It happened a long time ago, so far back that the memories are fuzzy. We had kept the cottage open, planning to have Thanksgiving there. It was just my folks and my wife and I. Oh yes, and my rough and tuff Brittany Zach.
I’m sure the morning started early, long before daylight, with my father and me setting out our decoys. The boat was a snug affair with a grassed roof to keep us dry and hidden. A gentle push would inspire the top upward, with a bungee cord convincing it all the way back.
We must have tossed out the cork and pine black duck decoys I’d made and then nestled the boat against a bank in the salt marsh. That was the usual routine. Together we’d have sipped coffee and waited for the morning sun. And hopefully the ducks.
I don’t remember the hunt, but I do remember heading back in. The crests of the rolling waves were as far apart as the stem and stern of our boat, and snow blew sideways in the blustery north wind. I remember thinking the boat couldn’t take on too much water, because it was so full of decoys and gear, and wondering if the decoys would keep it afloat.
And then I remember Thanksgiving dinner, as only Mom could make it, with all of us sitting there and watching through the big picture window, feeling quite content and snug, as the snow blew sideways over the bay.