Day 39: Cleaning and Fun

William manuevers Ely boat into the lake

Tuesday went quickly, very quickly. Before I knew it, it was afternoon and I felt as if I had not accomplished much. Though in reflection, it was busy and it counted for many reasons and people – including me.

The cottage has two boats: a pontoon boat and a small wooden boat lovingly called ‘Ely Boat.’ Ely Boat was at the cottage when Beth as growing up and has been around for William and Olivia. Ely Boat is striking; built in the 1940s it is painted blue and white with red upholstery. However, the best feature is its power plant – a 3 HP lawnmower motor. It is not fast but is perfect (and legal) for a twelve year-old on Lake Margrethe. He uses it to go fishing; and ride it up and down the lakeshore. I have even ridden it across the lake and back. The first order of the day was to get Ely Boat into the water and out of the garage. Mr. Weaver was anxious to help and I wanted to ease his stress – his perspective was it was July and we did not Ely Boat in the water. We had not been here but a week and I had only been here two full days and we had accomplished other priorities. William hooked up the trailer and Beth, William, and I loaded into the car and drove to the boat ramp at the bottom of the street. We had her in the water and William had her on the boatlift by the time we returned to the cottage. All was good at the cottage – the pontoon and Ely Boat presided over the lakeshore.

By early afternoon, I had finished Monday’s post and driven to town to get a fishing license and use the internet at the coffeehouse downtown – the same coffeehouse I skipped on Monday. I took William along. He had lost a couple of his lures at camp and I wanted to make sure he had them for our fishing adventures this summer. I wish I knew more about fishing; he really wants to learn to fish and asked a million questions at the shop. I am able to keep up with only a few of them and we left for our next stop, The Bicycle Shop. It is actually named The Bicycle Shop and is well known in the area for its stock and advice. William has outgrown his current bike and we are looking to replace it. Beth had looked before we went to camp the week before last, but William and I had not looked. We walked in and were greeted promptly – this never happens back home. The sales person listened and then suggested a bike, surprisingly a reasonable priced Trek model. He suggested that William take a test ride around the block and he and I talked. He answered a few questions and William was back – he wanted the bike. I needed to think about it and talk to Beth. I asked a few more questions and William look around and had questions about other bikes. By the time we left, without a bike, William had it narrowed to two choices – both Treks one with a steel frame the other with an aluminum frame. It was perhaps the best experience I have ever had in a bike shop. We walked into the coffeehouse – actually Flowers by Josie where they sell coffee and offer free Wi-Fi on the side. I gave William money, my order – a black eye, and told him he could order a smoothie; then I sat down and setup to work. I needed to post Monday’s post – pictures by dial up take a long time – and I was done in fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes for William, or any twelve-year-old, is a long time and he had since returned to The Bicycle Shop while I had finished my work. He had a light and other accessories all selected – I assured him the shop would have them when we came back – perhaps by week’s end.

 With Ely Boat out of the garage – it was clear it needed cleaning. A lot can happen between Labor Day and Independence Day and the garage was in need of cleaning and organizing. The weather has been hot, humid, with hardly any wind the past few days and it made working in the garage seem like, work. William and Olivia were more interested in fishing and boating and did not help. About every fifteen minutes or so one would ask – “Can we go fishing?” or “When are we going fishing?” or in Olivia’s case – “When are we going ski skimming?” My answer was always, “When I am finished with garage, can you help?” and they were quickly gone. It took some time but I got the trailer in the garage and everything organized, even our second car was in the garage, which freed up the driveway for use by two cars.

Our first fishing expedition of the summer

After dinner, we hit the water. It was windy and the water was choppy on our side of the lake, so we took the boat to the other side of the lake where it is usually calmer. Olivia went ski skimming and William skied. Olivia had a better day than yesterday and we were back at the dock as the sun was setting. Everyone cooperated and we had the pontoon wrapped up and ready for night before we hopped into Ely Boat for our fishing expedition. William had poles rigged and ready for the trip. We pushed out and Ely put-putted towards the middle of the lake and the drop-off. We arrived in the fishing area and stopped our motor. The wind had died and we just drifted slowly. All of us cast our lines in the water. I slowly reeled mine in several times before I stored my pole and helped Olivia. It was fun and I looked up at the sky and marveled at the light blue to dark blue shift across the lake as the sun’s light disappeared below the western horizon. I counted a couple of stars and announced one last cast before we headed Ely back in for the night.

The coming of night signaled an end to a busy day that counted for many, including me. Summer is going well and I am enjoying time with my family. I need to shift to thinking about school in the coming days and making plans for transition back to real life. Nevertheless, I have forty-three more days of summer and I plan to make them count.

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