You know that lady in the Safeco Insurance commercial? The one that complains about putting the boat in the water, taking the boat out of the water. She then proclaims, "The boat makes me nervous."

I am her. Without the handbag.

Boating makes me nervous. I didn't grow up around boating like all you Minnesotans, even though I grew up by the ocean. I love the water, but mostly I love looking at the water. But not only do I feel vulnerable in a boat, all that bouncing and sloshing makes my inner ear do the hula.

Being the kind of swimmer that never gets her head wet, I don't think I'd stand a chance if I was ever thrown in the water from a boat.

It doesn't help that everyone up here smirks when I put on my life jacket to go boating. For a place that boasts so many bicycle helmets, I can't understand why life jackets are so uncool. It's the same principle. Staying alive.

But back to the kayak.

From the moment I moved here, I've been eyeing the kayakers. It looked so effortless and peaceful. It looked like a way that I could enjoy the water on my terms; without the booze and bikinis of Lake Minnetonka, the perfect excuse to float on flat water, without a fishing pole.

Yet without a launching place I couldn't fathom getting a kayak into the water from off of our narrow backwater dock that's surrounded by tall cattails, much less me into the kayak from that height. And then how would I haul it out after hauling me out from that angle.

You see, all I wanted to do was kayak around the inlets and watch the birds and turtles. I'm easily entertained and don't need any big open water, especially not the the fast, white kind. I just wanted to put in from my backyard, and skip the transport issue.

Home from school, my daughter pushed me to "just do it" this summer and now I'm the owner of a cute little kayak. Well, actually two, so she has one too. Thankfully they're light enough for me to hoist on the car since I still haven't figured out how to launch from our dock, but I've found quite a few sandy beaches around the area for scooting in the water. And no one laughs at my life jacket. Now I'm looking at every body of water I see from a whole new perspective.

I love the water when I'm level with the water lilies.