We're sailing along the middle bookshelf, making fair for the dictionary with a postage-stamp sail flying astern. Jack and I, or at least our photo, are nestled between the masts.
Of all the Christmas gifts opened, this one holds a special place.
My father has a downsized workshop behind his home, a shed where his reduced collection of tools, his fishing gear and gardening materials and beloved bluegrass music have converged. It was there some time before Christmas that he decided to build us a sailboat.
Now, Jack and I had been joking that all we wanted for Christmas was a sailboat. So he provided one, crafted from white vinyl siding and dowels and scrap wood. It has a 2005 NC registration and a name on the stern, Ja-Va, from the first letters of our first names. (Not a bad idea - I've been hoping that a sold novel would provide the cash for "Advance Payment.")
Dad calls it a gag gift. I call it part of that tradition of the lovingly, and beloved, handmade - the stick pony he made for me when I was three, the embroidery kit that a hopeful but misguided grandmother gave, the still life of plastic bird, dried grass and modeling clay that I created for my mother in a half-pint Mason jar.
It's a great boat.