Stay the Course!

A sunny day at the boat today.

January sucks. I had to get that out of my system. I just hate this month with its long darkness. The sense of urgency I feel to get out of here and into someplace with more sunlight can be simply overwhelming at times, causing sleepless nights, irritability, and thoughts of simply walking out the door, getting on the boat we have, and sailing away. So I frequently have to smack myself into thinking more clearly about The Plan. The smacking happens more easily on days like this: filled with sunshine and being on the boat. It’s cold, but at least down here at the marina we can get the benefit of whatever sun is available this time of year.

We’ve been spending a lot of time looking at boats lately and this has led me down the garden path into thinking that we’re closer to leaving than we actually are. Fantasy is really so much more enjoyable than physical reality.  What we really need to be doing is selling Moonrise. So we’ve begun preparing her for sale. This is kindred to a grieving process since boats, as everyone knows, have consciousness and personality. Moonrise is a steady, supportive boat filled with kindness and a sense of adventure. She is upbeat and sincere, and like a good and faithful dog, always wants to please. We have had many years of good times in this worthy boat and being down here at the marina, working on her to get her ready for sale, gives me time to reflect on these times and to be glad I’ve had them. If it were not for Moonrise, I would not even be considering long distance cruising, and she knows it. Moonrise has shown me that it is completely possible to feel safe and secure while on the water, even in nasty weather.

So first, get Moonrise on the market. Concurrently, we need to prepare to rent out our house. This causes yet more of those feelings of grief. It’s hard for me to leave houses. I left houses all the time as I was growing up, a brat with a military father. So I tend to get rather attached to them, and at the same time I resent this attachment. Probably no one except another kid with an upbringing like mine can understand this pathetic and delicate rapprochement. Our house is filled with sweat equity. Every room bears witness to the countless hours we spent making our house the home it is today.

And I cannot even begin to express my dismay at leaving my garden. I have begun to withdraw from the emotion of it in order to continue to move forward with the plan. The huge pond and waterfall I built with my own hands, my koi, raised from tiny babies and protected lovingly from herons and their ilk. The greenhouse Mike insisted I needed and built for me. The garden walls I built, using my own red cement mixer. The berm in the back, built with the cooperation and help of my many gardening friends. My hundreds of lily bulbs. My thousands of dollars worth of rare plants that no one but me can identify. My 30 or so different types of hydrangeas, many of which cannot replaced.  Who will protect my emerging hostas from slugs? Who will know to go up to the witch hazel and sniff the flowers in the dead of winter? Who will know, when the Himalayan lilies bloom again in about 4 years, that this is a rare and wonderful thing?  How will anyone else appreciate these things, much less care for them? If I think too much about it, I will get a little crazy.

So I prepare to walk away from this, because it’s the only way we can move on to the next part of our lives and not get stuck in the same old rut forever, until we die, old and unfulfilled. My worst nightmare. I’d really like to skip over all of this part and just move on to the boat shopping. I tried that and it worked for awhile. But then I remembered that we already have a boat, and a house, and that I’m supposed to be getting these things ready to be released into the universe. So that I, too, can be released.

View of the S/V Annabelle, an old ferry that someone lives on. It's just so cute!


6 thoughts on “Stay the Course!

  1. Giving up the garden is the hardest part, I think, of moving onto a boat, and it sounds as though you have an amazing one! You might not be able to take all your shoes or tools or artwork, but you can take some of them. With vegetable beds, however, it’s pretty much a total separation. Y’all should think about boat shopping in some sunnier climates to kick those winter blues!

  2. Great minds think alike! We’re planning a trip down to La Paz, Mexico. It won’t be a problem getting down there, but Mike might need to shoot me with a tranquilizer gun to get me back on the plane to return. Especially if we get down there while the whale sharks are still there.
    Yes, the garden is an amazing one. I’m going to do a page with photos as a kind of ‘temple’ to the garden. I’m thinking I’ll let my gardening friends come over and take cuttings of the things that are irreplaceable. Then if we end up selling the house, I’ll know how to get clones of the plants I really love if I still want them.

  3. I resemble that description-kind of, anyway. I think you should offer cuttings, et al, several times to make sure there are several sources for someday in case of other moves or bad winters or voles or deer or….
    And I really hear you re winters -we’re on the upswing now!!! Happy
    to hear you are ezcaping

    • *escaping. Trying to reply on my phone. It decided to not cooperate and let me fix my sentence and typo. Going to quit now before it interferes again….

  4. Hey, anytime you want to come and get cuttings, Sue, come on over! Spring is the best time for Hydrangeas, you know. And I have some nice ones from the real Heronswood. I think pretty much everything has recovered from the wierdness that was last winter.

  5. I’d love to come for a visit, but truly I wasn’t angling for plants. I’ve been striving mightily to release and let go “plant lust”-just acquiring an amazing plant but not having a plan for it doesn’t make me happy. It makes me stressed and nuts-and my garden chaotic and jumbled-stress, visualized, lol.
    I lost most of the earlier cuttings you gave me in our weird weather a year or so ago, and that made me sad. 🙁 This year is looking calmer. I need to clarify my garden vision, tackle the neglected garden and then maybe I will have the perfect place to add some hydrangeas. 🙂

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