My husband zeroes in on kayaks the way my radar finds ice cream parlors.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” he drools. “Long, slim — probably has great moves.”
I suppose I should be grateful that he’s not observing a Jennifer Aniston look-alike. For years, though, I resisted his enthusiasm in favor of practical considerations, such as bills, college savings and investments in ice cream.
Unfortunately, I asked what he wanted for Christmas.
Armed and dangerous with Internet facts and figures, he proclaimed an inflatable kayak as the bargain gift. “Costs less, yet withstands white-water conditions.”
He nearly lost his case.
Even writing about big waves shifts my stomach into N for nausea. Yet, this boat represented the boy’s special Christmas wish. …
We bought the kayak.
Hubby pumped it up in the living room to “test inflation pressures.” Later, in his office to “calculate seat placement.” Then to “practice paddling.”
“You’ve paddled canoes all your life,” I said.
“Entirely different technique,” he retorted.
Having braved his office carpet, he foamed at the mouth, waiting for spring. However, tornadoes sabotaged every plan for the kayak’s maiden voyage.
Then, days before a promising campout date, I fell, bruising every muscle I owned. Some landlubbers will do anything to avoid paddling a kayak.
My husband never once insinuated that I’d ruined our kayaking adventure. Because he said he’d paddle solo.
Hubby salivated as he hand-pumped the kayak.
Me? Not salivating. Donning a life jacket (Ouch!) seemed a sufficient challenge. As did entering this inflatable kayak. It threatened to drown me before we left shore.
Somehow, we managed, and Hubby expertly steered us through glass-like water reflecting blue sky draped with tulle clouds. Wild rose thickets wafted exquisite scents across the water.
We spotted ducks, geese leading mini-parades of fuzzy goslings, sunbathing turtles, and minnows playing in the shallows. Orange and black orioles, the first I’d seen in Indiana, darted past. A heron eyed us, unperturbed.
Meanwhile, my husband paddled and paddled. And paddled.
I could handle that. Why hadn’t he told me kayaking was so wonderful?
However, the troublemaker wind kicked up bigger waves.
This might prove a little more challenging than your office carpet.
Waves morphed into whitecaps. Whitecaps on a central Indiana lake?
My stomach plummeted. Waves slapped us ever closer to an island’s rough shoreline.
Hubby dug in, and we edged toward our bay, where the wind couldn’t bully our boat. Finally, we reached it.
Will I ever kayak on the sea?
Only if anesthetized.
More kayak trips on Indiana lakes and rivers? My stomach votes no.
But this landlubber votes yes … even when she’ll have to paddle.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever changed your mind about your husband’s favorite pastime?