Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mismatched oars

We spend a lot of time on the water during our three generation family vacations.

Our fleet started with a rowboat thirty years ago. Since then we've added floating devices, and recently kayaks. But the rowboat is still my favorite. Why? 

1.  I don't drip water all over myself like I do in the kayak. 

They've graduated to rowing on their own!

2. The grandkids can piddle around and we don't worry about them tipping over. When their parents  were infants, we'd strap them into a stroller and plunk it down, baby and all, into the rowboat. It was steady as a barge.

3.  It has the largest carrying capacity.  At high tide we ferry sun-soaked people, sandy towels, toys, and empty ice chests across the lagoon. 

This summer, however, we couldn't find the second oar in the pair. My daughter scrounged under the cabin porch and chose a substitute. The mismatch caused me to veer to the left and my course through the water looked like a swimming snake's.  I experimented and adjusted my strokes to compensate, two strokes with both oars, one with the right, two with both, one with the right. Then the telltale ripples were slightly wiggly. 

When I docked and tied up I took a closer look.  Both the shaft and the blade of the replacement were shorter than the original. No wonder I couldn't row in a straight line. 

It got me thinking about how marriages are more like a mismatched pair of oars than a matched set. Each unique partner has a mix of strengths, interests, and skills. They are not exactly equal and each mate probably has to make adjustments to keep the conjugal boat headed in a straight line. 

Bill's a dreamer, I'm a planner. But I am blessed that we share a common worldview. Even when we meander on our way, and one of us has to do some extra rowing, we are headed for the same destination. 

I wouldn't want to hit the swells and storms of life with somebody who wanted to head off a different direction! 

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