The following is a true story about a boat, as told to our grandson by my husband, his grandfather, also known as Big Daddy.
“Once upon a time there was an old wooden boat. The boat was the pride and joy of a man from Upstate New York. But one day, the man became too old to go out on the boat and decided to sell it.
He sold the boat to another man who was from Upstate New York and later moved to Tennessee. It was his intention to fix the boat up and use it but, sadly, time slipped by and he never completed the repairs.
For many years after the man passed, the boat sat idle and unused in a barn. Tucked away with no one to fix or use the boat, it became a cobweb collector. The boat was very sad, until one day when the boat was rescued from the barn and turned into a playhouse for a little boy named Boston. The boat is now very happy because he has someone who loves him very much. The End.”
“What happened next, Big Daddy?” exclaimed our grandson.
While the story my husband told our grandson is one hundred percent true, there are a few details that were left out.
One: The boat originally belonged to a family friend of John’s parents. Two: The boat was then bought by John’s father. Three: My father-in-law always had plans to fix the boat up but passed away never having fulfilled his wishes.
John decided to buy the boat from his mother with the intention of fixing it up and putting it in the water but first he and our friend, John Brown, wanted to use the boat as a float in the Greeneville Christmas parade, which they did. I even wrote a story about the escapades of the boat under John Brown’s care in my column on Dec. 22, 2015, called “Whatever Floats Your Boat,” which left the boat with many holes in the bottom.
Without the ability of the boat to float, back to the barn it went.
Knowing the boat was just sitting in the barn taking up space, we decided to sell the boat. In the description was the obvious flaw of the holes. Needless to say the boat did not sell.
Then one day John and I were talking about building the grandchildren a playhouse in our backyard when I had an epiphany. Why don’t we use the boat as a playhouse.
John dragged the boat out of the barn and drove it to our house where we cleaned it up and painted it. John, proud of the boat’s new purpose, posted pictures of it on Facebook.
That post started a conversation between he and a few other men, one of which was restoring an antique boat just like ours and asked John if he would contemplate selling the engine of the boat.
Since we knew the boat would never see the water again John agreed to sell the engine. Ironically, the engine alone brought us almost the same amount of money we were asking for the whole boat.
And, in another life is mysterious moment, the man who bought the boat engine was from Upstate New York, too. He also now resides in Tennessee.
After many years of the boat sitting idle and without purpose, it is now docked in our yard used to its fullest potential and the boat engine will one day do what it was meant to do.
One day Boston will know the rest of the story about the boat, but for now all he needs to know is that the boat is no longer cooped up in a barn and sad.
Oh, by the way, Boston named the boat. He calls it Happy Boat. Life is mysterious.