Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

Don’t follow in my footsteps

By Trena Eiden
Posted 3/2/21

We’re often told to follow in someone’s footsteps if we want to succeed. Don’t try that with me. If you’re aiming for any type of victory this side of heaven, I’d …

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Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

Don’t follow in my footsteps

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We’re often told to follow in someone’s footsteps if we want to succeed. Don’t try that with me. If you’re aiming for any type of victory this side of heaven, I’d suggest you run for cover if you see me coming. Thinking is not my strong point and if you know me at all, you’re already way ahead in understanding this.

Remember when we left the camper in the south last spring, because Gar said he wasn’t ever going to pull the camper back and forth 2,000 miles, one-way, ever again? Well, he never mentioned the boat.

To have a better understanding, you should know, we’ve had three motor-driven boats in our married life.

The first one, bought brand new when our kids were tiny, we learned to waterski/drown/freeze behind. We got busy in business and eventually sold it.

The second, a few years later, Gar felt would be good for fishing as it was cheaper and slower. After using and repairing it for a few years, we sold it, too.

The third, and might I add, final, was older and bigger — way bigger. So big, in fact, Gar and I had trouble loading it by ourselves.

If someone reading this is a boat person, perhaps you are scoffing because there are always ways to efficiently load a boat, and I’m with you, but dumb and dumber are not the jokers for the job. Watching us would have caused you angst and been uncomfortable at the same level as our children watching us navigate our cellphones. Can you say, “cringe-worthy?” 

So here we were, deciding what to do with the current watercraft, until I/we had an epiphany: Why not take it to Florida? We knew it had a problem with the carburetor, but we’d get that fixed there. This idea, ridiculous as any we’ve had (and let me assure you, we’ve had a lot of bad ideas), became not entirely dopey. This would be a mode of transportation to ferry packages, parcels and Christmas presents all across America. 

Our girl, Lunny, flew in to accompany us on our drive and helped us load in snow and freezing wind. Since she’s been living in California, she’s lost the thick blood of a true Wyomingite, so throughout the day she came in with chattering teeth, to tug on layer after layer of warm clothes.

She didn’t finish schlepping our crap until after dark, lugging everything from underpants to fishing gear, but she never griped or complained and we marveled at her good humor so different from our own. We don’t know where she got the cheerful attitude, maybe the mailman. 

On the morning we left, the boat was loaded to the gills — a Wellcraft Cabin Cruiser posing as Santa’s sleigh. Between it and the pickup, we’d packed everything necessary and much unnecessary paraphernalia (depending on who you’re interviewing), including but not limited to a motor, generator, air compressor, banana and potica bread, fudge, apple butter, jams and jellies. Plus, we were toting more gifts than the reindeer were ever asked to pull. 

It was a heavy load and we stopped every two hours to gas, re-tarp, rearrange, tighten ropes, add bungees and come-alongs and argue. Boy, what a good time. Lunny is a mountain climber so between her and Gar, they practiced all the knot-tying skills a Boy Scout could ever hope to accomplish. And only one of them cussed like it was his job. (I’m not saying which one he was.)

We somehow made it to Denver, spent a few days and then went on to Texas for Thanksgiving, before making it to Florida. Right away we took the boat to a mechanic, who told us the engine was a no-go. It was in trouble because somehow water had gotten inside. I was like, “Well, it is a boat and it does go around water.” He didn’t think I was clever and for sure decided I didn’t know what I was talking about. That’s weird.

We were downhearted until he said it should be repaired by someone. He didn’t mean him, since he’d already met and quite obviously, spent way too much time with me. He said we had a boat with a solid wood frame, that was used in years past by Cuban drug runners who could get speeds up to 80 mph out of it. We high-fived each other, excited by the possibilities. Could this be where money will come from for the retirement venture? Asking for a friend.

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