Giving Away Grace
Giving Away Grace
Posted this ad on our local Drewslist (our local equivalent of Craigslist) this week:
Free: Aquaterra KAYAK
Grace: a stable, trusty paddle.
Paddles, spray skirt included.
This 17- foot, rudderless Aquaterra plastic sea kayak with paddle,
cockpit cover, and spray skirt to the person with the right story!
In this boat I kayaked 1800 miles around Lake Superior in 1992. We moved to Whidbey in 1994 and she’s enjoyed many pleasant hours in Puget Sound. As you can see, she is well cared for. But she weighs 65 pounds and when I kayak these days I find myself always opting for my lighter weight boat. Since she has a remarkable story, she needs to go to someone who really wants her. Also included, my story of that journey: Deep Water Passage, A Spiritual Journey at Mid-Life.
Please donate something to Drew. We do.
Ann Linnea 7/06/2021
The emails of interest began pouring in. In the next several days 19 people expressed an interest. Their stories were many and varied: “Need a kayak for my daughter so she can join our adventures. My husband would never buy himself something, and he works so hard. I would love a kayak for my wife and I take really good care of gear. I’d like to do longer paddling trips in the San Juan Islands. . . .”
On July 10 a young father from nearby Oak Harbor arrived with his 7 and 4-year-old sons with many adventuring tales and a firm commitment to tending old gear. He skillfully loaded the boat onto his sedan. As I handed him an autographed copy of Deep Water Passage, he shared that he has aspirations to write his own book. We shook hands and off he went.
Here is the response I sent to each person who inquired about the boat:
Thank you for your inquiry about my Aquaterra Sea Kayak. Some of you shared stories about why you would like this 32-year-old kayak that carried me around Lake Superior in 1992. In the true spirit of Drewslist, I lined you up in the order of receiving your emails. This afternoon a young family in Oak Harbor with an excellent story loaded her up and took her into her next life. They were the first people to inquire about the boat.
Fellow paddlers on the sea of life, be well, keep your paddle in the water, and keep adventuring always!
See you on the water,
My greatest joy at this time in my life is empowering the next generation(s)!
Ann, I love hearing about yet another way that you spread love out into the world and, because of your love and concern for the next generations, that love will continue to ripple out. I can only imagine how happy this young dad and his boys are about receiving this special kayak, and happier still to have met you.
Thank you, Jeanne. Yes, it was truly a joyful occasion. Deeply do I believe that the work in our 70s, since we are lucky enough to be upright and active, is to be of help in any way we can to those coming up behind us.
Another passage of its own.
Brought memories of meeting Grace on my first kayaking adventure with you, as our trusty guide and teacher of the ways of the water. Grace was so special to encounter and to sit in. She represented so much more than a worthy plastic boat.
And now she moves on, as she still has more life to live on the waters. She has more teaching to impart to her new, lucky family. To my surprise just reading the headlines brought emotions and tears to my eyes. Of course you know that this gift to this family is even bigger than they have any idea. But they will learn and be better for this incredibly worthy kayak Gracing their lives. I really appreciate your sharing this, Ann. I am sure Grace will miss you.
Dear Jeanne, Such sweet and thoughtful comments from someone else who new and respected this boat. Our gear, when cared for and used wisely, is part of our family/part of our story. When I spoke with this young man and listened to him talk about still owning some of his original Goretex because he cares for it, I knew Grace would get the respect she deserves. Watching him with his 7 and 4-year-olds, I was doubly sure this was a man who has a respect for not only adventure but the great cycle of life.
This is so touching! I will always remember your incredible trip kayaking around Lake Superior! I have fond memories of bringing Joel, Anna, and Molly to join Brian and Sally in welcoming you home, as we tied balloons to Grace once you were on shore.
Years later when Anna, Molly and I came got Sally’s 8th grade graduation on Whidbey Island you took us kayaking. I got to ride in Grace and we saw a baby seal playfully surfacing near Molly.
What a beautiful story of the man and his sons who now own Grace! May they have many wonderful trips in it!
Ann, your giving heart and knowledge are incredible gifts that you share as you teach others.
With love, admiration and respect,
Your sister, Kathy
Oh, Kathy, bless you for these kind comments! I appreciate that you took the time to write this and share a bit more of the history of Grace. Much love, Ann
Nice Ann, way to go. The universe does provide, doesn’t it 🙂
Yes, my friend, it does indeed!
