Search

Sassea Sails

SAILING, METAPHORS, ADVENTURE,

Category

Relationships

First Day of Chapter 7

If I divide my life into decades this is the 7th one. Years 1-19,  Decade 1, 20-29 Decade 2, 30-39 Decade 3, and so on. I know 1-19 encompassed more than a decade. For ease of reporting and keeping things themed in a consistent manner, I choose this format. That brings me to the start of Decade 7. With a birthday in June I am as a kid might say 70 1/4 years old.

Two weeks ago, I formally, seriously began writing my autobiography. Perhaps it is a memoir. I am slowly distinguishing the two genres. Either way, I am prompted by a coach, Ginger Moran. I found her online and we began planning last spring. Just as we were getting started and my overall plan for the book was melding. Ron, my life mate and love of my 6th decade, died. For the first time in our 6 years together he kissed me good night, smiled and went to bed.

In the middle of the night he had a snoring jag that woke me. I whispered, ‘Ron, you are snoring, really loud.’ I gently kissed his arm and fell back to sleep. In the morning he was dead. It was a Tuesday morning. Three weeks later I turned 70. My sister flew in to provide comfort and help me with what was to be our Appreciation for our new lifestyle and friends in Southern Colorado. I kept that theme but tendered it with a night to pay tribute to a wonderful man, Ron Ouellette.

Three months into my 7th decade I made a few decisions. One, I would attend a conference in Florida the week-end of Oct 5 – 8. Two, I would attend a gathering of small sailboat and kayak designers the week-end before Thanksgiving. Third, the week-end before that I would attend the Seven Seas Cruising Association’s Annual Gam. All three of these events are being held in Florida. In between these events I would visit family and friends who live in various parts of the state. From Everglades City, to Melbourne, to Jacksonville and even McAlpin I expect to be busy.

The only change in this plan is if I accept a cruising opportunity. I suggested I sail with a guy who wants to sell in 40 foot trimaran. He built it in 1992 in the same manner as my previous cruising boat, SPRAY. The designer is the same. I went so far as to offer escrow money with first rights of refusal. The cruise would be an opportunity for me to know for sure if I want to purchase the boat. Even if the purchase doesn’t work out, as he made decide to not sell, I might enjoy going for a cruise as I may return to the sea.

Regardless of what I do after leaving here on September 28, today marks the countdown to my next life’s chapter. What opportunities will present themselves? Do I want to be a cruising boat owner? Would I rather stay land locked, buy a Hobie 14 and travel the country regatta hopping?

What I know I want includes:  playing the ukulele, piano and the small wooden glockenspiel, writing my book, being kind, up keeping my house, staying in my pay as I go budget, and adventure, something that becomes an over riding passion to get back in shape, maintain my less than 120 pound curvaceous figure. All of these things while maintaining a relationship with family and friends are at the top of my daily routine. (Oh yea, there are dishes to wash, clothes to line dry, a van to organize, a car to protect, flowers to distribute to neighbors, and ,,,

 

 

 

 

I Believe

          It was about two hours after I arose from a tumultuous night’s sleep when I sent a text to Norine, a new found friend here in SOCO (Southern Colorado). A few days ago we talked about sharing a home-made pizza. I wanted to confirm the plan. Her reply included a reminder for me to go water the sunflowers she taught me to germinate, then plant.

About two weeks ago, under Norine’s guidance, I began the process of germinating sunflowers seeds I bought for feeding the birds. A week later 20 little plants emerged from the dry dusty dirt where I planted them. Keeping a watchful eye, I continued to water them in the morning sun and the evening sky. Two days ago I was sadly surprised. With an angered curiosity I studied the area where the healthy looking green sprouts werethriving just a day before. That’s right I said where the sprouts were. Overnight they disappeared. Gone.

Using what Ron called my Sherlock Holmes detective skills I bent down to examine every inch of the dirt within a 3-yard radius. “Who ate my sunflowers?” I whispered out loud. Two indentations about 4 inches wide were noted. Each indent had loose dirt pushed to one side. There weren’t  any claw like features ruling out the possibility of a bear. I wasn’t sure if those were my prints from previous days when I was tending my seedlings. Still, I was dismayed.

When Norine stopped by later that afternoon for a tea sipping visit, I lamented about how the baby sunflower seeds sprouted then began to peek up through the dirt. I shared my joy of experiencing the miracle of growing flowers from seed to the disappointment of another example of life’s bitter sweetness. To soothe my soul we turned our thoughts to the belief that nature follows the little fish get eaten by the big fish theory. Still, I want to know who ate or stole the seedlings. How dare????

As this sunny Sunday progressed my consternation over the demise of my sunflowers erupted into a pleasant surprise. After Norine reminded me to do my morning watering I almost believed in God, or Jesus, or something. Just as I do every morning I filled my red watering can and strolled down the driveway. I stopped to say good morning to my garden size ‘Train that Could.’ Pausing to primp up the petunias growing in the coal car I said a silent prayer thanking mother nature for blessing me with this awesome 4 acres in a high plains desert far from the sea life I am still passionate about.

