Nancy Roman

Row Row Row Your Boat

This Sunday, my husband and I took advantage of the nice weather to take our little rubber boat out to the local lake to paddle around.

I never know exactly how much makeup to wear on occasions like this.  Certainly I need a little blush over my sunscreen. And a touch of lipgloss. But then my eyes look so tiny, that I need just a little liner and mascara to offset the blush and lipgloss.  But without a little concealer, the liner will emphasize the dark circles under my eyes, so I need some of that too. (Please – you do not need to point out that I was wearing sunglasses… I could have needed to take them off. I didn’t, but I could have.) And then bronzer all over, so I look totally natural. (only better).

Here’s the result:

 lake harwinton

Of course, I am sorry now that I was wearing those cheap drugstore flip-flops. But I’ve had those $5.00 shoes for more than ten years, and they are the most comfortable shoes I own, and I can totally walk in the water with them, and they float. So there you go. But I should have taken them off for this picture.

Back to rowing.

My husband rowed the entire length of the lake, about half a mile, and I rowed back.

Let me repeat that.

I rowed back.

I have never rowed before, and I found that what looks easy is not so easy. For example, I had a bit of trouble

– getting both oars to move at the same time

– rowing with the same pressure on each oar

– getting the oars to not turn sideways

– moving the oars at all

I think, in my defense, that my husband had the current with him on the way out. (Lakes have currents, don’t they?) I also think that some big lake turtle must have latched onto my left oar and prevented me from moving it as strongly as I moved the right oar. (That could have been the problem, don’t you think?)

I did, however, find it very easy to turn in circles. Rowing back took a very long time because I made so many circles.

But I did it. I rowed all the way back. I only hit one dock. My husband is very sunburned because the trip took a little longer than we expected. He offered to take back the rowing chores several times, but NO WAY. When I am determined, just forget about it.

It did remind me of my favorite movie when I was nine.

ben hur

Ben Hur


I loved that movie as a kid, and I watched it many many times as a teenager and (and as an adult too, I must admit). And it wasn’t the excitement of the chariot race, or the religious miracles (although that’s what the nuns emphasized).

No. It was Charlton Heston. I certainly didn’t approve of his later-life politics, but I approved in a really big way (even at nine) of his body. He was the first man I ever swooned over.

But after this Sunday, I am so glad I never had to be a galley-slave.





  1. That illustration is the best!


    • Thanks… I petered out before I got to the side of the boat where the oar goes….then I was afraid to go back and fix it… since that usually results in total ruin.


  2. Ray G

    For me, it’s the chariot race, hands down. But Chuck really does look good in that movie, especially when he stands in the doorway before he confronts the broken Masala after the race.


    • He was one good-looking man. Nice to know that even men can see that.


  3. You look like a model. What are you talking about?
    Your $5.00 flip-flops walk ON water? I must see THAT! What do you like best about walking on water? Come on, you can tell us. Does it feel like gliding, or a miracle, or what: 😀 😀 😀
    That Heston really was somebody to drool over. Oh my. I could walk on water just thinking about him. BTW, are you saying that row, row your boating only built muscles in one arm but not the other. I’m sure you can fix that at the gym so no-one notices. 😀 😀


    • Two separate ideas in one sentence: I can walk in the water with them. AND they float, so if I lose one, I can retrieve it.
      And I do work out at the gym… but I guess my left arm doesn’t know that.


      • Do you row in the gym? Ha. Maybe that’s why your left arm didn’t want to pull join in the rowing fun. 😀 Kidding.

        I like that they float and all for $5.00. You’re a GOOD shopper, Nancy. I like anyone who know how to get the best bang for her buck. 😀 ❤


  4. I am thinking the $5 shoes add to your overall star quality, proving if you got it you got it. You look simply marvelous.

    As for rowing, I am impressed. I would have handed the oars back. I truly would have.


    • Couldn’t give him the satisfaction. I just couldn’t.


  5. Laurie

    Loved this. Yoo Hoo! I have a blister! The shoes look great.


    • The shoes are horrible.. worse than the standard thong flip-flops. I bought them in the drugstore ten years ago (a pair for me and a pair for my husband) to run from the house to the hot tub. He wears his to do that. I wear mine constantly – (at home though, I usually don’t leave the house in them….)


  6. You look like a rowing rockstar! How are your shoulders?


    • Shoulders fine – but as my cartoon portrays, I have a little blister on my left hand.


  7. Remember this, though. You rowed even farther than your spouse! Just remind him of that any time he gets uppity…


    • I definitely DID row further… all those circles must have added a quarter of a mile at least!


  8. Thank you for this insight into the real, gritty world of professional rowing. I had been considering it as my mid-life crisis career change, but now…

    I haven’t been around WordPress much this summer, so I’m floored by your great news. An actual, honest-to-goodness book. Congratulations! I’m so jealous – it’s great!


    • THANKS! I too am floored – that I actually finished it. And I like the book too – so you can’t beat that!


  9. I had the same crush — he was one of my first, in fact. But like the bad boyfriends of my youth, I know I wouldn’t have been happy with him. Politics would have divided us. At least until he shot me.

    Good for you to stick to your oars! BTW, kayaking is much easier …


    • Charlton Heston was the first time I ever realized that men’s bodies could be beautiful.


      • And their brains beyond comprehension!


        • I try never to think about their brains. It gives me nightmares.


  10. Kudos to you! I would have played the princess card long before reaching the shore. (Princesses don’t get blisters! It’s illegal!) As for Heston, I was more of a Paul Newman/Robert Redford fan. Just typing those names has my loins all heated up. Fortunately they are not sure what to do about it anymore.


    • Oh, I have nothing against Newman or Redford either.


  11. Haha! As someone who a) swooned over Charlton Heston in that galley and b) has rowed in many a circle, I love this post!


  12. LOL! I’ll bet your husband had a few good laughs as you were rowing in circles! I think your next books should be Erma Bombeck style. By the way, I’m reading your novel and it’s fantastic! Really. I love it and am in suspense even though I’m 79% into it. 🙂


    • No…. his reaction was more of exasperation. It was a miracle that he didn’t grab the oars from me. And thanks for the nice review on Amazon!


  13. I’ve never attempted to row, but good for you! (Sorry about the blister…)


  14. just be glad you didn’t have some one yelling at you to row faster.


  15. You really have to be careful with those big lake turtles. They have been known to keep people rowing in circles for hours on end.


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