There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
We hang out on our dock, especially at night, under the stars. Before the new dock, if a refill or bathroom break were required, walking down the walkway became a mind game of remembering exactly where the boards stuck up two to three inches. The Long Walk, we labeled it. Especially after a couple glasses of wine.
This old dock matches the character of our cabin. A hodge podge of sorts, rooms and doors added here and there. Compared to all the McMansions going up around us, we are the hillbillies. And we like it.
Over 175 different people have spent the night in the past three years. We have two bedrooms and a bunk room, lots of floor space for air mattresses, and tents are often staked in the yard. (Did I say how the McMansion people love us?) Anyway, the dock held quite a concern for my husband and me. The rules of the house for new arrivals always began with an announcement upon entering the walkway, "If you hear something crack or snap, jump the hell off."
Every time we put the boat up or down or a kid swung off the rope swing, my husband and I would watch the beams of wood and the cables holding it all together as it screeched and creaked. We studied each beam to see if our eyes measured any larger seams.
With the numbers from friends, the baseball team, scout troop, Texas A&M fraternity, work, writing, book, bible, and bunco increasing, we felt the safety of our guests required our attention. The old dock had to go, and a new loan secured. This was difficult for me, as I am a creature of habit. I love things that have a bit of funk and their own character. It was hard to see it go.
When the LCRA lowered the lake as it does every few years (our lake was created from a series of dams on the Colorado River during the LBJ years) we took the opportunity to go after the dock.
See that section of new sea wall where it was filled in with dirt? That is the final project for this weekend. To lay the sod that extended the yard by a fifteen feet and took out the angled section that used to collect every log, floating beer can, tom, dick, and harry whenever the wind changed.
My husband, the youngest son and one of his friends are out there right now putting that sod down. I am lolling about on my bed, writing to you. (Oh, I am on my fifth load of laundry, have shopped for my youngest's 17th birthday on Tuesday, planted four flats of flowers, and dusted off four weeks of dust so I can remember what color my furniture is. I'm not a complete zug.) I figure if I time it just right, I can arrive at the lake today just in time to walk across that new grass and sit on the dock with a glass of wine. Come join me.
We don't plan on changing the cabin to fit the new dock. That would make everything just a tad too neat for my taste. As to that blank white wall out there (the shed my husband had to have) I'm thinking a neon Blue Moon Beer sign, complete with orange slice. As for the old dock, I keep the picture of it as my wallpaper on my cell phone. Every time I open it to make or receive a call, I'm reminded of that old POS which held a character I loved so well.