Holiday Spirit

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.

We enjoyed Zoolights this year with fellow sailors Cherry and Alec Yarrow, and Diane and Ed Elliot. This was completely unplanned, which I loved.

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.

Our Christmas corner this year, with a small tree, and focusing on making pretty wrappings.

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.

Santa brought this gift for Andromeda, for those times when we’d like to use a simpler approach to lighting in the main cabin. Puts out a reasonable amount of heat as well.

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.

Our new Rok Espresso maker. It’s the coolest design ever!

 

6 thoughts on “Holiday Spirit

  1. A leisurely Christmas with time afterwards to spend in your pajamas sounds great! I think we all should have the week after Christmas off to rest! While we’ll miss our family during the holidays in the Caribbean, we sure won’t miss working afterwards. (I’m typing this from work right now … don’t tell). =)

    Your daughter sounds like an amazing young lady … we wish her the best on her new adventures. At least one of your kids is leaving before you do. Although, as a parent I understand your mixed emotions about her independence and new venture. I have a feeling she’ll be fine and create some amazing memories … just as you and I will too!

    Love the lantern and good luck with the engine install! Glad you had a great Christmas and wishing you a prosperous “New Year’!

  2. Excitement here on two fronts! Putting the new engine in is such a big deal. Very excited for you and I hope it goes smoothly.

    And Claire!! She is off on her own Grand Adventure. How terribly exciting! Try not to worry too much, remember I’ve got peeps in Edinburgh so if she runs into any difficulty at all, she can have a bit of support IFC she needs it. ( I am thinking she will be just fine!)

    • Looks like Sunday is the day for the new engine! Whew! That’s after Claire leaves so no conflict there.
      Thanks for reminding me about your peeps in Edinburgh. That’s a soothing reminder of how small the world can really be. Frankly, I’m not worried about her actual trip. It’s how she will make a living afterwards that I’m wondering about, but I’m hoping that the solution to her life’s work will present itself during this time of travel and exploration. We are thrilled for her that she is getting to do this now. Mostly we will simply miss her sweet face around here. We’ve grown accustomed to it.

  3. Oooh…I love the lantern! Fair amount of heat, huh? That’s always welcome in the bay area too! I really want one for the boat…Santa didn’t bring it this year but all in good time.

    Since this is (hopefully) our second to last Christmas on board, I’ve tried to enjoy it all as well. My daughter leaves for the UK in February so she’ll be gone 12 months doing a volunteer program there. My middle daughter graduates this spring, and next year is my son’s turn to stay at his dad’s over Christmas. So….this was it! And we move aboard in Feb or March 2015. I certainly feel the tug but reading the blogs and looking at pictures is making me long for warm water as well, so it’s all good! Bloom where were are planted.

    • Curious about what your daughter is doing in the UK? Yes, the heart strings do get pulled quite a bit during this transitional time. I’ve never been good with transitions but once it’s over, I’m usually OK. This whole part of life where kids leave the nest is harder than I ever thought it would be. But here’s to warm water adventures ahead for us both!

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