Tara is headed out of town for eight days today.
That’s a long stretch—pretty sure the most time we’ll have spent apart since we got together—but it’s for a good cause. She’s going to Nevada to pick up our boat.
“Our boat,” you say? Why, yes. I haven’t mentioned it before because it seemed like a far-fetched idea at first, but last summer, her dad came out for a visit, with his boat in tow. He was talking about how he wanted to upgrade, and I said, “I’ve always wanted a boat!” Without missing a beat, he replied, “Do you want this boat?” Now, when I uttered those words, they were nothing more than an offhand comment. Kind of like that time I said to Tara, “Hey, we should move to Rapid City”…and we did.
My offhand comments tend to take on lives of their own.
I love boats, but I’ve never owned one, and have very little experience even riding in them. Is “riding” the correct term? This is how little I know about boats. I think I liked the idea of them; they seem good in theory, but then you start thinking about storage and maintenance and upkeep and “Gilligan’s Island” (a “three-hour tour,” my ass!), and it all seems overwhelming. So we’re sitting outside on the patio, this offer of a free boat is dangling in the air, seconds after I’ve made a comment about always wanting one, and I can’t exactly retract my words without looking like an idiot.
So naturally, I say, “Yes! That would be awesome!!!”
Three exclamation marks, guys. That was the level of enthusiasm I expressed in my response.
And I thanked him profusely, because it’s a very generous offer. It’s a Crestliner fishing boat…I don’t have any specs beyond that (because I don’t know boats!), maybe 16′, with a 75 HP outboard motor. I’ll be sure to post plenty of pics when she comes home. “She” being the boat, not Tara, although I guess that applies to both.
This all occurred nearly 11 months ago, and I have since come around. I’m back to wanting a boat for real, not just in theory. Good thing, because we’re about to have one. There are so many great lakes and reservoirs in the Black Hills, and the Missouri River is a couple of hours away. Walleye are the state fish. Walleye are delicious. I see a fishing license in my future (or at least in Tara’s future…somebody’s gotta drive the boat, right?).
(Is “drive the boat” the correct term?!)
The original plan was to meet up at a campground in Wyoming this month—the halfway point—and take possession of the boat then, but…Covid.
I feel like “, but…Covid” is the wrap-up to a lot of sentences these days.
Wyoming is basically closed to out-of-state residents. At least their campgrounds are. We thought about holding off until next summer, but then Tara talked to Randy and he was eager to get us the boat, and I was eager to have the boat, so she decided to take a trip to Ely and pick it up. She’ll also get to spend time with her sisters and nephews and friends. She can make an IKEA run, a Trader Joe’s run, and a Total Wine run. It will be a beneficial and productive trip, and when she comes back, we’ll have a nice boat with a brand new coat of paint parked in the driveway. Randy is also supplying us with a trailer and installing a hitch. How cool is that?
(I really hope this isn’t my future)
The bad part, of course, is that I can’t go…and we won’t get to spend the 4th of July together. I simply do not have the vacation time available, and need to save what little PTO I do have for my parents’ visit next month and the maybe-it-will-still-happen family reunion in September. So I’ll be holding down the fort, missing my wife like crazy but eating all the food she doesn’t like. Which is a pretty lengthy list, if I’m being honest. The joys of marrying a picky eater! Seriously, I’m digging up recipes I haven’t made in years, former faves that I no longer bother cooking because Tara won’t eat them. At least her absence will evoke all sorts of feelings of nostalgia in the kitchen.
I should start a blog series called “Bachelor Chronicles” and recount my daily adventures sans wife, but I fear they would be v. boring. Remember, I’m a cargo shorts-wearing dad. You would be subjected to tales about my ten-minute commute and the article I wrote about Hill City and the chicken adobo I cooked and the weeds I pulled in the backyard.
Come to think about it, I did devote an entire post to pulling dandelions, so maybe this idea isn’t so far-fetched after all…