Dad backed the boat down the ramp and we are sitting there quietly (yeah right!)… We weren’t the quiet types. We were too excited to be quiet. And we just couldn’t wait to get moving. But, while Dad was parking the car and trailer, we noticed that the boat was filling up with water. It was coming in fairly quickly and we all started yelling. Dad came running and jumped in to help us bail out water. Mind you, it wasn’t THAT much water, but it was coming in faster than we could bail it out. I wish I could tell you that we were calm… but that would be a lie, and I don’t lie. J But, Dad quickly figured out that we weren’t sinking! He had just forgot to plug the drain holes in the back, and water was coming in there. Crisis averted… let’s ski!
So… after we drove around the lake for a little while, Dad finally drove us out to the middle to let us figure out this skiing thing. He talked to us about boating safety and asked Mom if she wanted to learn to drive. Of course, she said NO WAY! But, Dad turned off the boat, got out of the driver’s seat and sat on the edge of the boat. He was bound and determined that she was going to drive. He explained that she HAD to know how because if something happened to him, she wouldn’t be able to get the boat back to shore. She quickly explained that SHE wasn’t going to let anything happen to him. (Smile) Of course, we all WANTED to learn to drive the boat, and we wanted to learn to SKI! So, we wanted them to get on with this lesson and get us in the water.
Mom wouldn’t budge. She sat there and continued to say that she didn’t want to learn to drive. So then my Dad made a fatal mistake! He sassed my Mom! I can remember it like it was yesterday. He said “LINDA, you’re a chicken! You’ve got a yellow streak down your back as wide as you are! And it’s this wide! ” Then he held up his hands pretty far apart. OH NO he didn’t! Oooohhhhh! Mom was out of her seat in a flash and gave him a big shove. Dad went right over the edge backwards. Mom gave us the “Oh Crap “ look and we just sat there in SHOCK! The next thing that happened was a blur. In one swift move, Dad came up and out of the water like a flying fish! I tell you, it was like he pushed off the bottom and just landed in the boat all in one move. And he was NOT happy! He started emptying his pockets. Bam… wet wallet on the floor of the boat… Bam! keys… bam! sunglasses. He didn’t say a word. NO ONE did! You have never (and probably will NEVER) see the three of us so quiet (or so still). We were scared to death to move!
Dad grabbed the keys, cranked the boat and drove back to the shore in DEAD silence. We knew better than to whine about not getting to ski. We knew better than to say a word! We also knew better than to even look at each other because one of us would probably start crying, or worse… start laughing. I’m pretty sure no one spoke on the way home either. So, there we sat… in the back seat staring straight ahead for what seemed like hours. But, as soon as we got home, we couldn’t hold it any more. We ran to the boys’ room and started laughing. Then Mom came in to check on us and she started laughing (and crying at the same time). And eventually, Dad joined us and laughed it off too.
Yes, we did finally get to learn how to ski that summer. And, over the years, we all learned to drive the boat. (None of us inherited that yellow streak from Mom. Haha!) Mom even learned to drive the boat so Dad could ski. But, when Dad tried to belly ski and swallowed way to much water because his precious children misread his “stop” hand signals and told her to speed up, she opted to never drive the boat again. J Let me defend her… she wasn’t getting back at him for the chicken remark, I promise! It was clearly our fault! Yet, still to this day, when I hear someone say “You’re a chicken”… I just chuckle and hope they NEVER say it to my Mom. J