When I was growing up, boating was a favorite summertime activity. I should maybe say the ONLY summertime activity. I turned 12 the spring that my dad bought his first speedboat. From that time on, nearly every family vacation was a boating vacation of some time. Besides that, we took the boat out almost weekly, particularly after my older brother became so adept at driving and hauling it.
The boat had a radio and tape deck. When we weren't able to get reception for our favorite alternative station, we listened to Midnight Oil--mostly Diesel and Dust and Blue Sky Mining. When I hear those songs, even now, it reminds me so much of that carefree time. The post title is a Midnight Oil song from the early 90's, and makes a case for being on a short list of my favorite songs ever.
When my siblings began moving back to Utah a couple of years ago, and despite being busy with their own families and lives, my dad upgraded to a newer model boat. In some ways, he has regretted it ever since. Boating trips are few and far between. We made an effort to go while I was staying out there, and it was fairly large production.
My older brother was unable to come, but the other three kids plus two spouses and seven children under the age of nine also. At one point, my dad had 5 little grandsons in the boat with him, who all wanted a pull on the "big tube," even though two of them were only three years old. They all got a turn to ride in the prow, bounce around in the tube at 20 mph, and help grandpa drive.
I've seldom seen my dad so happy. He pretended to be grumping about "herding cats," when it came to those little fellows, but he was really in his element.
I slalomed skiied for the first time in two years, and I got up on my first try. My younger sister did the same.
The best part of the evening? Our hilarious punk of a younger brother, not yet 30, took THREE tries before he got out of the water though back in the day he was always better than we were. As he climbed back in the boat, knowing he had to face my younger sister, I wonder if he considered just swimming for shore? Her first words to him were, "STM and I have had six babies between us and WE got up on the first try."
Oh, yeah, good times.