Posted on May 1, 2016
- Packing situation moving right along. Starting in on the kitchen, which is frankly a big deal around here. Strongly considering reducing to only items we’ll be taking on the boat, and seeing if I lose my mind.
- Michu spent his first night on the boat for the year, working primarily on the refrigeration and thru-hulls. Failed to bring along any source of fire for the stove; attempted to light a paper towel with his hot knife; filled the whole boat with smoke.
- Oddest task of the week: informing our fish monger that we’re leaving, and he no longer needs to stock a particular kind of frozen fish in the back for us. We’re covering all our bases.
- West Marine and Amazon considering giving us some kind of award for best customers. Or they should be.
- Final round of gardening basically done–weeded, mulched, ready for the next gardener to take over with the false assumption that it always looks this amazing. Embarrassed to admit that we found some unused worm compost in the basement, now dug in to our backyard veggie beds.
- Kids looking forward to the end of school. Final soccer season underway, with the first game in 40 degrees and rain. Final instrument recitals in two weeks.
- Invites sent out for our Bon Voyage party at a pier in Milwaukee. Waaaaaay more people coming than will fit on the boat; strategically locating the party at a very large pier with public bathrooms. Considering how much ice would be needed to fill entire cockpit well with beverages.
- Best piece of boat jewelry for the week: this new hand-held vacuum cleaner. Michu says it really sucks. Ba-dum boom.
Posted on April 26, 2016
Way, way back–maybe three years ago–when we were planning for this little adventure and thinking about budget, I came to the unshakeable belief that the final month or two of our land life would require some significant latitude in extracurricular spending. To wit: stop being so tight-fisted before you lose your mind. That day has arrived, my friends.
This certainly relates to our overall shift toward the finish line, but as I’ve eased up on the purse strings, I’ve realized how stressful our personal culture of denial has been for the last six or seven years. I would NOT recommend Googling “poverty mentality” or “scarcity mentality;” you will either end up in a terrible right-wing tirade blaming the poor for their problems, or a very suspicious new-age-y discourse about welcoming abundance into your life. AVOID. But when your default setting for years has been “no”–not ordering the take-out, not buying the book, not even looking at that Title Nine catalog lest you be tempted to buy something–it’s pretty liberating to be able to say “yes.”
A lot of our “yes” has been around the flurry of final gear purchases, but having budgeted for a little breathing room with the home comforts, I’m feeling pretty good about our new level of mad luxury around here. Long day of prepping and packing up the house? ORDER THE PIZZA!! It’s all part of the plan.
I know you’re all on the edge of your seats to hear about the latest word in closed-cooling systems from Michu, but he’s been knocking out an intense final month of work, trying to top up the cruising kitty and pay for all that pizza. His last day on the job is May 12, after which: nothing but boat projects.
Posted on April 20, 2016
Some kind of switch has flipped for me this week. The time pressure is becoming real, the seasonal changes have had an impact–we hit 80 degrees the other day!–and I feel like the tide has turned from “we’re leaving someday soon” to “final prep.” Decisions are coming faster; purchases are being made without the thought of putting it off until we do more research; and evaluating all our stuff for the categories of Pitch, Sell, Store or Take is instantaneous. (There’s a very small pile of “Take If We Can Find Room On The Boat,” which is making the process easier.) We’ve taken our last family non-boat trip from Madison. The school days are winding down. Meal prep is quick, bread is no longer being baked, the whole house feels lighter as our possessions decrease. We’ve started taking advantage of the offers of help from our friends, as we now know very specifically where we need assistance.
Paradoxically, this shift has made me calmer. Fewer things seem vague and uncertain; for better or worse, choices are being made. For most things, the weightiness seems to diminish in the aftermath. Looking at a bookshelf and knowing that the worth of each volume needs to be debated At Some Point has been annoying for months; a cleaned out bookshelf is a perfectly peaceful thing. And really–am I going to be sitting at anchor wishing beyond everything that I’d packed the MFK Fisher? If that turns out to be my biggest regret–well, A.) life must be pretty good; and B.) Kindle, baby. Turns out, there are very few choices that can’t be undone, and most of them don’t matter much anyway.
We’re on our way out.
Posted on April 17, 2016
- Long, hot showers. Like, empty the hot water heater long.
- Driving everywhere. Sorry, carbon footprint; it’s only temporary!
- Having pizza delivered.
- Laundry, automatically and without effort.
- Library books.
- Netflix, Amazon Prime, NY Times Sunday delivery.
- Having other people educate our kids.
- Flushing the toilet without pumping. Sometimes it’s the small things…
- Enjoying storms, lightning and all.
- Spending time with friends and family. We’ll miss you all!