up and down the river

For my birthday and general kicks, my folks and some friends and I went down the river on Dad's boat. My sister May wrote beautiful things about it and my mama shared her pictures and thoughts here. Go get the backstory!

Dad and Mama in front of the boat, up in the yard in Lloyd.

"Is it so nice as all that?" asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

My sis May (in front) and one of my best friends, T. This was maybe T's second time on a boat smaller than an aircraft carrier.

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing," he went on dreamily: "messing—about—in—boats; messing—"

The Anni Sue, a massive barge, passed along our port side. I took 5 photos on it, one after the other, as it came - that's how long it was. Look at that guy - King of the River!

"Look ahead, Rat!" cried the Mole suddenly.

A pink sailboat with a "yard" full of purple flowers. If I could spend my life on the water, I would.

It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.

Dad, Mama, and my sis Jess making like an otter. Leaves fall from the cypress and other river trees, filling the river with tanic acid, making it look like good sweet tea. Cold, too, but perfect in the heat of the Florida June sun.

"—about in boats—or with boats," the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. "In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?"

May and T again. You should have seen T's face when dad hit the throttle and we sped into the wind!

The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leant back blissfully into the soft cushions. "What a day I'm having!" he said. "Let us start at once!"

(Wind in the Willows)


B.E. Earl said...


Happy Birthday!

Ms. Moon said...

Oh honey. That was beautiful.

May said...

I am loving every bit of this except for the last picture that shows just how fleshy and farmer tanned I am. But I do love you. And I love The Wind in the Willows.

downtown guy said...

Ha, you looked great! I love that one shot of you laughing.

gingermagnolia said...

That was lovely.

downtown guy said...

Thank you!