Tuesday, 25 May 2010


I really like floating on the water, the feeling of floating, and the sunshine there, and the water rippling gently. So I had the idea of buying an inflatable boat. Less investment and seriousness than a kayak, and there is space inside to lay down to read a book or to have a friend come too. I just wanted it to be able to float on the tiny lake that is by my house.

On Sunday, it was supposed to be really warm, so I assembled the boat and oars, packed up my sunscreen, water and book, grabbed the floatation device/seat cushion and started the walk across the street and park to the water. This began the list of things that I had not considered in my planning. The day was fairly windy and here was me carrying an inflatable raft that acted like a little sail really. This also started the fatigue to my poor arms. And it made me laugh whenever the wind gusted and I started walking crookedly.

There are two options for where to put the boat in. Option one is off of the floating dock. This was scary as there were a bunch of people on it. The other option, which at first seemed safer is where the water gradually extends off of a ramp of pavement. The place where people can launch the kind of boats that would have a trailer. I thought this was the way to go, until I saw a truck with a sailboat that was going to start it's approach. I didn't trust my rowing skills to get out of the way in a timely enough fashion. So off to the floating dock it was. I was already wondering how many people I would need to apologize to for hitting with the mass of my boat. Miraculously, I didn't hit anyone and fairly smoothly got my boat in the water and me and my stuff inside of it. Then I had the realization that I haven't rowed a boat in a bit. But I was off! So I rowed around a bit, floated for only a few minutes at a time cause I didn't want to end up too far in the weeds.

The entire boat trip only lasted about an hour. I didn't want my poor little arms to be too tired the next day or too tired to get me back to the dock. There were some things that I did not think about beforehand that came to mind during the boat trip:

1. Carrying this boat on a windy day is hard.
2. My arms are not in shape.
3. Plastic oars that you twist together do not stay exactly where you twisted them and need to be adjusted.
4. I get seasick. This I knew before but hadn't thought about in my preparations.

My rowing turned out to be okay though. Overall, the first trip was a success. (I got to float, the boat didn't pop, I have both oars still, I didn't need rescuing, success.)

We shall see what future adventures are in store for this boat. I think it'll be good.

Monday, 17 May 2010

What’s in a name?

How come it means so much when someone knows your name? It is way more personal and makes it feel like they know you. Or that they care. I love when you meet someone again and they remember your name. A validation that they know you, at least in the most superficial of ways. One step past the surface perhaps, as you have seen them at least twice, and they remember! I feel bad when someone remembers who I am and I don’t know their name, or the worst is when I don’t remember meeting them before. (sometimes I remember after the embarrassment of not remembering) Sad.

There is something to remembering names. It really isn’t that hard, but it does take a little effort. It means paying attention. It means that that person matters.

A name feels so personal, even though there are a lot of other people on the planet with the same one. Somehow it is still really special and individual and a sense of identity. “Hello, I’m Chelsea.” And somehow that portrays a lot. And people say “nice to meet you” yet really they just know your name really and maybe what you do for a living, and yet they then can say that they know you. Interesting.

How many people to we come in to contact with on a regular basis and don’t know their name. I am thinking about the people at my favorite coffee shops and grocery store. I know them by face and sometimes they are even wearing nametags, but I don’t know their names. Is this because of the normal professional distance? Expectations? Or because I haven’t bothered to learn?

Thursday, 13 May 2010


Two weeks ago, I got to help plant a garden. It was great. There was a big patch of dirt, that rows we dug out of, and bags of seeds, and even a fence set up around it to keep the critters out. Seeds are so interesting because they are so small.

What is the ratio of seeds that actually grows? And how close to the package directions do you have to get? I was planting carrots. Those seeds are so small! The direction was to plant them an inch from each other and a quarter inch under the dirt. That is really hard to do when the seeds are so small. I tried pouring some in my hand first which helped in controlling them for the most part but there was a sneeze at one point and a gust of wind at another, so there were extra seeds dropped. And many holes got more than one seed. Maybe they just wanted a friend seed to be with? I'll have to go back and check on them at some point to see if there was any success in the carrot planting procedure.

We were planting the garden for a neat organization in town called MOM. (Middleton Outreach Ministry) They will then take care of the garden (though we can go back and help) and then give the veggies away, what a great idea! It's fun to get to help out with something like planting the garden.

A few days after that, I was with a group of people who were pulling out invasive species in the arboretum. My allergies didn't like that one quite as much. Yard work is a lot more fun when you get to do it with a bunch of other people and when it is not your yard. And when you don't have a yard that you have to take care of at home. There were huge patches of this plant that the 20 or so of us got rid of in minutes. Amazing.

It is fun to get to do simple things like that for other people. It doesn't take that much effort really, just showing up and helping. Neat.