Now that Christmas Day is over, I have time for indulging in a little holiday spirit. In the build-up to Christmas Day, there is such a flurry of activity that I can’t keep track of things. Even though I work to reduce the number of gifts I buy, the number of social obligations I have, the amount of decorating I do, it doesn’t seem to matter in terms of the amount of stress that registers in my body this time of year. Perhaps I am affected by the hoopla of the general population at large. But I fear it’s more a matter of how that one day requires so much advance planning. And I’m not very good at that.
All I know is that I always look forward to this week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The rush is over, the nights are long and cold, and I do a lot of sleeping and hanging around in my pajamas all day long. This is the week where I can sit back and appreciate the true spirit of the holiday time of year; a time of reflecting back on the year and on what is ahead and all the changes we have planned; a time of doing nothing in particular.
I appreciate one more year of all of us being together at the family home, because those days are numbered. I am grateful for my warm and inviting home, even though it’s messy just now. It’s the mess of a family being together, so who cares? I look out at my yard and realize that it’s lovely, even in winter. The birds come to the stream and drink, Mike keeps the hummingbird feeders full, and flocks of small birds make our bird feeder their go-to station. My bed is large, warm, and ever ready for napping. I have a big, deep, soaking tub. Life is good and filled with comforts. And these are things I will truly miss when we transition to a cruising lifestyle. I’m trying to fully appreciate them now.
This year just underneath the veneer of peaceful reflection there is anticipation of huge changes and big projects. Our oldest, Claire, is leaving for her own grand adventure on Saturday. She has been planning this trip for almost a year now, and living at home for the last five months to save more money for her trip. She is going to Scotland, the U.K, and beyond to travel for as long as she can. She is going with her future completely wide open, and by herself. I would never have had that kind of courage when I was in my 20’s, or even now, for that matter. We have watched as she sold or gave away almost all of her possessions, all of her beautiful designer clothes, most of her furnishings. Today she is having a party in Seattle to say good bye to her friends.
We are excited for her and terrified at the same time, which I guess is kind of a normal reaction. And we will miss her terribly and likely lose a lot of sleep until we get used to her being gone. Saying goodbye to her will be a small foreshadowing of the goodbyes we will say to others when we set sail on Andromeda. Do I really want to do this? There are some days when I’m not sure at all. But I guess that, too, is normal.
We are also hoping to get the engine installed in Andromeda this week. While that is exciting, I really wish we could not be worried about this project during the week we are helping Claire prepare to leave and trying to appreciate as much time with her as possible. But life does not like such neat and simple solutions to problems. Mike has the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off so it makes sense to get this done. But we shall see.
Christmas Day was a low key affair, for which I am grateful. Santa brought Andromeda a new hanging lantern for times when we don’t want to rely on battery power to provide light. There is already a place to hang this, and, in fact, older photos of the boat show a lantern like this in the salon. Wonder where that went?
But what rocked the day was a gift from our son of a completely manual espresso maker by Rok Kitchen Tools; complete with a way to foam the milk without using electricity. This tool is the perfect combination of art and function. We are excited to think we will be able to have the luxury of lattes and cappuccinos in remote locations, even if we have to use tinned milk. Plus, it’s made of aircraft grade aluminum and has a 10 year warranty. This thing is built like a tank. We love it and can’t wait to put it to use on the boat. Until then, more research must be done on how to make that most perfect espresso at home! Cheers! And continue to enjoy the season.