Moving along in body and spirit, I tilted my head toward the eastern sky, I swear I thought I saw a miracle. I couldn’t believe my eyes. How did I not see this sunflower growing? How can a sunflower go from its germinated shell, to 3 feet high overnight? WTF, , ,

Reminding myself to exhale I came to my senses when I was overcome with another uncontrollable bout of tears. Without further thought I garnered my sadness and appreciation, then, sauntered back to the house.  Inside I rolled out Bob’s Gluten Free Pizza Dough, put some Michael Martin Murphy tunes on my i- phone, cranked up my Bose speaker, and climbed what Ron and I call our home’s stairway to heaven, kissed his picture, and wrote this for my blog.

Late in the Day

Does anyone know who wrote and/or recorded this song? It reminds me of a ballad by Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline or maybe even Willie Nelson.  The words in italics are my version.

Late in the day, When the shadows start to play

On our back door and up and down this mountain way.

I think back on the times, with our hands entwined

We sat talking low, late in the day.

It seems I was lucky to know, you were a good thing from the start

            Still you slipped through my fingers, the price we had to pay

Now on my own, doing the best I can each day

Now I’m alone without a plan, late in the day

Now I pour tea, without any ice

Put my feet up, close my eyes

Try hard to listen to what our heartsmight say

Try to find the rhyme that will take us back in time

And be with togetheranywhere, late in the day.

As I look out over top, of the houses and Spanish Peaks

As the sun sets, and another day winds down

My life is till the same, My heart can’t hide the pain

And my lips still call your name, late in the day.

My life is still the same

My heart can’t hide the pain

And my lips still call your name, late in the day.

 

 

 

WTF — A New Meaning

Photo taken by Ron Ouellette of Hiking Friends Polly n Chris on  4/27/18  West Spanish Peak Mountain

I stand corrected regarding my three previous blogs on WTF. Rather than continue to curse the injustice I felt when Ron did not wake from his sleep, my focus has shifted to a more tenable response. Last Thursday at high noon I was standing above the tree line on West Spanish Peak. Instinctively I shouted What the Fuck while remembering this was Ron’s last stand on our beloved mountain. With tears rushing from my eyes, down my cheeks and soaking my shirt I was enlightened by fellow hiker Debbie Gregory’s wry sense of humor. “WTF, you are right! We are in the middle of it,” she prophesied.

Awakened from my outburst by her raucous statement, I stared at her in disbelief.  Debbie explained. “You experienced a tragedy. That was yesterday. Tomorrow things will be better. Today, you are in the middle. Today is also Thursday, sandwiched between Wednesday and Friday. So, just think of WTF as being Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”

As dimwitted as the explanation sounds, it reminds me to find humor and a more positive spin on life’s bitterness.  It is time I stopped cursing what I cannot change. I therefore declare that from this moment forward I will take the gifts I received from my past to build a preferred future.

 

WTF #3

I get it; many, many, too many people have been dealt a handful of cards much worst than I can ever imagine. Yet, here I am after a peaceful day of sailing in Maine saying, WTF for the 3rd time.

Today’s welcomed sail was a gift, the kind of gift I treasure most. My friend Julie arranged with her friend Kathy to take us out for a sail. Kathy rowed us out to her moored Cape Dory 22 in an 8 foot rowing Puffin. A Puffin will make the perfect dinghy for my next cruising tri. Within a few minutes of readying ourselves for the afternoon sail we released the mooring line. It took 3 or 4 tacks to get out of Lowell Harbor. Then, for the next 3 hours we reached along Casco Bay.

Casco Bay has special meeting which brought a wave of sadness. The Friends of Casco Bay is the preferred charity for those who wish to make a donation in Ron’s honor. Lowering my head on the cabin sole I day dreamed of the stories Ron shared of his days sailing these waters.

Before leaving for the day’s sail I had learned of the growing fires in Southern Colorado, southwest of our comfortable cabin. Transitioning from Ron’s burial at sea to the tranquility of a long overdue sail was a welcome respite only to be interrupted by the notice of the evacuation order in my neighborhood.

Thankfully, Polly and Chris, our hiking friends took the initiative to take our van to a safer area earlier in the day. With the news of evacuation our neighbor, Carla called to ask if there was anything in the house I might want her to get. Suddenly without provocation I cried. The most sentimental of all my possessions ran to my frontal lobe. Before leaving for Maine to attend Ron’s memorial I  carefully placed a picture of Ron on the left side facing right. On the right side of the mantle was Danny’s picture facing left. The strategic placement of these two pictures resulted in their facing a treasure I placed in the middle of them. The exquisitely carved jewelry and token box Ron had our friend Richard make. was presented to me at my birthday party by Richard’s wife Phyllis. Inside the box I put the diamond ring Danny had given me so many years ago.

Now, long after day turned into night, I am calming myself, by writing this blog entry. All I can think is What the Fuck! I put Danny to sea in 2010. I put Ron to sea the other day. Today, the combination of everything thing these men provided me is wrapped in and around our comfy cabin home. A quiet salt box style house surrounded by desert terrain, juniper and cedar trees may go up in flames before dawn’s early light. WTF #3.

