A New Grandchild? Let’s Build a Dock!

Most grandmothers celebrate the arrival of a new grandchild with the purchase of furniture for a nursery or a car seat or maybe new baby clothes, but my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou, had a different way to prepare for the birth of her second grandchild. She announced that she was building a dock and buying a pontoon boat.

So Spring Break, 1987, only a few weeks before the birth of her second grandchild, the dock building began. Bettie Lou even got into the action, nailing in the final board.

This unlikely gift to welcome a newborn may have actually been a gift to her son. She wanted to make sure that he would be able to continue enjoying the lake and boating. The dock provided easy access to a boat she deemed stable enough to transport two young children under the cover of a large shaded canopy.

Dock built. Boat moored. Ready for a summer of fun with a new grandbaby.


Another New Bike?

One of our goals for 2014 is to swim with the manatee. We didn’t have any luck finding manatee that we could join in the water last weekend, but spending the day on the water at Crystal River can never be considered a failure. No manatee…no problem.

We knew it was a long shot to find manatee on a day when the temperature is 90ยบ, but we’ve seen them on summer days in the past so it was worth a try. The day quickly became a boat ride instead of a manatee swim, but what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Back at the boat ramp we met a couple with a pedal powered pontoon boat. This “green” boat uses pedal power connected to a riverboat style paddle wheel to move through the water. In addition, the boat had an electric engine powered by solar panels to provide a power boost while pedaling or as an alternative power source.

At only 14′ long and 750 pounds, the owners claimed that it was easy to maneuver and provided good exercise while enjoying a day on the river. I’m not sure I’d be too keen on taking guests since it would add extra effort, but maybe my next bike will be a pontoon boat!