26 May 2011

Now, We Are Here

Jane's sister, Linnea, and her husband, Peter, happened to be heading off for a "weekend" getaway on the same day as us.  They reached their destination while we were only a few hours into our drive and sent us a picture with the caption, "We are here" Meaning both, "we have arrived" and "we are in this location."  I took a snapshot of a nondescript piece of highway 80 east in all its cloudy antiglory and texted her back with the same caption, but only half the meaning.  "How sad."  Came the reply text a few moments later.  "Yes," Jane and I agreed.  It is sad--for now.  Linnea laid down the pictoral gauntlet, but I knew who'd get the last shot in.  And so we did.  Here it is.

It is impossible to say if one of us loves the idea of this more than the other, but we come to it from different frames of reference, of course.  For me, this is an adventure, an odyssey; for Jane, there is some of that, to be sure, but it is also a homecoming.  Love her sense of herself as an educator though she may, she is nowhere more in her element than aboard a vessel underway.

Jane in her natural habitat
among the sails
looking  out  "to sea'
I don't belong anywhere in particular which gives me the freedom to go anywhere I want.  Ironically, Jane is not so free; she belongs on the water, belongs to the sea and it has ever been calling her back home. Who would have imagined that we could have bumped into a lifestyle that could dovetail our dreams so perfectly.  How serendipitous (though I think Jane would attribute it to the workings of a sometimes benevolent universe).  Either way, oh, fortunate we that my wanderlust and her homing instinct should find such amicable company.
Jane and Ean on Windsong

24 May 2011

Tuesday, Oh Six Hundred

Looking out from Pier 7 Marina, Edgewater, MD
We are aboard Wingsong.  Jane slept like...well...Jane; I barely slept at all. Which is all to the good as far as I'm concerned - I get more waking hours aboard and I've enjoyed every minute of them so far, even the ones during which I thought I'd lost my brand new, uber-cool bolle marine sunglasses. And we are still onshore!

 Here are a few things we have learned about the cruising lifestyle:

  1. Heads, as they are known, are noisy, very noisy.
  2. Space is even more limited in practice than in theory.
  3. When drying your clothes ondeck, turn colored items inside out if you don't want them to be bleached by the sun (no, this one we did not learn from our own experience, but from that of our "next-door" neighbors, Renee and Steve aboard Shiraz who have spent the last 10 years circumnavigating.  As an aside, their extremely tricked-out FP Venezia also happens to be for sale).
  4. This one is more a matter of re-learning: If you like bugs, turn on all your salon lights.  We have LOTS of bugs on the bridge now, many of them deceased since last night.
Captain Rich will be by in a few hours.  We set sail around 10:00.  On a sad note, the Blue Angels, for undisclosed reasons, canceled their flyover.  So, now our itinerary is to follow the wind and the currents.  Details to follow.

Sitting here, in the cockpit, in shorts and a T-shirt, admittedly only playing "yachties," it seems pretty unlikely that we'll be able to wait until the end of hurricane season to buy our boat.  But it is the prudent thing to do and perhaps when we are back in Milwaukee, a little distanced from all that we counting down for, it will be a bit more--just enough more--tolerable.  ...we'll see.

22 May 2011

Road Trip!

We're on our way to Annapolis for a two-day charter on a 38' Lagoon that just happens to be for sale. What joy!

It is Commissioning Week at USNA - bizarre that this bit of my ancient history is popping up on our way to the imminent future. Twenty-four years - to the day - after I sat with my family in the grass on Hospital Point, watching the Blue Angels air show, we will sit on a catamaran, out in Severn Bay, Ean and I, and watch another air show.

Rich the broker will be our captain. We will sleep on the boat on Monday night, and then he'll join us and we'll be out and about for Tuesday and Wednesday. We'll stay on the boat (docked) on Wednesday night, and on Thursday, regrettably, we return to the Midwest. Instead of going straight home we'll drive directly to Madison, where we're signed up for a three-day Hoofers sailing course that will lead to ASA 101 certification.

We're thrilled to be taking such concrete, positive steps towards the Boat Trip - but all these sailing-related plans and activities remind us that we have A LOT to do before we can "cast off." (The nautical metaphors are really hard to avoid, we find.). Preparing our house for sale and getting my prelims and proposal done are tops on the list.

But let's not worry about that just now. Now, we will enjoy our road tripping and our sailing.

19 May 2011

Haste Ye Back!

Royal Poinciana in front of the TC bank
On the road departing Treasure Cay, there's a sign that says, "Haste Ye Back!". Never have I taken the sentiment more to heart. I feel like we're getting so close, now, to this new life of ours. Actually, our countdown stubbornly sticks at WAY-more-than-200-days.  (257, to be precise.)

16 May 2011

The Future is Here, and It Waits

I am in the Bahamas for a few days, helping my mom out with some lawyering and other chores.  I am reminded that HERE is a good place to be.  While Ean is back in MKE, where gray is a primary color and temperatures are in the 50s, it is sunny and 80-something here, sky blue and sea teal.  I have taken some pictures of our future (temporary) home: also affectionately referred to as "mom's backyard." 
The middle piling must go.

Looking down on "our" dock from the house.

08 May 2011

Old Dogs, New Tricks

In the past couple of weeks, our beloved Floey-dog has died, and we have passed the one-year anniversary of my dad's death.  It's been hard to write about an exciting future when I've been thinking about the past.  Linnea has lost her old dog within the last few months as well.  Both Harriet and Floey had long, good lives (14+ years), and they both were "put to sleep" in the end, instead of being left to struggle through to their last ragged breaths.  For both of us, these more recent losses have re-surfaced our feelings about Dad's death, with thoughts of how much harder it was for him.  Ean and I were with him in his last hours, and although I can hope that he was not aware or in pain, his BODY struggled and struggled on.  The nurse told me that I should hold his hand and tell him it was all right to "let go."  I hope the part of him who could have understood that message was long gone by then.  We felt the hanging on, more than the letting go.  The end of a life is a sad thing to see, however it might be accompanied by relief, or love, or happy memories, or gratitude.

One of my favorite pics of Floey - Sunset Lake

But I haven't been immersed in sadness.  Ean and I have been engaged in some impressive change efforts.  Old dogs ourselves, learning some cool new tricks.