Okay, so she thought about the care and thought that must have gone behind the reasoning of laminating maps. Sure it keeps them clean and they don’t rip at the folds. But that’s what makes a map cool. The wear and tear of the paper the diminishing lines that mark the streets and towns. The disappearance of places just like in real life. She worked with a woman once whose brother-in-law was a mapmaker. She never asked but wondered if he worked from an airplane? After all how could you really do a good job with out seeing the entire thing? There had to be pictures at least.
Mowana-Winky popped in and out of her life from the day she met her. Mowana was quiet like she was and didn’t need a lot of taking care of. She for a young one was pretty self-sufficient she thought, even for an 8 year old. But a close eye was always on her. There was a lot of land and trees to wonder and get lost in. Even thought she never went far, usually to the lake, someone was always near.
When she was ten she was allowed to use the small boat that was on the lake. But she had to take lessons on how to be safe. She thought that kind of odd since it was just a lake and not the ocean. It didn’t have the big waves like the ocean and you could see the other side of the lake unlike the ocean. At least the pictures she had seen of the ocean, she was never able to see the other side. So she knew that it was big. She thought it would be great to just row out and lay in the bottom of the boat and watch the clouds roll by. And listen to the water slap the bottom and side of the boat.
Lessons were fun and easy. Fun because her father actually was the one who taught her to use the boat and took her out three days in a row. Now as she thinks back it his lessons where easy and not complicated at all. And he spent more time just rowing around the lake than talking about how to be safe. It was then that she knew her father liked the water as much as she did. He started to tell her stories of ocean liner’s and big boats on the ocean. He told her about the ocean liner he went on when he was a little boy. When he was eight his mother’s father passed away and they left New York for England on the Queen Mary.
Their room was one of the bigger ones and had a door that went outside. He told her that he stretched out as far as he could so that he could watch New York get smaller and smaller. He hoped that he was able to see London as they came into port. He told her stories about the people on the boat. The fancy dinner’s the games played during the day and how people walked around and around on the deck.
But mostly while in the little boat they just floated and rowed around the lake. She never asked why her father was home for three days in a row. She just liked being in the boat with him and it didn’t matter. It was cool, peaceful and relaxing.
One day after her lessons when she as allowed to go out on the boat by herself, she was laying in the bottom of the boat looking up at the blue sky. It was the perfect summer day. It was warm but the breeze was just right. What she really wanted to do was be out on the lake at night to watch the stars. She knew she would have to be older to get to do that.
She closed her eyes and thought about the water. Wondered what it would be like to live under water. Not inside of something under water but under water like a fish. She thought that it had to be the most peaceful place on earth. And because the water surrounded you like a blanket it had be feel safe and comforting. But then she thought about the temperature of the water. Did fish get cold? She knew the water had to be cold in the winter because last winter it actually froze over a bit it got so cold.
What would Thursday bring? She still had the image of those laminated maps in her head and wondered if she retraced her steps if maybe she would see him again. Maybe she would ask him where he got the maps. She didn’t want to embarrass him by asking about the lamination; she thought just asking where he got them might reveal how they got that way. But it would be totally out of character to ask or even approach him about it. She would talk to others when they initiated the conversation, but she was never the one to start the conversation, especially with a stranger.
She didn’t think that she was interesting enough to engage other in conversation or banter. So felt that if they were compelled to talk to her or ask her a question she was more than happy to oblige. It made her a bit uncomfortable to put herself out there like that.
She was actually fine with just wondering and making up her own story of why or how the maps came to be. Maybe he was allergic to paper and had to have it covered so that he could hold it. Maybe he was one of those people who ate paper? So lamination kept him from eating it. Maybe he had a crazy aunt who gave him a laminating machine for his birthday and he hated not to use it so he did. Maybe she would get a laminator.