Thursday, July 24, 2014

WHAT? NO GARAGE? by Janet Lee

Contract signed.  CHECK
Climate controlled storage secured.   CHECK
Bubble wrap, packing tape, and boxes purchased.   CHECK
Run ad for estate sale.   CHECK

After almost 5 years of dreaming, and planning our future, we are finally moving aboard the boat we purchased two and a half years ago.  The closing of our house on terra firma is still several weeks away, but we have started packing up items that will either make the transition onto the boat, or end up in our eight foot, by eight foot storage space.  Every thing else is for sale.  

We are certainly not pioneers when it comes to downsizing and moving onto a boat.  Many before us have given up their lives on land to pursue dreams of sailing the world in search of new experiences and adventures.  When we are I am having trouble imagining our current lives reduced to roughly five hundred and seventy cubic feet of storage and four hundred square feet of living space; we I turn to the experts.  I read their sailing blogs and sometimes I communicate directly with boats that are already out there living the lifestyle. Their stories are inspirational, and their opinions and advise help to reinforce our endeavors.  Knowing others have made a successful transition makes us me more comfortable with the concept.  We are I am actually beginning to feel the experience of downsizing may even prove to be liberating. 

I know that once Seabrook Marina becomes our home address, uncertainty will dissipate and confusion will give way to a new and different mind set.  However, I am anticipating the first weeks living aboard will be outright chaos.   One example is our morning routine.  It will need to be changed to minimize the lack of space and to take advantage of the space we do have.  We are used to showering in shifts, and using various accouterments in shifts, in the same bathroom.  That will no longer be possible.  Fortunately we have two heads, and very comfortable bathrooms, complete with shower facilities, at the end of the dock.  I can use the forward head for my makeup counter, and H. Michael claims he will streak the dock each morning, but where do I hang towels to dry?  Where will we keep our dirty clothes? There isn't a dishwasher on board to put our dirty coffee mugs.  Yikes!

As we I work through the next few months weeks I will keep the sound of distant steel drums, the warmth of the sun on our tanned bodies, powder-soft sand under our feet, clear turquoise water, and the gentle breeze blowing through our dreads hair in my mind.   Oh, and let's not forget  the rum!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Time Passes On

There is nothing we can do about the passing of time.  The clock just keeps ticking no matter how desperate we become trying to slow it's pace.  Recently I told a young adolescent kid an acquaintance I was about to attend my 45th class reunion.  He looked at me with that 'deer-in-the-headlight' look and said, "I wasn't even a twinkle in my parents eyes when you graduated from high school!"  

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Gee thanks for the reminder.  Once the initial shock passed; I thought "Did that little smart ass actually just say that to me?"  But he wasn't finished.  His brain cells continued to fire in rapid succession and he realized that I was alive 18 years before graduating from high school... "so that makes you even older than rope!"  he said.  WHACK!  I hope the bruise heals soon.  Needless to say he learned the hard way not to talk about a women's age while she has a big ass umbrella in her possession.  

My Michael and I graduated from high school in the same year.  We went to Dallas for his 45th reunion last month.  I did not know a soul other than my Michael, his best friend John, and a friend Michael introduced me to on Facebook, Lynne.  I actually had a great time.  People would walk up to me; read my name tag and look at me with a perplexed look on their face. "Do I know you?"  they would inquire.  After several honest answers, I decided to be a bit creative and have a little fun! 
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I told  one dude that I remembered him but he probably wouldn't remember me because my name in high school was Jack, but 20 years ago I changed my name to Janet Lee after my sex change operation.   Upon inquiry from another guy I told him I weighed 300 pounds in high school, but ten years ago I lost 175 pounds after having gastric by pass surgery.  Being the honest person that I am, and feeling uncomfortable setting them into a downhill spiral towards shock, I would fess up and inform them I was just kidding.   

Last week it was my turn.  I  travelled  back to Greensburg, Pa. to attend my 45th reunion.  Why do we go to these reunions?  Do we go to brag about our accomplishments?  Do we go to re-connect with friends and 'share secrets' from our past?  Or is it to re-experience the feelings of youth, immortality, and to remember the dreams and confidence that we once had? In high school the world was our oyster.  We had our whole life in front of us, and we felt as though we could truly accomplish most anything in life! 

We really shouldn't get all weird about growing older.  After all, the alternative is not so great!  Our age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying us!

In the big picture, it's all good.  We are all here on this side of the dirt looking at each other saying, "Who are all these old people?"
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Greensburg Salem Class of '69
Photo by Janet Lee
And a great time was had by all!