For my birthday this year, my wife got me a fishing kayak.
This may not sound like such a big deal unless one knows how long I’ve wanted one. I’ve driven the poor woman crazy for a couple of years, showing her videos of others having the same fun I could be having if I had my own. They’re a little expensive, and not something I’d run out and buy myself.
So she, loving creature that she is, bought me my dreamboat.
On my first trip to the lake, where I planned to christen my new vessel prior to its maiden launch, Susie went with me. She either wanted to see if I was going to be as happy in it as I thought I would be or to see if I would somehow find a way to create my own shipwreck.
I paddled and fished for a while as she watched, and then I invited her to take a quick spin. She was hesitant at first; she wasn’t sure of the stability, or maybe she couldn’t see how something so simple could make me freak out like a 5-year-old getting his first bike.
Moments after I situated her in the seat and handed her the paddle, she was gone — halfway across the lake before I could offer a feeble, “Be careful!”
On the way home, she surfed her phone’s Internet. Know what she wanted? Her own kayak.
She got one for her birthday a month later.
It hit me then — again — that it’s so cool the Good Lord made women portable.
She’s got two arms for kayaking and fishing, and she’s done both with me already. She hauls booty in her blue-and-white ’yak, and she has her own fishing rod. Yes, she knows how to use it. One morning, she wanted to throw a particular lure. I tried telling her it was the wrong time of day to throw that particular bait, and she caught three fish while I was still explaining she probably wouldn’t have any luck.
She’s pretty handy with those two arms.
I’ve also noticed she’s got two legs, too. Took her with me on a business trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, a couple of summers ago. She kept remarking on how beautiful Sandia Peak was, so we decided to drive up as far as we could. I’d barely applied the parking brake on an impossibly steep hill before she hopped out and found a tiny hiking trail. I’d hardly gotten the words “Be careful!” out of my mouth before she disappeared over a huge rock formation. She hiked my old butt into the dust.
She’s pretty fast on those two legs.
And danged if she doesn’t have two eyes, too. She frequently rides with me on my golf outings. She doesn’t care to play, but she loves watching me — and laughing at me — which makes the game even more fun. Sometimes she’ll use those two legs to walk the course and help me hunt the balls I lose in the woods. She’s got two lips, too; lips that never pass a curse word — except the one time I lipped out a birdie chip on the 18th hole. I realized then that any man whose wife will cuss his golf game for him is a lucky man indeed.
She also used her two eyes to help me land the biggest bass I’ve caught in my life. She saw a cypress tree she said looked “fishy” and suggested I toss my lure under it. I rolled my eyes — what could she possibly know about a bass hangout? — up until that big sucker hammered my line.
And check this out: She’s got two ears. Like me, she’s a music fan. She’s gone to several concerts with me, and she’s usually the loudest one in our section. I’ve also seen her use her two legs and two arms along with those two ears; she’ll dance me into a weary heap when the music gets loud.
All these things she’s doing with me are activities I’ve done alone for most of my life. Until I met her, I’d never encountered a woman who really cared to try any of the things I love. And as much as I’ve loved the solitude involved with my outdoor activities, I love having her with me even more. We enjoy driving wherever we’re going, we love being there and we love talking about the day on the way home.
For those reasons, she’s the first thing I toss in the truck — even before the fishing rods or golf clubs.
Reckon that’s why the Good Lord made women portable? So we men can take ’em everywhere with us?
Some of the happiest couples I know do everything together — and I do mean everything. I know a young couple, Travis and Lacy, whose Facebook posts are usually filled with fishing pictures — especially if what she caught that day is bigger than anything he reeled in. My friends Mike and Jackie are almost always on a golf course somewhere; and I have other friends who post pictures of the guy and gal parked in a deer stand during hunting season. Another couple I know rides motorcycles together; still another pair of friends spends their weekends bicycling all over the state.
When my son-in-law came to me asking my blessing for his pending proposal, I had only these words of advice: “Don’t ever tell her she can’t do something because she’s a girl. She’s never heard that from me.” See, I’d raised a portable daughter, too. Now they hike, camp and everything else together.
But you know something funny? Something I’ll bet is true with the other ladies I know? I’ve noticed my wife, while having two of everything else she needs to go with me, doesn’t have a handle on her. Anywhere. Believe me, I’ve checked (just my wife). That means I can’t drag her anywhere, no matter how portable she is. She has to want to do those things with me; otherwise, neither of us would enjoy ourselves. She’d be waiting impatiently for me to finish whatever I was doing, and I’d be more worried about her wanting to leave than making the perfect cast into my fishing spot or lining up my double-bogey putt. A couple of times like that, and I’d start inventing excuses to leave her at home.
I’ve also realized that I’m portable, too. That means my wife can take me with her when she does something else she loves, such as shopping or ... more shopping.
Sure, there are times when couples need to spend time doing their own things. Susie doesn’t go with me on every fishing or golf trip, mostly because she knows how much I still value a little alone time. There are times when she wants to do her thing while I do mine.
But on the times she does want to come with me?
I thank the Creator for making her portable.