Photos by Hui-chen, Nancy & MJ Klein
As you know from reading this series, all of us siblings get together very rarely. So now that we’re all together we want to do things that Dad likes in celebration of being with him, perhaps for the last time. We decided to rent a boat and take him out for the day on Belews Lake.
We rented a pontoon boat, which is perhaps the best design for a family outing. Stable, roomy and yet fast enough to give you a bit a thrill, this kind of boat was just perfect for us.
I was busy shooting video that day, so Hui-chen handled our D80. My sister Nancy also was shooting with her D40. Nancy shot this photo of my brother John (left) and nephew Casey making sure that Dad was stable on the dock. Dad is pretty good with doing almost anything – you just have to go slow.
The morning of our outing was clear and calm. It was a perfect day to be on the lake!
Mike (my sister’s husband) goes aboard and gets driving instructions from The Boat Guy.
Everyone starts to board.
Everyone finds a spot they like and settles in.
Mike gets some final instructions from The Boat Guy and then we can shove off.
Mike backs the boat way from the dock….
I begin shooting with the Glidecam….
…. and pretty soon, we’re on our way!
This was the only thing that we weren’t going to do with our boat that day!
Dad looks like he’s enjoying himself.
Since I wear a hat, and normally long sleeved shirts, I didn’t need to sit under the canopy. I preferred to sit up front.
This is a shot of the coal-fired power station at Belews Lake.
Wanda & Dad.
John with my nephew Adam.
Mike was our boat captain for the day and nobody had to concern themselves with driving. He didn’t make anyone walk the plank either.
Hui-chen and my sister Nancy.
Basically, we just went around the lake at a leisurely pace. Although it might not sound like so much fun, remember that the main point is that everyone was together in one place at the same time – something that hadn’t occurred for several years. The weather was beautiful and just being out on the lake was so relaxing and peaceful.
Adam gets a sweet kiss from his wife, Kristen. They have a secret to tell….
We took a break for awhile, and pulled up to the dock so Dad could visit the facilities.
This is a shot of the drivers cockpit.
Here are 2 photos for you, both taken with Nikon cameras.
More riding around, enjoying the perfect weather. Suddenly, we saw something ahead in the water:
I mentioned this before but we saw a snake rapidly swimming across the lake surface. Click on the link to read more about it.
We were riding around, enjoying the nice time together when Adam’s wife Kristen asked her father-in-law to stop the boat for a few minutes.
Kristen is holding something behind her back. It’s an infant cap that her husband wore after he was born. My sister Janet gave it to Kristen on their wedding day. The reason that she is now holding this family treasure, is that she is about to ask her mother-in-law to make another one…. Janet of course asked “why?” and then suddenly it dawned on her….
This is Janet’s initial reaction to the news that her daughter-in-law is expecting! Notice Dad in the background. He was right there and in on the news, which I thought was just fantastic.
Hugs all around!
It came out that several of us – in fact most of us on board already knew and had been keeping the secret from Janet and Mike! Janet found this out and is here asking “Who knew?” hahaha! Adam had come to me a few days previously, seeking advice on a good way to break the news to his parents. I suggested that he have his wife ask Mom to make a new cap and he agreed that would be a fun way to do it. Kristen agreed and when she arrived at the in-laws home, she had it with her.
That was fun, and a good way to break such wonderful news.
I like this photo of Mike, taken just after he got the news. That’s one happy grandfather!
So, after that happy event, the rest of the day was filled with rejoicing, especially for my sister, who kept pointing to her daughter-in-law, saying “There’s my grandbaby” all afternoon!
One of the things we wanted to do was to park the boat and give Dad a little fishing pole time while some of the group went for a swim. We weren’t going to put Dad in the lake, given the fact that Janet has a pool. But Dad was always an avid fisherman and we wanted him to enjoy some fishing at his own leisurely pace.
The truth is, Dad is a little beyond fishing anymore, and he was having a hard time working the reel. But actually catching something was beside the point. Mike gave the line a good cast and Dad held the rod, just like old times. In his condition just doing something familiar and enjoyable from past times is good therapy.
After resuming from our break, we saw this bird’s nest up on a tower. This is an environmental station where the condition of the nest is being monitored.
As if on cue, the mother bird flew down to get food for her babies.
She caught a small fish and flew back up to the nest.
All these shots were taken rapid fire on the D80, panned along the flight of the bird as she went about her business. We’re lucky to have been in a position to get anything at all.
This is one of the warning signs at the nesting site.
All in all, it was a beautiful day with time well spent with the family all together. In some respects it was sad because we all realized that this may well be the last time that we are all together as a family with Dad in our midst. I’ll leave you with this final shot of Dad, fishing pole in hand, on a boat in the water, surrounded by his family. For him, it just doesn’t get any better than this!
Don’t worry, there’s more in this series! In our next installment, Dad is going swimming again, and this time, well, you’ll have to see for yourself.
Thanks for reading!