Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rollin' on the river

Riverboat season is in full swing and the St. Joe (Maumee Basin) lures us with her charms.

First we power up, by turning the newly acquired antique wheel* to transfer power from the engine to the drive shaft to turn the paddle wheels. This is my cue to sing the chorus from Proud Mary.

That's my father-in-law standing on the upper deck and my husband operating the craft.

Like the ancient Phoenicians, we use a tiller to steer the boat.

You can see one of the red paddlewheels on the right side of the picture

Unless turning, it takes very little effort to steer.

But what's that wooden pole in every picture?

A fish net is hooked on the end of a long pole so we can quickly scoop up any trash we might find sullying the face of our river.

The basswoods are in bloom and every so often their delicate scent is sent our way.

So we sing, we nature watch, we clean-up, we unwind on the river. Not too much different than what I posted about five years ago. Here's a copy since I can't link to the old individual posts:
We have been enjoying the pontoon on the river. Picture this. Pontoon is tied off on the shady side of the river. Boys are fishing. Mom is bouncing big bubbles down the current using her own soap bubble recipe. Dad is playing his dulcimer. Great blue herons, green herons, belted kingfishers, red-tailed hawks, and swallows fly overhead. A muskrat swims across the river, leaving a long wake. Turtles sun on a log with no worry about skin cancer. We pull up anchor and drift toward the sunset reflected in the river. Back at the property, we build a small fire, cook supper, tell stories, make up songs, watch the stars and laugh and love each other. 7/08/2002 02:28:00 PM
I still remember what a friend said about this post. She said the picture it created in her mind was so different from what she knew was real, although everything I said was true. The 12 y.o. boys are fishing but also squabbling. Dad is playing the dulcimer but also controlling the sibling chaos. Mom is blowing bubbles but in her river clothes and not a gauzy summer dress.

* Antique wheel: Steve called me at work last week and said, "You know you are a redneck when you view going to a junkyard as a shopping trip." Steve and Ron cleaned the barn and took a load of steel to sell at a junkyard and spent more than they received: the wheel for the boat, a new radio for the truck, and two steel toolboxes.

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