If someone had told me yesterday I was going to row a boat out of a harbor to pick up a stranded sailor, I would have said “Yeah, I’m also going to harvest the liver of a dead horse to draw out the poison in the wound of a Union soldier.”
My ancestors were desert folk. We seldom did boats. I have never willingly boarded a boat. By six p.m. I had shopped for dinner and even cooked dinner and guess what? No boating. No rowing. At six thirty I went to pick up my eldest at Northwest Harbor where he had successfully sailed the refurbished Suzie Q from the marina to its home mooring. He shouted out: “Could you row the dinghy out?” I looked around to see who else was on the shore. He said, “Just slip the rope up and turn it over.”
After several attempts the rope finally cleared the tie-up pole. “Turn it over and drag it to the water. It’s easier to drag it.” I turned it over and dragged it to the water “Get the oars.” I saw that the oars had little pins and saw that they fit into holes on the side of the boat. I fit them in and felt cautious. Not optimistic. Just cautious. I pushed the boat into the water just enough so that it floated but I could still get in without upsetting everything. I got in and began to row or what I thought was rowing. I was sure I was moving ahead but after a few minutes my boy said: “You are still on shore.” “I haven’t moved?” “No.”
I got out and pushed the boat more into the water and tried to propel it forward. It kept turning around and going back to shore. You know how religious people say that God is everywhere if you only look? Well, this man appeared out of nowhere (God in disguise) and told me I had to “push the water ahead of me, not push it back.” He gave me a giant shove that sent me halfway out to my destination.
I struggled for another few minutes but eventually arrived to the waiting hands of the sailor. When the dinghy was safely tied to the Suzie Q, I said: “Birth order really matters.”