Saturday, March 15, 2014

To the left, to the left....

Yes. I have been singing a little Miss Beyonce as of late. "Everything you own in a box to the left....don't you ever get to thinking, you're irreplaceable."

I am just beginning the task of boxing everything up in order to empty the house to get it ready to go on the market. We are pretty fortunate that there is not a whole lot of work to do to make the house ready (because another major refit project would kill me!), just a little paint here and there, a bit of spit and polish and removing all bits of my whack a  doodle decorating personality to make it Neutral (with a capital N).The walls are starting to look very bare though and as I pack, my brain starts working over time because that's what you do when you are engaged in a routine task.

I won't miss the house. I realized that I have lived in this house longer than I have ever lived in any house- 8.5 years. Growing up, we moved often for my dad's job and staying somewhere more than 3 years was worthy of note. A tendency towards Gypsy wandering was ingrained in me early I suppose. We've certainly had some wonderful times here, but we could have just as easily had them anywhere else so there is no longing for place as I start to pack things away.

I'm sorting through accumulated possessions- to donate, to sell, to pack away and as I pack I came to the realization that really, its just stuff for the most part. As I sealed up a box, I realized that if everything else were to go, this one small box contains all of the material possessions that I can not bear to part with. The monetary value of the contents of this box is probably somewhere around $5. Photographs, press clippings from back in the day, a baby blanket crocheted for my girls by my aunt, a throw made by my great grandmother, recordings from my days as a musician, the greatest writing assignment Maura ever did ( at age 8) and a couple of small lacquer boxes given to me by my best friend. It was a very strange feeling to realize that this one small box contains everything I would want to hold on to. Stranger still to realize that with half of my life over, this small box contains the essence of me, but even if I were to lose this I would be okay. Its the memories I hold that can never be replaced and also, can never be taken away.

 Isn't accumulation of stuff the American way? Perhaps I should take a look at my passport again, just to be sure.

I think what this means on a deeper level is that I am ready. Ready for the next chapter of our life and ready to create something of real value, memories.

So I continue to pack things away. I plan on having it all boxed up save for what we need day to day by the beginning of April. Then it will be time to paint, plant and pretty up the house and put the house on the market. I thought it would be harder to leave it all but truthfully, its not as hard as I was worried it might be. Stuff can be replaced, memories and the people we make them with are what's really important. Yep, I think I am really, really ready.

The writing assignment Maura did at age 8 that I absolutely treasure. It still makes me giggle every time I read it. Its carefully packed into the VIP box because its just too good to get rid of.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I Was Told There Would Be Beaches And Sunsets.

I never wanted to write a refit blog. What I wanted was a travel blog. A place to write about all the amazing places we were seeing. A place to keep all of those happy memories intact so that we could look back over them in years to come and remember where we had been. The colossal mistakes I made in executing this plan was A: buying a boat to travel on and B: buying a boat with my darling, perfectionist, Type A engineer Captain. Until this fall, a refit blog it is. Le sigh.

Work continues on the front cabin. If you recall, this wasn't going to be on our to do list as we hired a shipwright to do the work. The shipwright was a very charming, affable guy who unfortunately did not possess the necessary skill needed to fit out the cabin to our standards (granted, we KNOW we are picky) nor did he seem interested in doing things in a cost effective manner. Lesson learned. If you want something done right, have Mark do it. Just try not to look too closely at the calendar.

Mark has been finishing out the cabinetry in the front cabin. We had seen a couple of sisterships who removed the cramped, front head to open up the cabin but it seems no one else took the time to or spent the money to improve the functionality by increasing the storage and providing a secure place to sit while underway. We needed more storage, a place to sit to while getting dressed and most of all, a beautiful finish. We are well on our way. The cabinetry work is just about done and soon, very soon it will be time to insulate the cabin roof and install the headliner. Then it will be my turn to have a go at the soft goods to turn the cabin into something worthy of a couple who has lavished care, love, blood, sweat and a whole lot of tears on a little boat.

When you are working with teak, there is a level of anxiety that comes anytime you fire up a power tool or take a planer in hand that you just do not get when working with another wood. Teak is incredibly expensive, a diminishing resource and can behave in unexpected ways. Given this, you can maybe understand why Mark was so very chuffed to have perfectly cut, routed and shaped this piece of molding-

I know, I know. It's a piece of wood and not a sunset on a beach. Sometimes, you have to take the happy where you find it. We were similarly excited about...wood when Mark managed to nail the construction of the fiddle around shelf here.

Sitting on the work bench, it doesn't look like much but once you see it all coming together...

Then you start to think, maybe a refit blog isn't quite so bad after all. Beaches and sunsets are beautiful but you know what? My front cabin is starting to be pretty darned beautiful too.