I attended my high school reunion in Seattle this past weekend, an interesting experience for many reasons! I enjoyed the reminiscences, laughter, and conversations about families, careers, and news about fellow students. And, of course, I also managed to have a conversation about boats.
It turns out that the person who had come from furthest away to our reunion had traveled from Florida, by himself. At the last minute, his wife decided to stay home to try to keep their boat safe during storms that were predicted. (As those of you visiting this site no doubt know, Slidemoor can help keep your boat safe during stormy weather, but I digress…)
One of my friends asked him more details about his boat. Later she mentioned how much she has always loved boats. She added that especially when her kids were younger, she looked for opportunities to get them out on the water. Many of their boating activities were ferry trips, since they didn’t have friends with boats.
This mirrored my own early boating experiences, or rather the lack thereof. I sadly must confess that I managed to live my entire childhood without ever setting foot in a boat – aside from an occasional ferry trip.
I was a teenager when my parents first connected with friends who had a motor boat. My siblings and I were taken out for a short cruise around the harbor, after the adults came back from a longer fishing trip. I was thrilled to have this experience, but it was clearly a tidbit, and I wanted more. I still don’t agree with their decision to leave us young people behind, but it perhaps had to do with bathrooms, or the lack thereof, on their boat.
A few years later, I had another opportunity to go out in a boat. It was an impromptu trip with a colleague from one of my first jobs. He took me out on his parents’ boat after work. I recall enthusiastically wading through the water to help launch and later bring in the boat, trying not to ruin my favorite dress, slipping barefoot on sharp rocks having taken off my shoes.
Fast forward several years: I made up for lost time on the water. I ventured out in row boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, and ski boats. As a young adult, I passionately wanted to buy a boat, but at the time, didn’t have much savings, the knowledge or confidence about what to look for in a boat, nor did I have the means to store one…but I could, and did, dream.
Reunions are great for triggering memories and insights. Here are a few of my boating-related takeaways:
- Take “kids” on your boating adventures. Why not create some great memories together? Take advantage of the opportunity to pass along your knowledge and joy of boating. Also, keep in mind that “kids” sometimes hold grudges…for example, we recall very vividly how we took a “nature walk” instead of a fishing trip.
- Know your way around a boat? Teach a class, write a blog post, create a podcast, or in some way help out those who are curious and want to learn.
- In a position to donate? Consider contributing a boat trip as a raffle prize for a charity event!
- Have a boat? Invite friends, colleagues, neighbors and others – especially those who can’t do so on their own – out on the water.
My class reunion was a great reminder about the importance of friendships, taking opportunities, and enjoying experiences. Looking forward to the next one!