An afternoon on the lake

If Kevin is sitting inside, he’s more than likely looking up boats on Craigslist. That’s one of the many things I’ve learned about him since we moved in together five months ago. If I were a gambling lady, I’d put money on there being a browser opened to Craigslist on our laptop at this moment. I might even double-down on it listing search results for a 20-foot Jones Brothers Skiff, but I know my Kev, and he likes to do his research so it could be a search of a competitor.

We’re not in the market for a boat right now. Student loans, a wedding in six months, and a down payment for an eventual house are all things that sit steadily on the front burners. Anchored on the back is his beloved future boat.

A friend conveniently left his boat under our carport last week. It needed a little work on the electric lights on the front of it, and CJ left it there for easy access when he had a few hours here and there to work on it. I jokingly asked Kevin what we were charging for boat storage, and he said he didn’t mind because he could take it out whenever he wanted (meanwhile my car keeps getting pelted by debris in thunderstorms, but hey – I just live there).

With a rare weekday afternoon free for me and with his fishing buddies all working, he hooked the boat up to the 4Runner and took me to Jordan Lake.

Decked out in our matching Crocs (his are black, mine are purple), we arrived at the boat ramp at the same time another gentleman was loading his boat up. He claimed nothing was biting, but judging from the poodle sporting a life jacket in his backseat I believe he was out there for the experience, not the fishing. He was the last person we saw, except for two paddleboarders gliding by, for hours.

We set sail towards some brush to catch bait fish, and that’s when I saw an unmatched joy in Kevin’s face. We were in his happy place.

He looked like a seasoned pro cranking the motor and spinning his baseball cap backward so it wouldn’t blow off with the rush of wind. He pointed out schools of fish in the water like he had a sixth sense. He mentioned on more than one occasion how it felt like we had the lake to ourselves. At one point, he even said he shared more fishing knowledge with me than anyone else. Now I know the difference between your bait scooting along the bottom and an actual fishing on the line. Baby steps, y’all.

When I caught the first fish big enough to keep, I finally understood why he goes on and on about buying a boat. There is joy in being untethered from the world for a little bit. There is peace in learning the art of patience when a fish is on the line. There is love in spending hours on a lake with your best friend.

So that look of pure joy on Kevin’s face yesterday, I’ll see it again. On our wedding day, when our future kids are born, and when our backburner dream of a boat is hooked up to his 4Runner.

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