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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

It Had to Stop a Whole Boat

This weekend, we skipped off to the River cottage. We’ve taken to calling it “Georgie’s Escape Hatch” since he gets respite from the cats there - a bigger bed and no cats stepping on him. No cats stepping on us is a nice respite too. Tyson is still in the phase of biting our toes, chewing bracelets as we wear them, and snow plowing things off of my nightstand.

I can’t complain about the weather - we texted a sunny pic to friends back in Massachusetts who said it was a snowy day there. It was windy here but in the upper 50s - it felt warmer, maybe because it felt as though most shops had their heat on high. We explored several of the shops in the neighboring town. Andrea bought me some note cards from a paper store. If you ever receive one from me, you should frame it because for the price we paid, I can only assume it’s collectible art. Should have looked closely before bringing it to the register - I guess we probably thought, “how much could 15 note cards cost?”

On Saturday, we drove past a boat for sale by the side of the road. It looked old - but like a good starter boat for land lubbers who don’t really know what the hell they are doing. The blue, astroturf style carpet needs replacing. So Andrea texted Ron who agreed to knock $600 off the price. I wasn’t worried about the price - it seemed fair as it included the trailer, a spare trailer tire, etc. I was wondering how Andrea was going to pull the cash together for Ron Sunday morning since ATMs generally have some daily limit that governs how much money you can withdraw. Andrea seemed casual about this - offering McDonald’s breakfast before hitting the ATM. I advised skipping the  breakfast line until we had the cash pulled together.

Two ATMs later, we were racing back to the cottage to pick up Andrea’s truck since it had a hitch. Andrea ran in the house, grabbed the keys and we hopped in the truck. The truck wouldn’t start. Andrea tried again. Nothing. Then a sputter. Finally, she coaxed it to life.

I gave her the side eye was we rolled down the road toward Ron’s.

“Listen.” She said, “Some days. Your life it like a sitcom. Some days, my life is like a sitcom.”

Just when I was thinking that if feels as though my sitcom days are more plentiful than Andrea’s, a loud grinding sound began coming from underneath the truck, followed by a bang as the truck spit a large branch out onto the pavement. I shrieked.

We pulled into Ron’s nearby driveway, “I’m going to leave the truck on.” Andrea said.

“Solid plan.” I replied.

Ron had long yellowed teeth that reminded me of a beaver. Andrea asked, “Could you help me get it on the hitch? I’ve never done this before.”

“Oh boy.” Ron drawled, then advised we turned around his driveway. Ron was tall, older, and apparently had some muscles. He moved the boat on the trailer with ease and told us it was light. I watched what he was doing so we could get the trailer and boat off the truck hitch.

Once at the cottage, Andrea attempted to move the boat with the same ease that Ron had and pronounced it “heavy as balls.” If only - balls aren’t all that heavy. I announced I was running into the cottage to pee and would be right back. When I came out, Andrea had the trailer off of the truck.

“Wow!” I exclaimed.

“It began rolling toward the house! I thought it was going to hit it! It ran over my toe!” Andrea said. She’d clearly decided that throwing herself in front of a boat was better than the boat hitting the cottage.

We decided to look for something to toss under the trailer wheels to hopefully prevent the boat from rolling into the house. We manage to come up with two random cinder blocks and tuck them under the back wheels.

Later, I observe aloud that Andrea’s big toe was red and she replied, “Yeah. Well - it had to stop a whole boat.”

We’re heading back to Richmond soon, after enjoying celebratory coffee that the boat didn’t hit the house.

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