Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Tempest Unleashed

It’s 6:30 on a Tuesday morning, and my phone is ringing. Few things cause my gut to clench faster than a way-too-early-in-the-morning phone call. A moment ago I was sleepily attempting to fill the espresso maker for our morning lattes. Now I’m wide awake and staring at my phone with dread.

The screen displays our real estate broker’s name. OK, it’s house related, and not a family member calling from the scene of a car wreck, I think, relieved. Still, this is quite unusual.

“Hey Lew,” I answer. “What’s up?”

“I’m sorry I didn’t call you last night,” he begins. “I wanted to let you know as soon as possible this morning that the buyer who looked at your house last week submitted an offer last night. It’s a good, good, bad one.”

“Okayyyyyyy,” I reply, strongly suspecting that my day isn’t going to play out quite the way I had planned.

“It’s good, because it’s a full price offer. And it’s good, because it’s a cash deal. But…”

I took a breath. “Butttt?” I asked.

“But they want to close on December 16th so they can be in by Christmas. You have 24 hours to decide.”

Boom. And there it was. As I’d mentioned in The Calm Before The Storm, I had had a feeling that there was a storm brewing. And now lightning has struck and the tempest is unleashed. Three weeks. It’s two days before Thanksgiving, and we have three weeks to pack up and move. It’s half the time we were expecting to have. We had a plan for how to do it in six weeks. That’s commonly how long it takes to go from offer to closing. But that’s because there’s usually a bank involved. This is a cash offer. There’s no bank to slow things down. So we have to figure out how to accomplish our six week plan in half the time. During the holidays. While we both work full time.

Another yard sale (more Nautical Alchemy). A quick haulout for Eagle Too. She needs her waterline raised and a leaky seacock replaced, and I want to put in the dripless shaft seal I should have installed back in May. We have to conclude our possessional triage, putting treasures in storage, distributing furniture and appliances to our children and donating what we can’t sell at the yard sale or online. And then Christmas. Between working on the house, working on the boat, and just plain going to work everyday, we have to still shop, mail cards, plan meals.

We’ll get it all done. We’ll be fine. We always are. And we’ll probably keep repeating those words to ourselves over and over in the next few weeks to help us make it through. Because the whirlwind is here, and we’re about to take a ride.


Nautical Alchemy

Alchemy /ˈalkəmē/ :  a power or process of transforming something common into something special. A seemingly magical power or process of transmuting.

Last weekend we took the next step in the transition from our current life as dirt dwellers to our future Life On The Hook™ — another chapter in our ongoing process of Possessional Triage. We began performing nautical alchemy.

Like barnacles on a neglected hull, thirty-five years of life together has left us heavily encrusted with a thick accumulation of “stuff.” Some of it is pretty nice stuff. Some of it, not so much. But it’s been with us for so long that it’s hard to remember it not being part of the landscape of our lives. Very little of it would be of any practical use on a boat, nor is much of it of sufficient value to merit putting into storage. Meanwhile, there is a whole ‘nuther collection of “stuff” that would indeed make our future life afloat much more comfortable.

Nautical alchemy is our name for the process of transforming one form of stuff into the other. Basically, you take a lot of things like this that don’t have much utility on a boat:

and using this ancient and mystical process:


you convert it first into this intermediate state:

MoneySo that it can ultimately be transformed into items such as these:

Performed with patience and care, it can be a quite efficient process, resulting in the transmutation of mountains of shore-life stuff into a much more useful quantity of boat-appropriate items essential to a comfortable cruising life.

So just in case you’ve been wondering why we’ve gone quiet of late, well, there’s your answer. We’ve been busy practicing and refining our techniques for performing nautical alchemy.

By the way, would anyone be interested in two pairs (men’s and women’s) of lightly used K2 skies with Salomon bindings? They appear to be one of the few things that draw zero interest at a Florida garage sale. Go figure…