Showing hubby I know best on the water

Published 8:36 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

I want a kayak. Not just any kayak, but a shiny pink one with a matching oar that will help me whoosh gracefully through the water as I dip the flattened paddles on either end beneath the smooth surface of the lake, and places for my dogs to sit so they can keep their eyes peeled for cool fish and alligators.

I hint strongly to hubby when we pass kayak displays. I even point out the pink oars, and one time there was a pink life jacket with flames on it. But whenever I mention that really, the local kayaking crowd is suffering without me, he just rolls his eyes and says,

“Remember Lake Delanor?”

A couple of years ago, we decided to pack up the pooches and a picnic and head to FDR State Park for the afternoon. We love to walk along some of the less exhausting trails, and around fifteen-acre Lake Delanor. There are boats and kayaks lined up on the shore, and we’d talked about renting one on several trips, but on that day, we did it.

I was so excited. The folks at the boat-rental counter stared at me with their eyebrows raised into their hairlines as I tried on the dull ol’ blue and red life jackets, jabbering about how I was going to row all over that lake and didn’t they have any pink oars and hey, how about we organize a regatta?

I wanted a canoe, but hubby stood behind me and made a cutting motion across his neck when I told the lady I’d be a natural, due to my Native American heritage. Suddenly, they were all sold out of canoes, so we got a little aluminum boat.

I insisted on driving. hubby pushed the boat into the water and I hopped into the hull. I needed to steer the boat about twenty feet over to the dock, so that the boys could load up, and I took off confidently, but I think the oars were defective, because I did not glide, nor did I skim.

That dratted little boat went in circles all around the edge of the lake; large circles and tiny circles, and no matter what I did, it would not pull up to the dock.

Hubby tried not to laugh. He was patient, but we only had the boat for an hour, so after about fifteen minutes, he began calling out instructions that I pretended to ignore but secretly followed, and when I finally scraped the boat against the little cement dock and he and the dogs hopped in, I didn’t fuss when he took the oars.

A kayak would be different though, I’m pretty sure.

Pepper Ellis Hageback is a resident of LaGrange.