By: Debra Goldie Jones
I want to live in a tiny house on stilts, in the middle of George Bush Turnpike, on the overpass between I-30 and Route 66. The view is spectacular.
And I want a boat. This boat.
It wasn’t always this way. I hadn’t thought about getting out on the water since my Dad’s boat almost sank off the New Jersey coast in the 70s. I saw how much sweat equity these vanity vessels could exact. I also thought it was a man’s sport.
This full-throttled doting-on-boating fantasy started when I began dating someone. To get to his house in Rowlett, I had to go over Lake Ray Hubbard which, if you squint just so, can look like a Mediterranean coastline. Exiting on Dalrock Road, gazing down on the marina, I began to long for the sea.
“Can we get a boat?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
“Can we rent a boat?” I countered.
“Do you know anyone with a boat?”
I sensed a pattern.
Tired of my landlocked existence in Northwest Dallas (Bachman is fine if you like low-flying airplanes), I was determined to avail myself of the area’s water bodies.
I found a rec center that gave kayak lessons in the bay off Miller Road. Not exactly motoring, but at least it was in the water. I planned to wait until the instructor was busy and paddle my way over to the big lake. But, nah, too much work and not enough legroom.
I discovered Sail With Scott. Scott surely would help me. The Seawolf, his 40-foot catamaran, took seafarers out for sunset and moonlit cruises for just $35 each. That sounded good. The only problem was the 40 other people on board.
I remembered a dinner cruise years ago where singles danced and drank and made lurid passes at each other. Harbor Lights Cruise seemed worth checking out. And for $1,000, I could get it all to myself. Then I realized: I don’t drink, I have a boyfriend, and my idea of a lurid pass these days is, “I was just admiring your hearing aids.”
Besides, I wanted speed. I wanted solitude. I wanted to skim the water and feel the mist whipping against my taut, tanned skin. I wanted power. I could probably get the same sensations at Six Flags, but then what kind of fantasy is that? I needed my boyfriend’s buy-in.
I remembered an old Dale Carnegie adage: “Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.” I had an idea.
I’d combine boating with his number one passion, playing golf. I booked a room at The Cliffs overlooking Possum Kingdom Lake. There, he could improve his grip and I could survey the surroundings. What a view!
We rented a jet ski. He drove.
Jostled, wet, and a wee bit squished, we made our way over to Hell’s Gate, where world-class divers drop 90 feet. That was the first time I saw hillside trolleys and what looked like grain elevators clinging to the cliff to take people down to their docks. We passed a new resort on the water that looked fun. I made a mental note to stay there the next time I coerced him into mandatory water-related enjoyment.
I asked for a chance to drive and rather too quickly stood up to switch places. He fell off. Guess what? No steps to get back on. Whoops. It was still fun but not exactly “boating.” I was beginning to feel like the princess and the pea.
Months passed. The temperature dropped, and the water took on depressing darkness. Around Christmas, I had to deliver some gift baskets from a fundraiser raffle. The winners were spread out all over, so I was feeling less than charitable by the last one. I plugged in the address. BINGO! Rockwall, right on the water.
I was almost giddy as I drove over, sensing the streets descend. I rang the bell, and the nicest lady answered.
As I handed her the basket, my laser eyes could have sliced a ham.
She invited me to come sit outside a minute. The pool, patio, and property lines had me drooling in my drink. We immediately fell into conversation about books, family, food, travel, and politics (upon which, fortunately, we both agreed).
As the conversation hit a natural lull, I leaned back in the chaise, looked over at her, smiled, and said something that made me feel like the psycho in a Lifetime movie.
“Can I ask you something?” I broached gingerly.
“Of course,” she cooed.
“Do you and your husband happen to have a boat?”