Monday, 25 May 2015

The Houseboat

Sunset over Assawoman Bay by Monte Morton
When I was a little girl, every summer we would pack up the station wagon and drive down to Ocean City, Maryland to visit my Auntie. Auntie is my mom's best friend from her University days and my Godmother. Auntie had a houseboat that was pulled up on land nestled next to a little creek on Assawoman Bay. As a child that Houseboat was my favourite place in all the world. And this is just what sunset looked like from the back porch.

Take Me To The Sea   -   horizontal printEven back in the 1960's Ocean City was a busy place. But in the north on the bay side of the island there were still wild places to explore, a marshland cut through with little islands and rivulets that we named and sculled with our little dinghy. There were little docks for crabbing after dinner and secret places under houses to make forts.There were quiet places to wander alone with the salt smell, and the black mud squelching between your toes and the hot sun on your face.
Source: via Martha on Pinterest

In the late morning we would head to the beach, which was pretty crowded. But in the afternoon we would come back to the houseboat and shower and snack and read or go for walks hang out with friends or go crabbing at the dock... a bit of string and a leftover drum stick usually did the trick.

The Houseboat was a bit wider than a school bus and just about as long. There was a screened in front porch, two steps down into a tiny kitchen, a middle room with a long table and a sofa, followed by a sleeping area with two sets of double-bunk-beds with red curtains on the outside that looked like the sleeping compartment on a Pullman train. If you got the right bed you could peek through the curtains at night and see what the grownups were watching on TV.
Then it was two steps up to a clothes closet on one side and a WC and shower with metal sides and briny water.There was a little back porch with a clothesline that went to an outbuilding. All in all it was heaven! The back porch looked a lot like the photo below and the front porch was a bit like the photo above,if you take away the roof deck and screen it in. I remember playing cards at night on the porch table by the light of citronella candles.

My Auntie said that her father got the Houseboat before she was born. He got it as a trade in for a used car - it must have been in the late 30's or early 40's. This vintage houseboat is the same era.

Auntie's Houseboat was fixed up so beautifully! Looking back it must have been hard for the grownups to be in such a small place with 4 kids. But for us it was just the best place ever. Dear Auntie I wish you a very Happy Birthday today! Thank you for all the love that you pour out on us and those golden memories that we treasure.
guilded waves

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