Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

July 12, 2018 Bested by a paddleboard
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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My daughter Kinzey and I stood looking at the paddleboard hanging over our heads in the aisle of the super store. It was a streamlined blue and white beauty with teal accents and included a paddle, a fin, and a sleeve cover. It was also 10 feet long and out of our reach, which necessitated the flagging down of a store employee. We managed to snag one as he was on his way from one area to another and after explaining why we needed him, he called another employee over to help.

It turns out, the hanging paddleboard was for display only and if we wanted one, we had to take one enclosed in a box. The boxes, stacked upright in a metal framework, caused a lot of grunts and maneuvering, but eventually the two employees hefted a box out of the shelving cage and loaded the 12-foot-long, 4-foot-wide box onto a 5-foot-long flat cart. Yes, a 12-foot-long box on a 5-foot-long cart. The two employees then smiled, said they were happy to be of help and left us standing there looking at our situation.

The laws of gravity were in perfect working order as the end of the box rested firmly on the floor, causing the front of the box to raise in the air. I took a hold of the front handle of the cart and began to pull. The cart wheels squeaked in protest, and the box made a loud noise dragging on the floor. I dumped my purse on the front end, hoping to weigh the box down and to my great surprise it was not heavy enough.

Then Kinzey seized on the brilliant notion of bracing one knee on the front end, and pushing off the side with her other leg, much like one of those scooters with a seat that you see the injured and elderly using. This made steering a bit of a tricky event and we zig-zagged our way down the aisles, occasionally knocking merchandise to the floor.

By this time, we were both having fits of laughter. Kinzey was also embarrassed and grabbed a khaki bucket hat from a bin as we careened by and plopped it on her head as a disguise.

We finally arrived at the checkout lanes and the cashier checked us out, maneuvered the cart expertly through the lanes and then turned it back over to my questionable driving ability. We then had another long torturous trek to the vehicle. Upon arriving at our SUV, we opened the hatchback and studied the space inside and then looked back at the solid, inflexible box. We did not have the straps needed to haul it on top of the vehicle, so I had made sure to measure the interior before this shopping trip. We hadn’t counted on the extra inches the box added.

Kinzey voted to ditch the box and just load the paddleboard. I said we needed to try it first with the box and then resort to her Plan B. After a lot of heaving, shoving, grunting, and, of course, dropping it onto my foot, we managed to get the box wedged in the vehicle. I limped around the car and slid into the driver’s seat and realized I had zero visibility in any mirror or window except for my side of the windshield and my driver side mirror.

In other words, we needed to execute Plan B. Kinzey yanked off her bucket hat and gave me a heated “I TOLD you so, Mom!” as we dripped sweat in the 90-plus degrees trying to open a heavy-duty box sealed shut with Gorilla Glue and staples, but she was also excited to finally have her long-awaited treasure. She had saved up for the better part of a year to afford buying this paddleboard. With the box now empty and flattened we were able to slide the board lengthwise between the seats which gave me limited but adequate visibility for the drive home.

Once at home, Kinzey attached the fin to her board and practiced tying it down on top of her Explorer with straps. The next day we went to Lake Darling and she tried out her new board on the water. She said it was worth every penny she spent, and I know she will take excellent care of it, because of how long it took her to raise the money. As a bonus, her khaki bucket hat will be the perfect accessory for her mission trip to Mexico this summer.

Copyright @ 2018 Jana Miller

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