Every time we turn around, something is falling apart.
We began the summer preparing for Tyler’s high school graduation party. Having invited 80 guests, we rented a tent, hired a caterer, I prepared some dishes myself, decorated with balloons and streamers– classy grey, black and white theme– and stood back, ready for the guests to arrive. Only when the guests arrived, so did the gusts of wind, the driving rain and the hail (yes, hail, in the beginning of July). We scurried the guests inside to watch the streamers come undone, the plastic cloths flying off the tables and the balloons sagging to the ground. Once it appeared to break, we bustled outside with a team of beach towels to dry the tables and chairs. As soon as we were done, another driving rain came thundering down. I said, “Fuck it” and thought, what can I do? let it ruin the day? I think not. I placed a dry pile of towels by the door and proceeded with the party.
It’s the first summer with the new boat. One week into summer, we take it out on a cool evening night– Anthony, Alexa and I. Definitely a sweatshirt night, as far as the riding in the cool and constant ocean breeze, we set out for our voyage run on Long Island Sound. This boat is bigger, roomier around the center console with a wider bench for lounging at the bow of the boat. Alexa and I are sharing earbuds, listening to upbeat music, singing to our hearts content on the way out; we can feel the speed and hear the motor humming. The sun begins to set, and we snap pictures to capture the moment, on the way back. And suddenly, the boat stalls. Anthony starts it up, but can’t get past going 7 miles per hour, so what took us 30 minutes to get out, took us considerably longer to get in. We saw SeaTow on three separate occasions coming in– a bad omen, as we put-putted our way back to the dock– the darkness ascending rapidly. At one point, fear set in; it was becoming cold, we were wet from the waves and I imagined us waiting in queue for SeaTow to come get us, shivering, stranded out at sea. I prayed. When we reached the No Wake Zone, the motor seemed to be stuttering more and more and I prayed we’d get into the slip without hitting any other boats. As we turned left into “C” dock, we stalled again, Alexa and I on opposite sides of the boat in ready position in case we were to bump another boat. Anthony tried and tried again to turn over the motor, but nothing… we continued to coast. A man saw we were in distress from the dock and rushed to our dockside. The nose of the boat veered off to the left, bumping the dock, as the man, in waiting, grabbed hold of the back. I held onto the dock, walking it in with my hands as the man pulled. We arrived safely, but our motor was dead– and would remain so for the next three weeks while we waited.
Now, Ryan, is living on the Cape working (his externship) at The Chatham Bars Inn with no car. A good lesson for him, while his brother is home using their shared car to drive to an from work each day. We agreed to a compromise with Ryan, that he could have shared-said car when we come up to the Cape for our vacation in August (since Tyler will have only one week of work left when we come home before he goes off to school). In order to ready their 1999 Ford Escort for the trek to the Cape, we needed to spend some pretty hefty money for a complete overhaul to keep it working, for it wouldn’t even pass emissions in the condition it was in.
Fluke storm #2… tornado warnings, hail, buckets of rain, wind, thunder lightening… (Al Gore is onto something, I’m thinking). In truth, I usually LOVE storms like this (sans tornado warnings). I like to sit outside on my front porch and watch the light show in the sky, never flinching once at the loud claps above. Normally. Well, on this day– the thunder was so loud that it shook my whole house, and the lightening lit up the whole sky. It was so strong, you could almost see it touch the ground. But, instead of seeing it, we felt the ramifications of it when it took out my husband’s work computer and phone, the dog fence and the air conditioning unit.
On two separate occasions, we also had issues with the windless anchor we’d looked so forward to having, a feature in the new boat we didn’t have in the first one. This boat is three feet longer than the first, so it fits more snuggly into the slip. A period of adjusting the navigation in and out of the slip was necessary. At the start of one of our first trips, the stern of our boat swung out, from a strong gust of wind, and stalled simultaneously, causing the top of our motor to get stuck beneath the windless of our across-the-dock-neighbor, thus, making a dent in the top of our motor. Later in the season, our windless ceased working and needed repair.
My husband, not fond of the pool– he goes in it an obligatory one time per summer– perhaps because he is the primary care taker. He cusses it from Memorial Day until Labor Day. So, of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, this summer, the pool filter is on the fritz. And because he is the handy man that he is– of course, he insists on trying to fix it about umpteen times (since we’d had the pool guy out earlier to fix a leak in the pool, which he informed us the “fix” would be temporary, getting us through the summer, but we’d need to replace the lining next summer in order to fully repair the leak). Finally, he had to give in and make a phone call, and the pool filter is finally running like a charm.
I don’t recall a season of so many repairs. Perhaps it’s where we are in our lives, and the status of our “things” and I keep reminding us that they are only “things”. I am reminded of our family motto: