Who Is In Charge Here?

This week is downright excruciating in its painful slowness to pass. I’m feeling a little resentful and extra useless. This is a week I should be seeing all my clients. Instead, I scheduled hardly anyone because I had been called to jury duty. When I got the notice in the mail I thought to myself, ‘Welp, I should just suck it up and do my civic duty because it’s not actually much of a hardship for me to do it and, after all, I can just walk to the courthouse from the boat.”. This, my friends, is known as “challenging the gods”. This happens when you have a concrete plan that has dates and numbers attached to it, where you turn your free will over to someone else; a plan written, as it were, in stone. As I chanted those words of agreement to serve, the gods rumbled in their slumber. I didn’t even know! Nothing wakes a sleeping god like the sound of a gauntlet hitting the earth.

Taking a break for a long walk at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. It’s worth the trip.

My next poke at their soft, ego driven underbellies happened last week. I had been watching one of my favorite Netflix shows: Grace and Frankie. This is a show about two older women and their older ex-spouses, but that hardly describes the hilarity. Starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, it’s worth binge watching and that’s what I was doing. One of the episodes in season 3 sees Frankie and Grace on the floor, both having done something simple and painful to their respective backs. I thought, ‘Thank God I’m not quite there yet.’.  Do not ever, readers, say those kinds of things, even in your head. I’m telling you. Let my experience be your guide to dealing with things like fickle, egotistic gods who want you to know who is boss. Hint: it’s not you.

They chose their timing well. They chose to hatch their plan during a day of fun and laughter with my mom and sister. We went shopping for wedding clothes. Claire, our oldest, is getting married in May in Scotland. This gives me permission to buy a dress and shoes, even though I have no place to store said items. I’m the mother of the bride, for the love of all things! I’m not going to show up sporting ‘cruiser’s casual’ attire. So I’m in the shoe section.  I stand and lift my foot to try on a shoe, the same way I lift my same foot every single blessed day to put my shoes on, and that’s when they struck their blow. I turned slightly to the left. My lower back muscles made some kind of sickening inner scream, reminding me in no uncertain terms that I am, indeed, in my late ’50s with very little estrogen to spare. My final thought before the pain registered was, ‘Damn. I think I just hurt myself.Trying on shoes? Really? WTF is happening?’.  And indeed, it came to pass.

The pain began to build slowly. By the time we got back to Mom’s house, I was seriously uncomfortable. The next morning getting out of bed was amusing to someone, if not to me. The weekend was wasted as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t do anything but protect myself from further injury and wish I had an on-board chiropractor, although I probably wouldn’t have let him touch me. Ice and aspirin became my two best buddies. They do say that pride goeth before a fall and I have always prided myself on having a strong back. It’s never let me down; until now.

We’ll be passing this area aboard Galapagos in just a few weeks. Low tide creates lots of interesting and dynamic patterns.

By Sunday I was praying that I would not have to go to the courthouse and sit in a chair all day for the whole week. Fortunately, my doc had already fixed me up with some muscle relaxers in case muscle injury were to occur on the boat. She’s pretty smart that way, but no one warned me that trying on shoes would be my downfall. I reported to jury duty, but in the end, they discharged me because I was medicated. Apparently one will not think clearly if one is falling asleep due to the effects of medication. I felt both guilty and relieved. OK, mostly relieved, but I SHOULD have felt more guilty. So I guess I felt guilty about not being more guilty? I pondered this over a delicious coconut macchiato and the entire New York Times all to myself at the local Starbucks. Hey! I had to take it slow going home. And I needed the caffeine to counteract the drug-induced lethargy I was feeling; sustenance for the slow walk home.

Is this a cautionary tale about being in your late 50’s and living on a sailboat? Hardly. This is a cautionary tale about challenging the gods who love to thwart people’s idea that they are, in any way, in charge of their lives. Just get over that already because anything can happen at any time. This is a cautionary tale about setting dates in stone and not having wiggle room, something I’m always really loathe to do because it makes my anxiety go a little nuts. You know all those people in your life who are commitment avoidant? You might think they are rude, but maybe they just know how the gods play better than you do. The more concrete thinkers among you might say this is a caution against trying on shoes when you live in a small space and have no place to put them, but you would seriously be missing the entire point.


Anyhow, my back is healing fine so no need for concern. I’m being extra careful and this will not impact our plans in any way. My chiropractor says I’ll be right by this Friday. And I’m going to believe him! Today I will have my usual walk at my usual pace! Hurrah!

So… we have a ‘reservation’ for hauling out the boat at Swantown in Olympia for June 5. We’ve got help lined up to get the mizzen mast pulled and the rigging on that mast replaced. And we could change that if we wanted to! We really could! We are leaving the marina on June 3 for a leisurely trip down to Olympia over that weekend. But we could actually leave on June 2 if we wanted to. Wait. No, that’s a Friday. Sailing lore forbids leaving on a Friday. But still! We could if we wanted to! We have to create a moving target. Carry on…keep moving…nothing to see here, folks. Nothing to see.

Nothing is real until it actually happens. And even then, there are people who will have ‘alternative facts’.

Speaking of Scotland and gods, I am gearing up for a more cooperative trip to Scotland this time. Three years ago I met Claire in Scotland and we had quite the rumble with the gods of that country, used, as they are, to battle. I was on the losing end of the game with my plans last time, even though I had a wonderful time. They can take my plans, but they can’t take my happiness!  I wonder if I can appease them this time.

Other news not worthy of an entire post:

  1. Mike finished rebuilding the second toilet. It no longer graces our salon. Too bad. It was a good conversation starter.
  2. We bought a Viking 4 man life raft. We bought it used, but still under certification, from another sailor. That saves us over 1000$. We gave up on getting the Portland Pudgy raft kit because they are having technical difficulties and I need a guarantee that we will leave with a raft aboard Galapagos.
  3. Mike hooked up the fresh water shower on the aft deck. Now we can rinse salt water off of ourselves before coming into the cockpit or salon area. I’ll probably be kind of a stickler for that.
  4. Our solar panels are kicking power-making butt.
  5. We are shopping for boat insurance for the trip down south to Mexico way. I hate insurance shopping.