At the risk of writing a (slightly) political article alluding to some opinions about supply chains and the state of the modern world, I wanted to share what (finally) arrived on my doorstep yesterday.
In fact, it was a large box, and a box I’d ordered … in June.
In June, we were undergoing record heat, the days were long, and ahead of us were all sorts of free summer weekends filled with plans and potential for getaways to the mountains or nearby lakes or anywhere our pandemic lockdown selves could reach in a car without crossing borders.
We optimistically ordered an inflatable kayak. And not just any old blow-up boat. We did some research, trialed some rentals, talked to people who know about these things, and ultimately invested in a fairly mid-to-high-end kayak made of sturdy materials and meant for real, practical outings.
It never shipped.
We received a notice about it being low in stock, then out of stock, then anticipated back in stock any day, and then a simple we’ll update you about your order when we have more information.
After a month of waiting we cautiously ordered a second (much cheaper) inflatable kayak … if only because we had lodged it into our hearts that we wanted to get out on the water in one form or another. Summer was short. Summer is always short. Had the first one shipped in the meanwhile we would return the second. Or, alternatively, keep it for the kid (there are three of us and a dog, after all.) But it seemed like summer was slipping away while we waiting for an invisible manufacturing or shipping problem to resolve itself.
The replacement arrived quickly, and so July and August were peppered with outings in our bright yellow inflatable dinghy-come-kayak, more of an oblong boat or a canoe-shaped raft toy than a proper adventure tool.
No word on the first kayak.
We went out once in September but already the weather was starting to cool and the risk of falling in the water and chilling too much was not sitting well with my practical sensibilities on the noob kayaker front.
Still, no original kayak arrived.
October came and dwindled. On some of my morning runs I noted that the creeks had a layer of ice on them already as the overnight temperatures consistently dipped into the sub-zero freezing range. I packed up the big yellow kayak into our winter storage space and resigned myself to start thinking about snowier sports.
Then on Halloween, a shipping notice arrived in my email, and a few days later a big cardboard box was dropped off on the front step.
The original kayak had arrived.
Just in time for winter.
Just in time to drop it into my storage space … and dream about next year’s kayaking adventures.