Let’s be honest. Although I didn’t marry my Paul because he lives on a pond, this fact is a distinct and added bonus. We met in the summer, so I already had a little foretaste of what summer is like with a small body of water behind your house, but it’s different (read: better) now that I actually live here.
Except for the near-month that I’ve been gone (not quite all at once) on work-related overnight trips this season, we’ve spent most of our evenings carrying our supper down to the pontoon and motoring out to some point in the middle of the pond. If we go out earlier when it’s still hot, we might anchor up and jump in the water for a bit before eating. Otherwise we just drift and eat, and then my Paul will fish for a while and I’ll read some more Treasure Island. It’s very appropriate boat-reading–although I’m happy to say nothing as exciting as what happens in the book has ever happened on our boat. So far, anyway. There is a small island in the middle of the pond, if it comes to that, but as far as I can tell, the only ones that have ever burrowed into it for treasure are ants. Lots and lots of them. There are blueberries, too, though.
One night in June, we paddled the canoe out to that island, having first loaded it (the canoe, not the island) up with our brand new camp chairs and a cooler full of cheese, fruit, wine and the requisite utensils and containers. We thought we were going to imbibe and ingest all that on the island, but it was too ant-y, so instead we pulled the canoe up so it wouldn’t float away, set up our chairs in the shallows, and had fruit, wine and cheese while paddling our feet in the water and watching the sun set. It was very quirkily romantic, which is just how I like it.
Sometimes when they’re not in a boat like three-men-in-a-tub, fishing, the guys who live in the little cabin smaller than ours a bit further down the pond, hang out by the water in their yard with a blazing bonfire and the radio going. They typically listen to classic rock or folk, which is right up my alley, so I kind of like having it as a soundtrack when we’re out there. It’s usually just loud enough to be able to tell what they’re listening to if you are paying attention, but not so loud as to get annoying or distracting (except for the other night when one of them put his drum-kit out in the yard, too, and started waling on it along to the music). One night when we were drifting nearby, Paul fishing, I thought I heard the squeaky (and, at that volume, somewhat indistinct) tones of improvisational jazz music. I listened for a minute or two before I observing that that was a departure for them, but by the time I was ready to reach that verdict, I realised it wasn’t jazz at all, but simply their dock squealing on its metal moorings in the swells of a passing motorboat. I used to work at Starbucks with a kid I called “Bentleman” (because his name was Ben and usually he ended up working shifts with a bunch of young women, so I could address them all at once by saying, “Ladies and Bentleman”) who intoned that he couldn’t stand when people protest that they “don’t understand jazz.” But see, Bentleman? Some of us actually don’t!
Yesterday some of the Girl Friends came over for a boat-picnic. It wasn’t too windy, so my Paul bravely “allowed” me to take the pontoon out all by myself (I think he had more confidence in me than I did, which was nice of him) with the girls. I set up a big platter of homegrown tomatoes and not-home-grown cucumbers (we ran out of those) on a bed of mozzarella and garnished with homegrown thyme and basil. It was very pretty. And mostly disappeared quickly. We had parmesan-and-garlic pita chips, and a bowl of cashews, and a bowl of candied ginger (for a surprise–and palate cleanser), and I set them all out on a table on the boat utilising some of my Paul’s and my more special-occasion wedding presents. And a really cool bud-vase he has, made out of a stone.
After going back and forth to the house a couple of times and going swimming a couple of times, too, and having at least one full tour of the pond, we docked safely and then gathered round the fire pit where Paul had built a roaring fire (which was a little to hot at the time, on a warm day, but became just the thing as the sun went down) and waited for supper.
I’d made a potato salad, but Paul grilled pork and chicken which he had marinated earlier, and also corn on the cob, and he and Alicia brought it down from the house and we all feasted together on that, and later on a fruit-salad-and-pound-cake dessert and s’mores. It was a great day, I didn’t crash the pontoon, and I think my friends felt celebrated.
I guess I like it here.