Clank, clank, protest the chains as I unhook them from my grandfather’s rusty old paddleboat. Slowly and carefully I turn it around so i can easily maneuver it away from the dock.
I clamber onto the miniature craft, settling down in the middle so I can steer and paddle without any trouble.
Splish, splosh, splish, splosh, the paddles say as my legs guide them to churn. I smile at the soothing rhythm and watch the special blue dragonflies I’ve come to love.
Suddenly, the rhythm changes and the boat becomes harder to steer. Glancing back, I notice that some seaweed has wrapped itself around the rudder.
I turn the steering pole so that the paddleboat is directed away from shore. Then I step onto one of the pontoons.
Hanging on to the faded, wooden seat for balance, I calculate the different heights of the pontoons, making sure that my weight won’t cause me an unexpected bath.
After coming to a pleasing conclusion, I tiptoe along the pontoon and slowly kneel down.
The seaweed is sharp and long. I tug it off of the rudder and watch as it slowly begins to sink. Then I get settled in my rightful place as captain again.
Out away from the dock and houses forever marooned in one spot, I get a whole different perspective of the lake. These few cottages off to my right look bright and inviting, reminding me of the colorful homes in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Steadily, I direct the paddleboat in a half-circle to go back to the cottage.
The boat rubs against the blue bumpers and I grab the poles to keep it close to the dock. I get off and hook it back up.
The tiny vessel doesn’t look any different since before I took my ride. She just sits there, waiting for the next outing, waiting, waiting, always waiting…