Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
It never occurred to me before just how much that house changed the course of my life. Or maybe it isn’t that it changed it directly, but it provided a platform full of potential. In the words of Chaos Theory speak – it was one heck of a flap of the butterfly’s wings.
Being kids, meant that we explored things. And living on the water, meant that we explored things involving water, and mud. I remember lots of mud. The kind of stinky, sucking, brown mud that eats your boots, and then your socks. Zak was pretty adventurous and somewhat outgoing then, and he made friends with the quahoggers that moored their boats out front, sometimes going out with them to “help.” He became obsessed with boats, whether they floated or moved was not as important as the fact that they were his. He collected derelict ones from around the harbor and brought them home, proudly, like a cat bringing home a dead bird for its master. He loved them all. My mother detested them all. Eventually I think some sort of deal was proposed, we, as a family, could get a real boat (meaning one that floated and had some way to propel itself), if he got rid of all of the dead boats, and never brought another one home. Believe it or not, he had hard time deciding what to do.
Turns out you can’t just return junk boats to where you found them washed up in some tiny little back cove. That’s serious business. Alice’s Restaurant type serious business. The harbor master came, or maybe it was the Coast Guard. Details not important, somebody official parked their boat in front of our house and knocked on our door, but my mom must have smiled sweetly (she’s always been good at that), because by the time they left it seemed they had sympathy for her predicament and Zak was off the hook for boat dumping.
The junk boats gone and the run in with law avoided, mom made good on her deal, and got us a little 7 or 8 foot dinghy that could be sailed or rowed around the cove. Zak set off doing just that. Like a kid with a new bike, he was a kid with a boat that worked. He could travel further and get more accomplished. Now he made friends with some people at the little yacht club across the way and soon enough was helping run crash boat for the Winter frostbite series. Basically, him and Whitehorse Bob would go around and help the guys that flipped over or broke down.
How he learned to sail I don’t actually recall. I think it had something to do with visiting our grand parents down in Florida and spending two weeks sailing around the keys on their boat, followed by a week or two of overnight summer camp where sailing was one of the activities.
He liked sailing, and the people he’d met at the yacht club, enough that he got mom and I involved. Mom would go out and crew for various people during the Summer Thursday night series, and I would go over for their beginning sailing class for kids. I remember being pretty unenthusiastic. I was one of the kids that went for the social aspect – there were two other girls my age that I liked and liked horses so we would make sure we ended up on the same boat and we giggle and talk as girls do. I didn’t really learn how to sail at all. Truth be told, I was afraid. The boat was big (19 feet), and when it got going it was fast and intimidating, and I didn’t want to run into anything. I understood that the wind was our power, and that was about it. I enjoyed the speed, so long as I wasn’t in charge, and I didn’t think we were gonna flip. Just like the kids I would later teach – I wanted to have fun, but I needed to feel safe.
(This post is part of The Renegade Ladies Series: the story of my mother and I and RAGGEDedge and Floyd and my 27th year. The story of a mother and daughter entrepreneurship. Its a story that starts with my childhood, because that is where the seeds for the adventure were planted.)