We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Is it so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...
"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
"Simply messing...about in boats -- or with boats... In or out of 'em it doesn't matter. Nothing seems to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."
"Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together and have a long day of it?"
Photo is of Lightnings. Info and some links about that class here. Watched one flying past in Wellfleet Harbor, despite being loaded with 5 guys. I grew up racing that class, still love them because they double as comfortable little day-sailers. My late lamented uncle used to take his half-waterlogged wood Lightning out on a Saturday afternoon alone with his pipe and some beers, placidly contemplating life and enjoying toying with the fickle breezes. I am far from being an old guy, but I even sailed wooden Lightnings as a youth. Played lots of tennis with wooden racquets too. Jack Kramer Pro Staff was my favorite in that department.
Bird Dog, you wonderful man ... You selected one of my absolute favorite passages from The Wind in the Willows, one of my all-time favorite childhood books, along with Stalky & Co. by Kipling and The Bastable Children, who were always going off on adventures. . When my husband and I married, in our 40s, we had a reading-fest for the first few months, in which my husband, who was wonderful at reading aloud, would read a chapter aloud each night. And for a moment we would be kids again.
I contend that if more parents would give books like "Wind" and "Stalky" to their kids, said children would grow up with much larger and more interesting vocabularies and much better understanding of sentence structure. British children's book writers never seem to "write down" to their readers as many American writers do, and such is the clarity of their prose, that the reader can take logical leaps which tell them where the story is going and what the unusual words really mean. A painless education, if you will.
I liked to crew the Lightnings during Race Week, but my favorite was the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_Class_(sailboat)] Town Class [/url]dory. Those were great boats to single hand and with one crew, very handy little boat.
Second boat I ever owned was a Townie - an original built in '62 and purchased by my Dad before he moved up to a big boys boat. :>)