The Insider’s Report: Surviving Independence Day


So it’s been almost thirty days and the posttraumatic stress syndrome is finally setting in. I know that people have survived wars, violent crimes, homeland security tragedies, but ya’ll… what I survived this past July 4th, as I was going through it, felt as if it was on the scale with these other, more traditional, survived conditions.

Let me start from the beginning. Have you ever had one of those ideas that seemed really great at the time, but when you look back it could have possibly been one of the dumbest, most ignorant thoughts that you ever had, and if you had only listened to that little voice in your head that was most likely screaming at the top it’s lungs, you would have fewer scars? But because it is a little voice and you are a mighty force of energy who wants what she wants when she wants it, you squashed the wise little voice in order to have your way…banging that square peg into that round hole? Well, I recently had one of those snowball ideas.

It all began with what was a casual conversation between my wife and I while we were having a family vacation at the lake with a rented boat. I said, “It would be a lot of fun to have our own boat.” I should’ve been more specific. What I meant by the word boat was a small, quaint ski boat or a deck boat with some power. You know…simple, easy, understated. What she heard was, “We need the biggest freaking boat that we can afford, one that we can sleep on with a bathroom, a kitchen and will sleep six comfortably.”

I dismissed that follow-up conversation as a pipe dream and a ridiculous, non-attainable item because I know my wife and I knew enough to know that she wouldn’t be happy with a mere ski boat because once she says an idea audibly out to the universe, she has already made up her mind. So I filed the pontoon mansion away as a retirement purchase.

But wouldn’t you know it, while we were still on vacation and walking through the marina to get some lunch, there sat for sale the mother of all boats. Just like the one that she had chosen in her mind and put out for the universe to deliver. Of course, it was fate because if Mother Nature had not have made it start raining and we had to get off of the water and take shelter from the rain, we would have never been in the marina, and we would have never seen the boat named “Summer Love” for sale, and we would have missed the opportunity that the universe had handed us on a platter. Now it may sound as if I’m being dramatic but that is a paraphrase of an actual conversation that my Poodle Love and I had immediately following the phone call that was made to the then current owner of “Summer Love.” We now had an appointment to meet the man that owned the boat that the universe was trying to hand deliver to us.

I could barely finish my $8.00 marina burger waiting on Roy to arrive. Now, Roy and his wife were retired and they could meet us there at any time so they were on their way. And I knew that this was a done deal if the boat seemed like it was mechanically sound because Jenn had already selected the color scheme for the new bedding and matching towels that were to be purchased specifically for the boat. Now if any of you remember any of the camping stories that I’ve told you about this Packer and Poodle couple, you know that not only is there a color scheme and potpourri, we also had to choose a hearty, green plant that would enjoy the lake. ENJOY THE LAKE…a plant!!!

So Roy and his wife meet us on the dock next to “Summer Love,” where I’m told again how this boat was meant to be because what could be a more perfect name than “Summer Love”… “it is so us, baby.” Now, before we ever get to step on to the boat we have to remove our shoes in order to not scuff the precious boat. While we sat unlacing in the heat I had to hear about how Roy is retired and his diabetes is the reason he has to sell his pride and joy because he passed out on it once in the middle of the lake and while he loves the boat he doesn’t want to die on it. And of course this was a sentiment that we could all agree on. I mean, what can you say to that besides, “I hear ya.”

We had taken Jenn’s brother with us to look at the boat as he is a boat owner and would know some appropriate questions to ask Ol’ Roy to be sure we weren’t getting screwed over. He is on the dock talking maintenance, Jenn and Roy’s wife are in the cabin talking color schemes and boat china patterns, and I’m sitting in the captain’s chair about to throw-up because not only had I never been on a boat that big, I sure as hell had never driven one.


Live and Love Equally…sometimes it’s all you have left!