Saturday, June 8, 2024

Summer is here!!

 I’ve always loved summer. When I was young it meant spending many afternoons out on the lake in our boat or along the shore splashing and playing with siblings and friends. My dad was a big boat person which is amazing because he grew up in landlocked Iowa. He did fish in several rivers near here as a young man but where did he fathom the idea of becoming a boating man? It’s a wonder. 

We left Iowa for Fairmount, MN the summer before I started kindergarten and we bought a big old stucco house on a hill straight up from Budd Lake. This is where I remember splashing and playing in the water. We learned to water ski here starting off from shore with an adult holding on to us to keep us straight, skis up, arms out. In the beginning we were often dragged for a bit, faces full of water before dropping off. Eventually we got the hang of it and went round and round the lake pulled behind our red boat. We spent Sundays after church out on the lake where we would read in the boat with snacks in between skiing and racing around. 

There was a sense of freedom on the boat and the lake. It seemed charmed even though the boat was small-ish. Eventually my dad did buy a bigger boat but my mom was mad at him for weeks. Once we moved to New Ulm we started to travel with the boat. We found lakes and rivers  around that region to enjoy including the St Croix and Mississippi River and Lake Superior which was crazy with all the large cargo ships, three times our size. 

Eventually we moved to the Okoboji area in the NW corner of Iowa and that was a spectacular chain of lakes to enjoy. I spent many days on that lake skiing, learning to slalom, and racing around on our blue boat. 

I miss those days of adventure and joy. The sun strong on your body, the water cool and refreshing, and the laughter. Happy times. 

Now my happy times are traveling with my children. Three years ago we traveled to the Finger Lakes region of NY and Tristan’s choice was for us to rent a boat! We found a marina and did just that with both he and I driving the boat around. We jumped in and enjoyed the fresh water and enjoyed checking out the waterfalls around the south part of the lake. It made me happy that he was drawn to boating. 

I also love heading north to boat on Minnetonka with my brother and his family. He loves to race around the lake just like our dad did. We used to beg my dad to go fast which would make my mom yell as things (including us) would fly up in the boat. Such joy. 

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