 

Five years of Mourning –WTF

The other day I had the opportunity to turn an acquaintance into a friendship. Until I get her permission to use her name I will call her Sophie. We met on a planned hike with two other gals. Sophie was introduced to me as a nice lady whose husband also died.

Just hearing those words sent a jolt right up through the crown of my head. A few seconds passed when I reckoned to myself, “At least we have a common ground though my immediate prayer was that our hike would welcome the silent solitude I had been craving. The leaves brushing on my sleeve, the crackling sound of drying leaves beneath my feet, and the breathing of cool air tickling your cheek is what I wanted. Perhaps as mother nature intended Sophie and I broke the sounds of silence.

It seemed that as soon as we took our first 3 or 4 steps we began to converse.  It didn’t take long for me to hear Sophie’s story. Her husband died after several years of chronic health challenges. It was now five years later when Sophie decided to get out of the house, go hiking, and enjoy the company of others. Five years, I thought, I won’t mourn for five years. I will cherish the fortitude brought to my life each and every day of my life. I will socialize. I will read and relax.

I will take pride in my house and our property. I will continue my ukulele, piano and band playing. I will eat vegetables every day. I will maintain my current weight (or lose just five more pounds.) I will be kind. I will finish the slides for Ron’s memorial.

I will end this blog so I can finish the slides for Ron’s memorial….

Diets that WORK

With the infinite number of books, blogs and nauseating ads for the perfect diet, even the non diet diets advertised, I am stumped to wonder why two particular diets proven to work, is never mentioned. Have you ever seen a tabloid headline with the words, BREAK-UP DIET, or WIDOW DIET.  Yet, oh my gosh how they work.

Sadly, though in order to succeed with the break up diet, first coined in my world, by my wonderfully talented friend Maryanne, you have to experience an unpleasant, unwanted divorce from a partner. Whether legally married or not I will be using the terms married and divorce to mean all actions the same without government interference. The term divorce meaning a separation to include such a parting of ways due to death.

Anyway, the thought occurred to me that my eating has slowed to a pace I emotionally prefer. Certainly, I never want anyone to feel emotional pain. That’s another subject. For now, I ask for thoughts about how to transform the weight loss of a break-up or death into a weight loss that doesn’t require these undesirable events.

Remember, my e-mail is:  sailorhiker@gmail.com 

 

Letters I’ve Written, Blogging for Blabbing and Memoiring Maybe

Having been a blogger for about 20 years now, I finally decided to write my memoir. Writing with the intent of printing a book, though is different than blogging. Blogging, for me is way to vent, to puke out whatever thoughts come to my mind. There have been times when my blogging had a hidden theme. Themes included  a never before vocabulary word, using only 3 sentences in a paragraph, or admitting a less than desirable action.

Writing a memoir for the world to read is a little different. Committed to making others look good, to show their sunny side, and avoid any words that might upset or offend someone is a challenge. How does one bear their soul, share intimate stories, or explain deep feelings without offending?

What I do know is that I have a compulsion to write. When I graduated high school and my best friend at the time went off to college, I wrote to her every single day. A boy I liked, Frank,  at the time was serving our country as a soldier in Korea. I wrote and mailed him a letter every single day. He wrote back nearly every day, as well. Upon his return I learned he had been living with a little lovely during his time overseas. Though glad to end any possibilities with a romance I wish I kept the letters.

Forgetting about ‘boys’ I idled my time writing a story using the titles of songs. It went something like this:”Oh, Mr. Postman, look and see,” I “Aint Misbehavin.’ and I ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” even though “All my Rowdy Friends” are having a “Blue Monday.”   On and on it went. As I recall it was at least ten pages handwritten filling both sides of notebook paper. If only I kept that as well.

So, from silly lyrics to assertively written letters in which I pour my heart out to people whose behavior leaves me feeling hurt or misunderstood, to blogging and now to memoir writing here I am blabbing on. What keeps me motivated with an unstoppable compulsion? It is an internal urge. What will propel me to writing a successful memoir though is my friend Linda McGarry, who holds me accountable for not just paying my bills on time, but for encouraging me to write.

Homo or Neo

“23 and Me” is a company that provides information about one’s past based on a DNA sample. Their report includes the belief that modern people evolved from either Homo Sapiens or Neanderthals. Learning about the traits of each revealed that I evolved from Homo Sapiens. Someone dear to me evolved from Neanderthal. This determination was based on a single trait noted in some of the research. Neanderthals tend to be hairy. You know those people with dark long hair on their legs, arms and back.  Further intrigue about this concept came from a book by Robert Fritz, Your Life as Art. Fritz contends that as a civilization Homo Sapiens created art. Neanderthals did not.

As research continues let us hope one’s ancestors adds interest to the differences that make each of us interesting. No longer will we only consider race, religion, and nationality. Now we will ask, “So, are you homo or neo?”  Let us hope it matters not as to how relationships will evolve…

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