There is a disturbance in the force. Fisherman awake from their winters slumber to the words, FREE BOAT. Someone at work is offering my husband a 16' Glastron ski boat with a 75 hp Evenrude motor. Just one small hitch, there is no trailer and the boat is entombed in snow. Itís propped up on tires in town, waiting rescue. Since we all ready own a boat, our oldest son decided he wanted it. At this time of the year everyone has their boats stored on the trailers. A call to a few rental places only brought laughter. The only option was to unload our boat and use the trailer. Step l: Uncover our boat from its wintery tomb and snow shovel a path for the boat to the driveway. Step 2: Pull the boat out from below and park it in front of the garage. Step 3: Place tires under the boat for support as the trailer is pulled forward. Step 4: Separate the boat from the trailer by a series of slow moves, jerks and continuous checking to see if it is alright.  Step 5: Thank the boat god for not letting the boat drop on to the ground. The boat resembles a woman holding up her skirt so she wonít get wet.

The next day my husband, son and son in law went into town to claim the prize. The boat was in the driveway facing the wrong direction for loading, with 15 garbage bags of old leaves piled inside and 15 gallons of rain water in its belly. The leaves where placed in the truck for weight, and the water was drained. Little was said to the previous owner about its condition. The former owner joined in and with four brains and a considerable amount of muscle the boat was given its freedom. The trailer design did not match the boats hull. A round peg in a square hole. This left it with a loose fit. Using bungee cords and motor cycle straps the warbling was curtailed to only when they turned a corner. With limited speed, a watchful eye, a forty mile trek brought it home where they repeated steps 1 through 4 in reverse, until the new boat lay on tires again, moored to a new piece of land. Our boat was again gently persuaded to return to on its trailer and moved to its designated winter slot. It snowed that night and all was erased and back to normal except for a new bump in the snow. Now two boats awaited fishing season.

Later we heard that a neighbor had come over after the guys had left, claiming that the former owner had promised the boat to him one drunken night. To save face and keep friendships a float, he gave the neighbor a $300 painting. Someone else also stopped by and offered to buy the boat because he had a trailer for it. And so it goes in Elk country.