Whatever Floats Your Boat

Family Gathering 2019

Questions and Answers About Boat Building

Yes. We will build boats.

Yes. We will race them in the water.

Yes. You can use Grandpa’s tools.

Yes. He will help you with the drill.

Yes. It is hard to use the staple gun.

Yes. You can take your boat home with you.

Yes. I will take pictures of your boat. 

No. We are going to a different place where there is lots of water.

Yes. There is shade.

No. The water isn’t warm. It is very cold.

Yes. You need flip flops or shoes.

Yes. We are going today.

Yes. We will also have a picnic.

Yes. We have spray paint.

No. There are no prizes.

Q.  Which colors float the best?

A.   I have no idea.

Q.   Can I hold the drill?

A.   Yes. But, keep your fingers out of the way.

Q.   Is his boat bigger than mine?

A.   They are all very similar in size.

Q.   Then why do they look different?

A.   I don’t know. Just worry about your own boat.


And, so it went. Grandpa and Tim cut wooden pieces, which the kids fastened together with screws and painted with spray paint. Then they rigged up masts and sails and floaty things and other things they found in the boat-building box until each and every boat was to its sailor’s liking.

Some sailors used empty water bottles

and some used fancy things like glitter cardboard

and polka dot straws.

Grandpa’s wooden boat pieces

were very clever and very popular.

All of the boats stayed afloat

and none of the boats got mixed up with each other.

This is how children learn.

Our sons are such willing fathers.

They jump right in and see that everything goes

as well as can be expected.

They teach and encourage

and suggest but don’t overwhelm.

They say things like

“I wonder if this would be better”


“if you think of a better way then let me know.”

The children moved the rocks around to make

a long and fast channel.

They brought the water into the channel

from the faster-moving part of the mountain stream.

Imagination brought this wonderful boat

gently down the stream.



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