Sunday, June 18, 2023

Life Lessons from Sailing and my Father

My father introduced me to sailing when I was very young. Some of my earliest memories are of sailing vacations on Long Island Sound. We sailed to a different port each night, sometimes for a week or more, to places like the Connecticut River, Fischer’s Island, and Shelter Island.

Sailing, and my father, taught me many things that have stayed with me to this day. Patience, for instance. Sailing is different from motor boating because the speed of the trip is dependent on the weather, which is mostly beyond our control.

I say mostly because sailing also taught me the importance of planning, and part of planning a sailing trip is watching for a conducive weather window.

And that leads to another important life lesson: flexibility and resilience. When the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse, you must adapt your plans accordingly. And if you can't make it to your original destination, refer to the first lesson.

Sailing, and my father, also instilled in me a love of nature. While other sailors headed for big marinas each night and dinner out at a restaurant, we usually looked for a quiet cove to drop the anchor and prepare a simple home-cooked meal. Instead of bright marina lights, we slept under the stars to the peaceful sounds of nature's rhapsody.

Thanks, Dad. Happy Father's Day. I hope you are still enjoying the kind of peace that you taught me to enjoy in sailing.


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Cool Gallinule


That gal 'o mine

Is a Gallinule, 

She likes to swim

In a pond or a pool. 

People mistake you

For a "duck" type bird, 

But in fact you're a "rail"!

(Now ain't that absurd?)

A duck's web feet 

Make him waddle real bad, 

But your toes let you run

On beach or lily pad. 

With your red-n-yellow beak

You're the coolest of cool. 

Isn't it grand

To be a Gallinule?

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Dress that Made Her Say Yes

My baby girl's getting married next year,

I'm so happy she said "Yes!"

It seems like only yesterday

She was emptying the nest.

Last month she went to Kleinfeld's,

Home of "Say yes to the dress!"

She brought her mom and aunt and friends,

(The tears made quite a mess.)

We are all elated for her,

With a teardrop and a sigh.

I just don't think it's the gown

That made my little girl say yes -

  I think it's the guy.


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Pelican Dive

Copyright 2021 by Kenneth Van Camp, all rights reserved.

The pelican soars on mighty wings,

Scanning below for fishy things.

With a tuck and a roll and a mighty splash,

The fish swim away in a high-tailing dash!

I thought such an impact might give you some traction-time;

Instead the head pounding has dulled your reaction-time.

If you want to catch fish before they've all fled, dear -

Perhaps you'll consider the wearing of head gear! 

Not a Romantic Poem

Copyright 2021 by Kenneth Van Camp, all rights reserved.

You tell our friends I'm a romantic -

Much more than I used to be.

You tell them about the flowers I bring,

The love poems I write,

      the shows I take you to see.

You tell them about the candle-lit dinner

With the classical violinist I hired,

In the gazebo by the lake

Where we ate and danced,

      and danced until we were tired.

Silly woman - I'm not a romantic!

That's not the reason for the things I do...

It's only to see the sparkle it brings

To your eyes when I tell you

     I'm so much in love with you!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

In Mullet Key Bayou

Copyright 2021 by Kenneth Van Camp, all rights reserved.

A gentle breeze caresses the sails
    and stirs them from their slumber.
A tiny wake follows us
    as we sail the narrow channel.

The anchor drops,
    the sailboat swings,
    the heron calls.
The dragonfly hums,
    the dolphin sighs,
    the sun sets.

All is at peace in Mullet Key Bayou.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Only With You

Copyright 2021 by Kenneth Van Camp, all rights reserved.

Why is it I always want to be with you?

Is it because my future holds the key with you?

Or because I have a million sunsets still to see with you?

Maybe it's the way my heart skips a beat with you.

Or how I feel I never have to compete with you.

Or how I feel my whole is only complete with you.

But really I know (if it doesn't show)

  That I'll never be lonely with you.

And that's why my dear I'm keeping you near

  Because happiness is when I'm only with you.