The Green Rowboat

The Green Rowboat

Both the pond and the flat-bottomed boat tied to the dock were green. In the summer, after they excused themselves from the breakfast table, the three of them would rush out the patio doors and race across the lawn to the dock. While Rickie untied the boat, Bailey and Kolton would jostle for position behind the oars. After pushing the boat away from the dock, Rickie would step into the boat and take up the oars.

Once they were away from the dock, Rickie would turn the oars over to Kolton, who rowed in a wide circle. Rickie would take over when they came too close to shore, handing the oars back to Kolton after she guided the boat to the middle of the pond. When Kolton grew bored of rowing in a circle, Bailey would take up the oars. While she rowed in a straighter line than Kolton, she splashed so much water into the boat that Rickie and Kolton would have to bail the water out. Bailey splashed water in and Rickie and Kolton bailed water out. Finally, because she splashed more water into the boat than they could bail out, the three of them would howl with laughter at the futility of it all. They rolled with laughter in the water in the bottom of the boat.

They loved the time they shared in the green boat on the green pond, howling with laughter. This laughter has stuck with me for twenty years. The three of them laughing with full hearts. Even though Kolton is no longer with us, his laughter has remained behind. When I am quiet, I can hear his laughter, and my heart cries.



  1. Thank you for your open heart and loving spirit.

  2. Thank you for your open heart and loving spirit.
    Remembered laughter warms the heart and brings healing to the wounded soul, at least I’ve found it so.
    Thank you

    • Thank you, Sam. I truly appreciate this and I agree wholeheartedly: “Remembered laughter warms the heart and brings healing to the wounded soul…”

  3. The grief is an organism that remains attached to the heart. It is benign, it is sometimes dark and pulsing, but always, always, a beacon of remembrance, of green water, of laughter, of the reason for being. I love your wounded heart.

    • Thank you, Lisa. What a beautiful way to express the depth and tenacity of grief. I will hold this close to my heart forever.

  4. Such a wonderful memory, your children’s laughter.
    Nothing delights the heart more♡

    • Rita, thank you. This is so true. There is no greater pleasure in the world than the sound of our children’s laughter.

  5. What a beautiful memory David that will always be in your heart! Thank you for sharing from your soul. I love you and I miss you!!

    • Thank you, Cindy. This is so kind of you. I deeply appreciate this and enjoy hearing from you. I love and miss you, too.

  6. This precious moment, set free with your words to bubble and grow and spill the sound of belly laughs in the bottom of a boat out into the world, where each reader can take a little bit of that laughter and store it safely in their own bones…thank you for sharing your memory and your gift of storytelling. Beautiful.

    • Oh, Jen, what can I say, how can I express my gratitude, my thanks? How can I tell you how tenderly and deeply this touches my heart? I am awed by your gift for words, as well as your artistic gift. You are a beautiful soul.

  7. That was a cute little short story, u got it going on there guy. I Pray that you find your laughter too, your laugh is a good laugh.

    • Thank you, Lois,

      I appreciate this. It was so nice to hear from you. I hope you are well and thriving.

Leave a Reply