It’s the last weekend of my much-needed three week break from work. The menfolk are up in Bellingham doing projects on Danger Kitten and getting Andrew settled in for the second quarter of the academic year, so I have the house all to myself. I know what you are thinking: “She is going to lay around in her pajamas all day, eating bonbons, playing games on the Wii, maybe have a spa day, sleep in the middle of the bed, and in general, act like a sloth. She probably won’t even make the bed or shower.” But you would be wrong. Oh, so very, very wrong.
Yes, that is what I would LIKE to be doing, but that’s not how things actually work when we’ve just re-listed our sailboat with the broker just down the waterway from us, and when we are now getting to understand what it is to experience ‘seriousness’ in the little matter of selling said beloved boat. When those things begin to happen, there is no rest for the wicked.
Thus I have spent this afternoon taking everything ‘personal’ off the boat. And except for the engine parts and sails that are staying, that means pretty much everything on the boat had to go. And I am the only one available to move it.
As I began taking things out of storage spaces, cabinets, out from under bunks, I began to realize that until now, we really had made no serious effort to make this boat attractive to another person. Maybe even though we were serious about selling her, we weren’t serious about letting someone else have her, you know? Sure, we cleaned her up, finished some projects Mike wanted to complete, had taken a lot of things home already and all that, but even so, anyone looking at Moonrise must surely have felt like they were looking at a boat that still ‘belonged’ to someone else, not a boat that could be theirs. It’s a little hard to put into words, and I certainly know nothing about the psychology of selling anything, but I’m imagining that anyone looking at this boat would have had trouble seeing past the fact that we were still really actively using it! Maybe it felt like the boat wasn’t really ‘available’, like she was still going steady with us; we hadn’t quite broken it off with her. I mean, we still had her outfitted where we could take off at a moment’s notice. How could potential buyers picture themselves in that boat when it was not a blank canvas waiting for them to fill in the details?
When we originally listed Moonrise with Lee, the broker we know up in Seattle, he had told us to take ‘everything personal’ off the boat, and we thought we understood him. But I don’t think we really did. It’s not that he didn’t say it right, it’s just that probably we weren’t ready to hear it, and at that point we were sailing her all the time because it was summer. This time, we’re listing with a broker in the same waterway as us, because she is local and can show the boat and work the selling of it actively. It makes sense, and we’re in a different place in our plan. If we don’t get this show on the road, we won’t have enough time to get the new boat paid for and outfitted before we want to leave. We’re not exactly trust fund babies, after all. So when Sue said, “You may as well get everything you want off the boat.”, we heard it differently. “Everything?”, I asked, a little stunned. She nodded. And this time, we understood.
So everything’s off the boat. It was more than a little bittersweet making all those trips from the boat to the car. But the process helped me clear my mind and helped me begin to let go of this boat we love, knowing we will love the next one just as much. Having all of our sailing gear on the boat only made us more involved with her, and it took 8 trips to the car with a loaded cart for me to come to terms with that.
I have another day to myself tomorrow. I’ll be spending that day cleaning the boat top to bottom, doing my best to create that blank canvas for someone else’s dream. Maybe they’ll be able to sense the excitement, the adventure, the joy that is surely part of the soul of this boat now. Those things, after all, can never be erased.