"Change is fast. Transition is slow." I picked that up in some self-help book many years back. I’ve adopted it into my life. And I would say we’re living through it right now.
We just marked two months being off Fezywig. I figured it was as good a time as any to take stock. We gave our Living Room Lecture several weeks back. I learned a lot doing that. Sorry, the recording didn’t work, so now it’s lost forever : ) That said, I did put together a little slideshow as part of that. And that I have. We showed it to a friend over Thanksgiving. Paraphrasing her: “I’m glad to see you had a good time. From your blog posts it sounded like it was mostly just hard.” Touché. We had a lot of hard days. We had a lot of great days. It’s easy to write about the hard stuff. It’s hard to write about the easy stuff. So we just took pictures instead. More on that in a minute...
I’m asked fairly frequently, “How does it feel to be back?” It’s a good question. A fair question. I feel fortunate. We made it home safely. I started working/earning almost immediately. We're back in our same apartment. We have a wonderful gathering of friends and family happy to have us back on land. We’re grateful for all of that. The kids have adjusted—mostly—but the more time passes, the more we seem to miss it. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll share these two bits with you:
- I burned my hat. I’m a sentimental fool, but it seemed like the right thing to do. It was pretty beat up. It was a straw hat. I bought it for $17. I served me well this past year. I can’t tell you how important it is to have a hat in the tropics. I always kept covered or in the shade during peak sun hours. It was hot! Plus I hate to wear sunscreen, so I didn’t. I just wore long sleeves, and a hat if I was ever out at midday. But after all the storms, sea salt, sun and the bash-it-up days that are life on a boat, it’s run had come to an end. With a match and some newspaper, I lit it up in a wheel barrow on my parent’s back deck at Thanksgiving. A fitting end.
- I got my hair cut. It was a no-win situation. I was looking ragged, but I wasn’t ready to do anything about it. My new sister-in-law, Lisa, is a professional stylist. We were all getting together for Thanksgiving, so it seemed like a great time to get cleaned up. She graciously gave me a haircut. A lovely haircut. A perfectly perfect haircut. I told her, as my hair fell to the floor, “Please forgive me if I’m a little mournful. It’s not you.” And the truth is, I was way mournful. It made me sad. Real sad. I wish I hadn’t done it. No one’s fault. That’s just the way it is. I’d rather be ragged.
As dumb as it sounds, I’ll never have that head of hair back again. It traveled with me through miles and miles of uncertainty, adventure, worry and triumph. And even with my trusty hat, it grew long, and brittle and white. I know hairs grows back. And I know mine will too, but I wanted to hold onto it just a little bit longer. I’m going to be lousy when it comes to real death.
So there it is. I burned my hat. I cut my hair. And I miss the boat. We may go out again. We may not. But I’m glad I did it.
And yes, I’m working on a book. Thank you to all those of you interested enough to ask about that. And for those that want the mongo slideshow of our trip, here it is, from beginning to end. Three songs-worth of pictures. All the good parts, the ones I didn’t write about:
P.S. Fezywig is enjoying a season in the Bahamas with our dear friends, the Anderson’s. We’re eager to sail again, but we’re not sure when that’s going to happen. If you’ve got the bug and want to learn more about the possibilities of cruising--especially if our boat can be helpful--don’t be shy to drop us a line: erik at erikorton.com.