I broke my own heart on valentine’s day. yes, I did.
burton w. chace park has been on my to do list since june. if you’ve seen any national weather reports lately, you’d know that “it never rains in southern california” is a blatant lie. this weekend we finally got a break from all the rain, which was the perfect reason to spend the day in a park. (it was also the perfect reason to compete in and WIN the los angeles amazing race, but that’s another story all together.)
what I haven’t told you about chace park is that it’s situated on a point, surrounded by marinas. marinas filled with beautiful boats. if you know anything about me, you probably know that my family was deeply entranced by boating for many years. the “sara smile” was our getaway, our pride and joy, our escape. some of the best times we’ve had as a family were spent aboard our moving cabin. but we didn’t just have the boat. we had the boating shoes, the nautical outfits, the gadgets, the doggy life vests, and even the maritime-themed dishes in the galley. when schedules got too busy and river gas prices went through the roof, sara smile was sold. away at college when the transaction was completed, I cried in my dorm room.
in retrospect, we all understand that despite our heartache, the timing was right. soon after we exited the boating world, boats followed the same course as houses and other markets as the economy turned downward. it was practically sound. and anyone who knows my dad knows he’s a practical man. (aside from certain home shopping gadgets and kmart christmas lawn ornaments.)
despite no longer having the actual boat, we’re all still boaters at heart. (cheesy, I know.) for this reason, we all still enjoy admiring boats, reading boating magazines, and planning for our next boat. as such, I figured nothing could be better than watching boats pass through the harbor into the marinas on a sunny valentine’s day. I watched them pass, accurately naming the make, model, and even size of many of the passing powerboats. and my heart ached. it felt like looking at your home, but not being allowed inside. not unlike driving past a childhood house that you know has new owners and new insides, but in your mind is still your own. just the way you left it. containing the memories of your past.
because as much as we loved the boat itself, and as much as we longed for the bigger, better boat, it was really nothing more than memories. a vessel (pun intended) to bring us closer. yes, the passing boats in chace park broke my heart. but the memories put it back together.