Oh My!! What a story of THAT kayak and all the stories she carries. I love that you gave them a copy of your book as it certainly goes with her. Now that family has a new story beginning, too. I just love this circle, movement, impulse, generosity, and love!
Love hearing your voice here, Sara—you who have given so very generously of your time and energy to wilderness guides over the decades!
Love this story. Love your generosity and kindness. Love you.
You of all people know and show that kindness makes the world go round. Thank you for your voice here. And love back to you!
Passing on your love to the next generation.
I like it!
And right back to you! Thanks for responding.
Love this, dearest Ann.
Thank you, my friend.
Namaste to you dear Ann.
Dear Suzanne, It is so interesting how these things work. The decision to pass on Grace to someone else was over a year in the making. When it became clear, the way forward was obvious and most rewarding. A true nameste. Ann
Grace is off to new adventures! Who knows? Perhaps one of the members of the family who are now Grace’s stewards will engage in a rite of passage of their own in the very same kayak. Hmm…
Thank you, James. A rite of passage means different things to different folks. I am imagining that seven-year-old boy learning to paddle in that boat or his father taking his first kayak camping trip in it.
Great story! A wonderful way to pass a well used item along to others!
Thank you, Dot.
I read Safe Water Passage–I believe my deceased sister who then lived in Moorhead, MN, gave me a copy, and that, along with Christina’s writings, led me to your blog, which I love. So, many thanks!
Louisa Rogers, Eureka, CA and Guanajuato, Mexico
The world is such a connected circle. Thank you for sharing your journey here. Be well.
I loved this Anne. We were in Duluth for a few days, last week and you and Christina were in my thoughts. So many memories of our writing group, of hearing you read about your trip on Lake Superior. Glad we shared those times. Glad you are sharing Grace and your trip with this family.
Absolutely lovely to see your name here, Ann. Yes, we met one another at a very foundational time in my life. That writing group was a powerful group of women—each of us changing our life trajectories in ways both discernible and subtle as a result of sharing our wisdom. My very best to you and John
What a sweet story shared by a sweet human. I love your spirit of giving and of welcoming a next gen or stories.
Thank you, Tenneson. It is amazing how one simple act can return such joy to the initiator!
Dearest Ann, When I saw the beginning of this post, my first thought was, “Wow! How were you able to give her up (it helps to hear it took a year to decide), but at the end it was so clearly an Ann thing to do. Pass on the love, gather no moss, travel light, and all that.
Hanging in my shade is an Old Town canoe (that is heavier than mess) with a story. When I was born my father took a week off work to “help.” His friend came for a visit and they spent the week in the back yard fiber-glassing the old canoe while my still-hemorrhaging mother—two children now— washed diapers by hand, watching them them through the window over the tub. Sixty plus years later, she still wasn’t over it. Sixty-nine years later, still have the canoe.
It sounds like the perfect family was first in line. And you have been beyond-belief courageous again.
Well, my friend, in the end it was not about courage. It was stepping into a higher purpose both for the boat and for myself. Hmmm . . . wonder how you might transform the Old Town canoe story into one that transforms that old story into one that is more positive for you!
I saw you in Minneapolis at Amazon Books many years ago when you did a book tour for “Deep Water Passage”. I purchased a copy and have read it many times over the years. I’ve also purchased many copies of your book to give to friends [in fact, I have currently have 4 copies waiting to be give to friends] – friends who do not necessary kayak but who love spending time outdoors and have an adventurous spirit.
I no longer live in MN – I live in western NC and learned, from another hiker that your sister lives in this area too. Life – it is amazing!
All the best, Ann.
Dear Jan, Thank you for taking the time to write. As I am responding to you, I am sitting looking out over Lake Superior from my friend.Paul’s deck. The memories of our trip around Lake Superior still sit strongly in our friendship. To receive this appreciation from you while being in Duluth also moves me to your last phrase, Life – it is amazing! And, yes, my sister lives in Brevard, NC.
Hello Ann, some how I missed this one in July, but caught the link in the news letter. What a wonderful way to move on such a special kayak. I bet you enjoyed all of the stories as well. And on it goes – a new lease of life with a new family 🙂
Dear Alison, Lovely to see your name on the page! May this find you well. Remembering our good times together. Ann