It all started when our dad, Nick Fields, bought a
houseboat. We had been looking for just the right one for quite some time, and
with the help of Travis Keller from yournewboat.com, we found it on June of
last year, which was just in the “nick” of time. Working with Keller was great.
He really knows boats and he is very professional without being stuffy. We
brought it down and settled it into our permanent home at Stardust Marina on Norris Lake
After cleaning and redecorating, stocking and making it our own, the party was
on and life was great.
After a couple of weekends, most of the family got together
and we were all enjoying the sunny afternoon, some were swimming and some were
fishing. Our brother Jeff started out fishing for the small stuff like baby bass,
when out in the middle of the water there was a large splash which left a
16-inch ringed ripple in the water. Jeff decided to fish for the granddaddy of
them all, the well-known Joe the Carp. After changing from a small hook to a
large one and covering it in raw bacon, he fished for awhile, but to no
avail. Shortly after this time, the
captain, our dad, decided to fuel up and cruise down the open waters for a
grand maiden voyage. It turned out to be grand all right, and just in the
“nick” of time.
While at the pumps, I mentioned to my sister that she needed
to move the fishing rod that Jeff had been using so no one would hook himself
in the ear. So she placed the rod on the deck just in the “nick” of time. Dad
had just told us a story about the boat he owned when he was younger and about
how it caught on fire and sunk. We all got a laugh out of the fact that he had
a boat on the bottom of the lake and a boat on the top of the lake. The laughs
died immediately when my son Cole yelled at our dog, a Maltese named
Pebbles. When I looked at her, she had
already swallowed the hook covered in bacon all the way up to the sinker.
Everyone on the boat was freaked out. I had to just cut the line and pray. We
were all just about crazy with worry and sadness. My husband James was already
thinking of what he could do to ease my heartbreak when she passed on. She had
been my baby for nine years, and she was my little shadow. I prayed the rest of
the day that we had gotten to her just in the “nick” of time.
We finished the maiden voyage and all seemed to be going
just fine. Pebbles seemed to be holding her own, so when the boat was docked,
we cooked supper. Food was served and there was a hush over the crowd while the
munching began. My husband went for a second plate and when he scooted his
chair up to the table the legs collapsed under him and he fell out backwards. This
was the funniest thing of the day. After what we all had been through, this
laugh happened just in the “nick” of time.
When supper was finished and cleaned up, we broke out the
cards. Card playing is a favorite of the family’s and Rook is the game of
choice on this boat. We played and laughed for hours. Jeff and I were partners
against our brother Steve and our mom Judy.
Mom and Steve are good, but Jeff and I sealed the win just in the “nick”
We spent the night on the boat and returned home on Sunday
evening. Pebbles seemed to still be
doing quite well, and we planned to call the vet on Monday morning, when she
suddenly had to go out. I thought we had waited too long at this
point, but apparently it was just in the “nick” of time. She cleaned out and
was running around very excited that she had done so. When checked, the hook
was gleaming in the sun. She had passed the hook with no problems. Dad calls
Pebbles “Our Little Stove Pipe” now. The end
result was a miracle.
The next weekend was so amazing. My sister Nikki’s son,
Chase, found two of the smallest baby ducks we had ever seen. They had been
abandoned by their mother and were tired and on the verge of drowning. Chase
picked them up out of the water just in the “nick” of time. He became their surrogate dad. They followed
him around everywhere. When he went swimming, they went swimming; when he took
a nap, they took a nap. It was very touching to see them together. They lived
only a couple of days and when they died it was a terrible thing. Chase was so
heartbroken. To get his mind off his bad
day, Uncle James took him tubing just in the “nick” of time.
Well, summer is coming to a close very quickly and we have a
boat full of memories. We have shared
many laughs and every family needs that. We have also lost a lot under the
boat, such as a blackberry phone, camera, sun glasses, coasters, fishing rods,
scissors, and paint brushes. We have found out, not in the “nick” of time, that
the water is unforgiving. If you drop it, it will sink, never to return, gone
When I got married many years ago I moved to Toledo, Ohio,
and lived there for 25 years. My family moved back to Tennessee a year ago, and we have been with dad
every step of the way for purchasing the houseboat. We have enjoyed being home
with all our family and we know without a shadow of a doubt that it is
definitely just in the “nick” of time.
Well, you have made it to the end of our adventures on the
houseboat and you should have noticed a common thread throughout this tale. Yes,
you guessed it. The name of our boat, In The “Nick” Of Time, is after our dad.
Please include the names of the people (names saved in photo
title) on the bottom of each photo.