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By Ashleylister @ashleylister
I am a sailor. I am.  At least I was. I still sail, just differently.
A proper grown up now, conscious of everything that I do. A proper bore often. Sailing through the life for now. But I have to tell you about a real sailing, I can’t help it but tell the story.   I was growing up in a place and at the time where there wasn’t any child protection, risk assessments, health and safety. Families were looking after children who were free and happy. We learned early to assess situations, developed common sense and discovered the 'cause and effect' rule. We climbed trees and fences, we spotted and seized opportunities to try new adventures, big and small, to be honest, mostly small, at least till teenage years.   Back to the sailing.  I used to spend a big part of summers at auntie Liz’s house. It was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by meadows, woodlands and, just wait, it was near a quite large and rapid salmon river, as we called it. My grandma as a full time grandma, looked after me, my brother and my two cousins. I was the oldest. Grandma used to say, when looking after children you can’t take your eye of them, and she didn’t. We were considered good children, we were, and grandma had hands full of different jobs, to keep us fed, clean and our mess under control.   I was always fascinated by water, an Aquarius, who didn’t believe in horoscopes. But you never know.  So once when grandma took her eye off us, doing one of her many chores, I had a brilliant idea and I managed to take an instant action. I took my team of sailors down to the river, packed into an old 'seen better days' wooden boat, untied it and pushed off the river bank straight into the stream.   Sailing   The boat was the kind of one you move and maneuver with a long pole, pushing with it from the river bottom.  I was nine, my brother two, my cousins three and five. The pushing pole, or whatever it was called, was a bit too long and heavy for me, but it didn’t matter, the enjoyment of actually sailing was breath-taking, we all were excited and scared. Grandma spotted us nearly straight away, but it was too late already, by that time, the boat was in the stream, being carried down the river towards the Baltic sea. To be honest, the sea was not that close at all.   I can’t remember panicking, I was focusing to keep the boat moving my way, not stream’s way. At that point grandma was running on the river bank shouting: “Push the boat to me, push the boat to me!” I did my best but, as I said, the pole was very heavy and a little bit of water started to come into the boat through the holes, a little bit more than just a little bit. Anyway, I kept calm and focused.   I think I did extremely well, because in a couple of hundred metres I  managed to get my ship to the shore. Grandma and all of us were so excited about such a successful mooring, she even did not screamed or yelled or punished us, she never did anyway, she seemed just absolutely happy about the outcome of this little sailing adventure.   Then the old boat was cut into pieces and used for a bonfire. We enjoyed it as much as the sailing, even we felt a bit sad about our vehicle.  At the end of the day it was my first and last proper little ship.   Later, I found out that grandma’s dad was a sailor who drowned in the Baltic sea when she was just a little girl, leaving her mom on her own with nine children.   Grandma passed away at age of eighty eight with heart arrhythmia, no wonder, knowing how her life was, before the grandchildren and then doing years long service, looking after four sailors, musketeers, explorers and unruly teenagers later, full time.   She sailed through her life extremely well, I know it now. I always look up to her, I know I can do it, whatever happens, I can sail through my life extremely well too.   Thank you for reading, Maya Anna Ozolina Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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