Anchor

dictionary with letter A

Anchor: (n) a heavy object attached to a rope or chain and used to moor a vessel to the bottom.

It was made of aluminum, about twelve feet long, with three wooden, bench seats inside, one of the perches broken.

It was my dad’s boat.

It more resembled a canoe with a thyroid problem.

But whenever my dad launched his vessel onto the great and mighty waters of Hoover Lake, he suddenly transformed into some sort of John Paul Jones, which to me as a boy, appeared as a nautical monster.

He began using the lingo of the sea and was perpetually angry with his crew–embodied solely in myself.

He explained that the best way to fish was to find a quiet, deep lagoon and drop your anchor so your boat wouldn’t move, and you would be present with your bait, to lure in the schools of fish. (Often we often must have arrived during some sort of fish holiday–because the schools were usually out.)

Nevertheless, he yelled at me to drop anchor, which was a forty pound cube of cement block, which he had put together by pouring it into a plastic bucket and then destroying the bucket to free the cement once it had hardened. Attached to this heavy clump was a rope.

Now, you must realize–we only had twenty-five feet of rope on our anchor–which is fine is you happen to be perched in twenty-three feet of water. But as I lifted the huge mass over the side of the boat and dropped it into the water, I was never sure if it actually hit the bottom.

So after an hour or so, my dad would look up from his fishing pole, where he had frozen his eyes intently, and realize that we had floated far from our desired spot.

This initiated a whole new tirade of “captain-to-deck-swab” complaints. I tried to defend myself by explaining that we did not have enough rope to reach the bottom of the lake, but he never seemed to quite comprehend that if the anchor doesn’t land on the bottom, it really doesn’t keep you in place.

What great symbolism.

After all, if our anchor is floating along with society’s ideas and standards instead of landing firmly on solid ground, we, too, tend to drift from our preferred placement.

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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