Welp, readers, here we are full circle back in our house in Lakewood. It’s so strange to be back here, doing the things we’ve done for so many years. Did we really sail all the way down the Pacific Coast of North America? Did we really spend months in the Sea of Cortez snorkeling and running from weather all the time? Did we really hit a whale, hit a rock, break our boom? Yes, we sure did. It wasn’t just an illusion; a dream. And now we’re here at our house for awhile. We feel as though we have literally stepped out of one life and into another. It’s like finding an old jacket hidden in the back of the closet, forgotten there for well over a year, and realizing it still fits. Here’s an update to the cunning plan.
I can’t even remember what I posted last because there has been so much ‘living’ between then and now. The word ‘living’ ,as used here, means maniacally attacking our landscaping, which has grown to jungle proportions, then falling into bed exhausted and old. Honestly, maybe it’s because we’ve been in Mexico, and then Arizona, but when we drove into the driveway I immediately felt trapped by the sheer amount of greenery we deal with here. I began to make considerable plans to rip things out, cut things down, hog things back (an activity where refers to taking a hedge trimmer and cutting the blazes out of overgrown shrubs), give things away, have trees removed, and basically just remove vast quantities of light absorbing leaf material and weeds.
As usual, my goals and my stamina are not necessarily of one mind. Mike can work harder and longer than I can, but even Mike has worn himself to a frazzle in this yard. We should have hired a landscaping service when we left. It got out of control without my constant attention. At this point, we have quickly filled a 30 yard dumpster with tree debris, sent it off on it’s way, and now we can both pace ourselves a little better. It’s getting into a rhythm and we’ve got some time. The outside of the house is our working territory until after the wedding. Then we’ll hit the interior. Hard. And by the way, word has it that houses are a lot of work. Here’s what I’ll say: owned a boat lately?
Yes, we have some time so we don’t have to do it all today. We are ‘home’ for a few months. Yeah, this still feels like home. We still love our house and find ourselves dreaming about what we might do to it if we ever live here again. I remember when I was anticipating leaving to go cruising, lamenting to more experienced cruisers that I was going to miss being ‘home’. They would so many times say, ‘Don’t worry. Soon the boat will be ‘home’.’ Well, know what? They were wrong. Right, but wrong. I do feel ‘at home’ on Galapagos. But I think my roots are much deeper here than I knew. That’s interesting coming from a woman who never thought she knew how to have a root anywhere.
Maybe it’s possible to have two homes? Is that like having two spouses? I hope not. We both miss Galapagos a lot and look forward to returning to her and our cruising life as soon as we can. But one thing cruising has already taught me is that I can be happy a lot of different places, even the ones that don’t feel like home at all.
Anyhow, for the most part we are enjoying being here in spite of our anticipation of returning to cruising again. Our Andrew and his Jill are here with us and we won’t get that opportunity for… well who knows how long it will be. So we are soaking in the energy of being with them as long as it lasts. They are getting ready for their own travels and we love being part of the planning for that. Not to mention the upcoming wedding.
Our Claire and her Dan will be coming from Ecuador for Andrew and Jill’s wedding at the end of August, so we’ll have lovely whole entire family time; time that becomes even more precious as kids go off into the world on their own as they should. I can’t believe all 6 of us will be in one spot for a couple of weeks. It makes a mom giddy with excitement. And by the way, yes, that’s two weddings in two years. Thank goodness we have only two kids.
If you have been reading between the lines, you may have guessed that after two years of perseverating on it, we’ve finally made the decision to keep our house for awhile. Sure, the market is good now and we’d make a profit if we sold. But then what? We don’t know where else we’d want to buy. So it seems dumb to take money out of what is, after all, probably a decent investment given the location. We’ll be listing the house for rent with our friend who manages properties in the area. With that in mind, we have so much work to do that it’s blowing our minds. This time, when we leave, another family will be in our home. And we will have landscaping services to care for the yard.
Aside from yard work, wedding planning, hanging out in our back yard watching the bats, and continuing to buy little gifts for Galapagos, we’ve been enjoying a little bit of our old life. I slid right back into my coaching practice, which has been very nice. I am seeing a few clients at the house; just enough to make me feel useful, which is a good feeling. I remember how much I was loving my work before we left. Mike hasn’t yet started working but he has some irons in the fire and we’re hoping something will pan out soon. If you know people who contract with web based database development professionals, shoot us an email. He’s got the goods.
Our timeline is flexible, but the goal is to get back on board Galapagos. The wedding is at the end of August. We’ve secured a storage unit in low-humidity Yakima, across the mountains from here, beginning in September. It’s cheaper over there, and our furniture won’t rot or mildew. When the wedding is over, we will swing into action clearing out the house, which will feel weird and good all at the same time because it will mean forward momentum once more. Then the work begins on the interior of the house. Painting, possibly some new appliances, all the things you want to do to a house to make it a home for someone else for awhile. I feel good about it. We are really hopeful we can make this plan work. A lot is still up in the air but we hear November is a good month to be in the Sea of Cortez. We’d like to be there by then, all other things considered.