Spring projects, change and ice cream

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We acquired a new boat to take on short little trips around the marina and to eventually drop crab pots. Matt is working on getting a small motor for it, but for the time being we are just letting the girls hang out in it for a new perspective. We may take it out with oars this weekend. Our oldest doesn’t seem to quite grasp the concept that you can’t move quickly around this little boat despite our continued reminders. I am pretty sure she is going to take a spill into the ocean one of these days off this little boat. I suppose it will be the quickest way for her to learn.

Speaking of falling in, our sweet dog Charlie fell in last week. He was jumping back into the boat and didn’t quite make it. Fortunately he had his harness on and Matt was able to grab him and pull him out. He’s a lab and loves the water so he was only mildly concerned. It was a good reminder for us though on how quickly things like that can happen.

With spring here, so many things on the island open that otherwise close for the winter. Friday Harbor Seafood, which is an awesome little market one dock way from us just opened April 1. It’s a great way to grab fresh caught seafood plus everyone there is super friendly and the resident seal, Popeye usually hangs out there all day. The other store that just opened back up for the summer is the local ice cream shop. We can see it from our boat. The jury is still out on whether this will be a good or bad thing this summer, but I will tell you they have a million flavors and its pretty good people watching sitting out front. I know two little children that will probably ask to go every day.

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Sometimes change in life comes in waves and it seems to be one of those times. In my early twenties I discovered a great way to make decisions and it has yet to let me down. We will use my most recent question as an example: should I stay with my job or leave? Next, assign each of those to one side of the coin. Stay is tails, leave is heads. Flip the coin. It landed on tails, which meant stay. However, as soon as I saw that, I said, “I don’t want to stay”. The decision was made. I quit my job. The coin always forces you to feel one way or the other, you don’t have to go with what the coin says, just trust your gut feelings. Obviously, there were other things to figure out too like money and such but I knew what decision needed to be made. This little trick has led me on numerous amazing adventures in my life and somehow I feel the same way about this time.

We are starting our list of spring projects this weekend. It’s boat cleaning time. Also the engines aren’t firing up like they should at the current moment but Matt says it’s all good and has lined up a few people to help him get it going again. We are also continuously working to manage the moisture levels in the boat. The more I read about it the more I realize that (a.) we aren’t alone and (b.) we must deal with it and (c) we will ALWAYS be dealing with it even after dealing with it. Such as living on a boat.

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The process of change

So it is official, after staying two nights in a hotel I can officially say, we haven’t quite settled into the boat yet. Let me explain. This isn’t bad, it’s good. Something has felt off but I couldn’t figure out what. Did this just feel weird living here because it’s a totally new lifestyle for us? Is this just some awkward adjustment period? Well, sort of.

It feels like we have been on one long camping trip. We have been making do. It has been reminiscent of the handful of times we’ve rented a house or cabin for a weekend. You know, like when there isn’t enough of anything to cook with really so you make some random contraption to strain the noodles (really hoping we aren’t the only ones that vacation this way). This is how we are living and two months is my breaking point.

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We just got back from a little mini vacation. The girls stayed with their grandparents for two nights and Matt and I said in a hotel in Seattle. If you ever get the chance to stay at the Woodmark Hotel, take it. You won’t regret it. While there, it occurred to me how many things I miss since moving onto a boat. For instance:

• Being able to walk in the door of your house. We climb in and out of our little cubby door every day. I now realize that I took the doors on all of my past homes for granted.

• Having room to move around in the shower. I really miss that. Imagine showering in an old school telephone booth…every morning.

• Good lighting. Our boat is rather dark at night and I am tired of straining my eyes.

• Having all of my own things. We kept quite a few things on the boat from the previous owners. Mistake. It has made this boat not feel like ours. It feels like we are borrowing it.

• Being organized. The lack of space has caused major organizational issues. I like to be organized. It has made me feel unsettled.

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All of this is fixable. It’s all part of the adventure. Changing anything is not one single event; rather it is a process over time. With focus, a desired goal can be reached. We want this to work, so it will, we just have to stay fluid in this change.

While we won’t be installing a door or larger shower anytime soon, we can reorganize, clean out and dress up this boat a little. It’s time to make this boat our home.