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Aaron and Leslie - Lake Powell 2003
Aaron grew up going boating with his family and LOVED it. One of his lifelong dreams was to own his own boat someday. While we were dating, Aaron bought this boat and fulfilled one of his dreams in life. We have so many memories with this boat, on this boat, around this boat, and because of this boat. Here are a few of them...
Aaron - 2004 - Aaron took me on a Mexican cruise earlier that year. One of the waiters we had each night for dinner wore this hat on one of the last nights we were there. After dinner, Aaron asked him if he could have his hat. He gave it to him. He wore it a bunch that summer. It was made out of felt... but he enjoyed it. I love it.
We only have a few photos taken OF US TOGETHER on the boat. Thanks to Sue. This is one of them. Aaron often stood up like this when he was needing to see what was right in front of them boat while he drove.
Aaron LOVED wakeboarding. He often told me about how he used wakeboarding as an outlet. He wakeboarded A LOT before he went on his mission to Brazil to keep his mind focused on something enjoyable and good. He talked about how it was very therapeutic for him. He was amazing on a wakeboard. I saw him do lots of back flips and land them... but then let go of the rope... which made it so they 'didn't count'... I saw him land two with my own eyes where he kept hold of the rope. He was so excited when he did it. I got one on video and was ecstatic to have it, but it got erased somehow... which makes me so sad.
Here are a few video clips of him...
I was SO amazed at his skills. I have SO many photos of Aaron wakeboarding. I couldn't ever get enough.
One funny memory I will always have is when we would be sitting there after someone had wiped out, he would get out his screw driver and start tightening all of the screws on the boat. I have such a perfect and clear memory in my mind of him doing this SO often. I love it. He always took such good care of the boat.
Here he is floating in the water after a wipe out.
Aaron taught me how to wakeboard. I grew to love it so much. I was always so excited when I learned something new. I was always hoping Aaron had been watching from his rear view mirror on the boat while he drove. Sometimes he would ask someone else to drive while I wakeboarded so he could watch me. I always loved that. I always wanted to try harder when he was watching. I haven't quite decided if I will ever be able to wakeboard again without Aaron here.
One of my FAVORITE memories from this first trip to Lake Powell with Aaron is when he would be driving and I would be in the other captains's chair and he would look at me, pat his leg, and signal for me to come over and sit on his lap. THAT was my favorite place to be on the boat, of course. I LOVED it when he did that.
This is me after a wipe out. This was on the first trip going wakeboarding. When Aaron would circle the boat around to pick me up on this particular trip, he would mouth words to me that only he and I knew what he was saying. He kept mouthing the date of our wedding. No one else knew we were discussing that, so it was our little inside joke. He was so cute. This was in early May 2002.
Aaron and Leslie
Aaron's black Ford truck and boat are behind us in this photo. I have to sell his truck and that will be a very sad day. He loved his truck.
The only photo that I know of where we are sitting together in the back seat of the boat. I was always wanting to relax with Aaron like this while the boat was moving. It rarely happened because he was always driving people. :) And he ALWAYS went last on the wakeboard to make sure that other people got their turns for as long as they wanted.
This one is in a huge storm that came upon us at Utah Lake. The wind was making the rain pelt us in the faces really hard. It was hurting so bad. Everyone had their faces covered, but Aaron was so set on getting us all to shore safely that he was standing most of the time letting the rain hit him. I love this man.
I was more than five months pregnant here. We are kneeling on the back of the boat. I love this photo.
Aaron LOVED fishing. He always found time to take the boat out to a great fishing spot to catch some fish.
And here is our first trip to Lake Powell with Aaron Jr.
The ONLY 'family' photo of us on the boat... that I know of. Aaron is up front with his back to the photo. :( I wish we had more.
One of my favorite photos.
One thing that will always make me sad is that Aaron never got around to naming the boat. He always talked about how his grandpa named his boat after his grandma... so Aaron had wanted to name his boat after me. We talked about it, but of course, we always thought we had more time. He just never settled on a nickname of mine to call it. I wish he had gotten around to it... when he would talk about doing it, I was always so anxious to see what he would come up with. Too late now...
Relaxing at the end of the trip.
Last month, Aaron Jr and I went to where the boat is being stored at Nick's work (Sadie's husband). I wanted to go through things on the boat before it gets used again. I wanted to take some of our things off of it and just spend a little time on there. Here is Aaron's empty seat. I shed some tears staring at that seat remembering how much Aaron loved to drive the boat. He found such joy doing this.
You can see some dirty socks in the left of the photo. Aaron must have gotten them wet and then just taken them off there. They are a treasure now... can you believe it? Dirty socks... a treasure.
Aaron Jr taking his place in the drivers' seat. :) He got to sit on Daddy's lap lots of times while he drove.
This is my empty seat. This was always my seat when we were on the boat. Most of the time, Aaron would make sure that I was sitting there next to him. I loved having 'my own spot' on the boat next to Aaron. That was my second favorite place to be on the boat (first place being on his lap). It will never be my seat again. It would never feel right without Aaron being in the driver's seat.
Aaron Jr got a little dirty playing around on the boat. :)
Aaron and I talked a lot about when Aaron Jr would be able to start learning how to wakeboard. He wasn't old enough yet, but I am just so sad that Aaron won't be here to teach him. He would have loved to teach Aaron Jr how to do something he loved to do... like wakeboarding.
One of my main reasons for going to clean / be on the boat that day... was to say goodbye. The boat hadn't yet been used by anyone else as 'new owners'... so I wanted to go spend some time on it while it was still the way Aaron had left it.
Now, the reason I did this post...
This is the only photo I could find in my photos of Steve and Christa together ON the boat. I wanted to post this to show who is taking over the boat. When Aaron passed away, it never felt right when I thought of the boat being sold to a total stranger and watching it drive away. Aaron's brother had told me that he might be interested in buying the boat. I knew that Aaron would have wanted the boat to stay in his family so that there could be more memories made. There was still some money owed on the boat and I knew I wouldn't be able to afford to make the rest of the payments, so I called his brother Steve and told him that if he could take over the rest of the payments on the boat, he could just have it. He agreed to it and now it will stay in Aaron's family. Thanks Steve and Christa for being willing to take over the boat. I hope your family makes as many wonderful memories with that boat as we have made. I am sure Aaron is glad you are the ones to have it. Thank you SO much. I am so very grateful. Aaron always took pride in how he took care of it and I know that you guys will as well. ENJOY!
One last photo of Aaron on the boat. This is one of my favorite boating photos of Aaron. He is so handsome.
I love you, Menino... thanks for the priceless memories...
Love always, Menina *
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