Sunday, May 29, 2011


As we turn our bow back toward the Outer Banks, I am reminded that this will not be the first time we have sailed this boat home.

The first week of May, just one year ago, we brought our new boat home to the Outer Banks from Rock Hall, Maryland.

Land still had a stronghold on us. Although we had sold our house and old boat, we still lived ashore in a tiny rental house. We owned a wine shop, two cars and an enormous pile of land belongings.

Last year, on May 27th, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our wine shop, the last major piece of our complicated puzzle that had to be dispatched before setting off on our cruising life. The store was under contract waiting on loan approval. Five years of 'ifs' were suddenly stacked in one big, emotional heap threatening, just maybe, to turn into 'whens.'

At the same time, we were in the final throes of disposing of the remainder of our belongings. When we moved from the rental house to the boat, we were officially live aboards, but, in fact, we were much more "move aboards." We were still pushing around piles of stuff dumped in huge plastic bins, bins that we hauled around in our cars until we found the time and emotional fortitude to take each item in hand, live through its remembrances and make the final decision whether or not it would travel with us.

But you know what? If I did not keep a log, I could not have told you these details. One of the great failings of my memory is that it irons out the past into a straight, thin line, losing the pulsating highs and lows that turn life into living.

FLASHBACK: Saturday, May 29, 2010


home |hōm| noun -- a place where something flourishes
All those big plastic bins holding the last of our belongings are starting to feel like so many Pandora's boxes. Every few days we pull another one out of the car and release its content, every time left to deal with the consequences.
The truth is, we don't want any more stuff on the boat, but once it comes out of the proverbial box, we have to remember its history, judge its value, weigh its role in our future, and if we keep it, deal with the increasingly onerous task of finding a place for it on the boat.
Tonight instead of the painstaking process of pulling out each item and debating its fate, we played a game of Top Ten, taking turns picking something out of the bin until we each had 10 items. The rest would go back in the car and eventually be dispatched to Goodwill.
The bin held tools, cookbooks, folders, printer paper, books, charts and fabric, but except for a putty knife, neither of us chose those things with practical value.
Instead, Chip picked a small stuffed rabbit I gave him one long ago Christmas, a dog-eared notebook of song lyrics in progress and a Queen Elizabeth II ashtray given to us by a friend. I kept a decorative wooden mermaid, a tiny Buddha that Chip gave me and a little stuffed mouse in a red gingham dress made for me by my great aunt Flora when I was nine.
We've spent months stockpiling the practical yet impersonal necessities of life on a sailboat, the things that will help us survive. But today, we both felt the need to bring aboard the sentimental and fanciful essentials of living, the things that will help us thrive.
If you'd like to read more about our eventful May last year, you can do so here.

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