There were many times I came to the brink of mutiny when the Cap’n would “suggest” over dinner that I help him with some chore. Of course, it was almost always enthusiastically approved by my wife and mother-in-law, Cora. They thought that Wes was helping “Daddy” was a fantastic idea.
My wife’s eyes told me that the alternative might be helping her poke through every yard and tag sale in the county. Her newest business venture was decorating summer cottage rentals with suitable cottage furniture. So instead of boat work, I’d get consigned to inspecting musty and dusty furniture that had been in someone’s barn for three decades. I could then spend hours making it clean enough for her to install in the specially designed “interiors” she and her mother created to enchant the summer cottage clients – AKA, the Summer Complaints.
I prefer slathering bottom paint on a boat than being told endlessly, “Well, I don’t know, Mom, Wes, move that dresser to the other side of the room.” Nobody could imagine alternate furniture placements in a small cottage living room as well as my wife, Georgia. And each of the alternatives needed to be tried; at least once.
Afterward, I’d get to unpack the yardsale plates and cups they’d found and wash them.
So when the Cap’n stated a request for assistance that April evening, I eagerly volunteered to do whatever needed to get done. I then suggested that we spend an additional hour reviewing the mnemonics he’d been teaching me for coastal piloting.
The Cap’n looked me over suspiciously; I’d never been this eager to learn coastal piloting before.