Family Outings on the Pontoon Boat

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Illustration by Lyn Wellsand
A Lyn Wellsand illustration of a father and his three daughters spending a summer afternoon at the lake on a pontoon boat.

My growing-up years were adventurous; there was never a dull moment. When I think back to my childhood, I’m thankful for the wonderful memories that are still so vivid in my mind.

Although we had many daily activities to fill our time during the summer months, my favorite adventure on a hot day was to go to our favorite swimming hole. My sisters and I would help our dad load towels, snacks and drinks onto our pontoon boat, and then we would cruise down the river to our special spot for a day of fun in the sun.

The great thing about this spot was that it didn’t have any rocks or seaweed. The river bottom was lined with sand, and the water was clear. It was like going to the beach. We enjoyed hours of fun there, oblivious to time as we had races to see who could swim the farthest. In our make-believe world, we were stranded on a deserted island, and we used our imaginations to turn ourselves into characters out of our favorite storybooks. Not wanting to leave our mom out, we would collect snail shells to take home to her — I’m sure she appreciated our efforts. This was our special time together. It was a time to escape, a time to pretend, and, even though we didn’t realize it then, it was a time to create unforgettable childhood memories.

We would play until we were exhausted, then we would pile back into the boat. Dad would turn the engine on and head for home, while we girls, all bundled up in towels, sat back and looked ahead at nature’s beauty, enjoying the silence surrounding us. As daylight turned to dusk, we knew our adventure was almost over. The memories, however, had just started forming in our minds and would stay with us forever.

New Boston, Michigan

Looking for more stories of fun around the swimming hole? Read Memories of Swimming Holes.