Monday, December 31, 2007

Only a Test

Bringing Back the Sun
Originally uploaded by relentlesstoil
who happens to be one of my best friends
in the world and whose art is
routinely an inspiration.
At night the mast resonates in the wind, humming atonally and sending irregular shudders through the boat. We can feel the squalls as they howl up from the south spitting cold breath on the deck and the bimini. The girls coined a new term for this form of precipitation: slain. Slain is snow and rain and sleet. It is miserably cold and disgustingly wet. It doesn't stick to make pretty white landscapes yet we can see the big fat squishy flakes fall to the water as we stare disconsolately out the salon window.

Santa brought the girls scooters this year. Santa is out of his effing mind. Those girls are like minions of Evil Knievel (may he rest in peace) zooming through the elegant, high brow marina with little consideration for friend, foe, or fauna. I swear we would have long since been kicked out of the marina except no one is here in the dead of winter.

Winter in a marina that – for the most part – prohibits liveaboards is a very quiet neighborhood. When a gale blows up from the Pacific, you'll see a small percentage of owners pop over for a half hour to check lines and fenders. But for the most part, we have acres of million-dollar boats, a five-star restaurant, and the attention of all the marina staff to ourselves. I am occasionally tempted to sneak over to the nearest Nordic powerboat, fire up the genset, kick back with my feet up drinking brandy toddies while watching the HD-TV wide screen. It's the guilty dream of those who live on the other side of the tracks.

This winter is a test, I suspect, of our fortitude and our stubbornness. All by ourselves in a sea of much more comfortable housing, we are developing an esprit of mutual admiration in the face of deep deprivation. Dr C and I are both still working in a last push to plump the cruising kitty before the weather breaks. With the spring, our income trickles to a dribble while our sails take us northwards, following migrating birds and the string of broadband wireless, marina hot spots which speckle the cost.

I grow plumper each week, even if the cruising kitty fails to make marked progress. Double-time work plus homeschool and holidays combine to make Toast a very fat girl. One item of household gear that I shed, however, was the scale, so I have not the slightest clue whether this feeling of fattitude is merely a product of a fudge-crazed, mascarpone riddled mind or a true indicator of increased girth. Ultimately, it matters not since the sensation of adding a seal-like layer of blubber seems so appropro of our current lifestyle, I have trouble mustering the outrage to get myself out into the harsh weather to get some exercise. Along with t-shirts, time to relax, and dry sheets, fitness awaits the spring.

This purgatory in which we find ourselves of our own making is halfway between our old life and our new one, and following some karmic law has all of the disadvantages of both and apparently none of the advantages. It is no longer enough to softly chant “May May may may May” as I clutch my coat around me on a arduous round trip to the shore head. I have graduated to a calendar thoughtfully donated to the cause by a local chandlery and am now crossing the days off each night with a somewhat vicious snap of the wrist.

It is a test, this winter. And I always do well on tests.


Anonymous said...

You are so right about Santa and his evil scooters!! They never stop scootering (is that a word?) anyway, my son drives me crazy trying to set up jumps for it. Hospital here we come!

Relentless Toil said...

It's a delight to see my Solstice girl and your sweet words here -- thank you!
Winter is an awful test. I feel so pinned into the house. It is a very nice house, but I would rather be out and not wearing as many layers.
I did notice, however, after 4:00p.m., a blaze of sunlight slapping the glass wall of the office building next to mine. The sun IS coming back!