That night, 15 years ago, when I ran down the hill from my little Glenwood house to Farland's coffee shop in a froth of excitement mixed with abject terror to tell her that I was going to meet this guy for dinner that I had had such a devastating crush on for some time, but that it wasn't a date, I couldn't have imagined this life. My entire being buzzed with fear and excitement whenever I saw him, but I thought that was just attraction hormones. Maybe it was, but maybe my future self was sending me messages--- your life will never be boring with this guy.
It's October 6th, 2017. It's been 15 years and 2 days since my first "not date" with Adam. I'm sitting on a sailboat in Maine. It's raining and cold outside. Adam is working on a small diesel leak on our new-to-us Sprinter Van which will be our future land home (it gets 3 to 4 times better mpg than our old RV, which we sold last week.) As soon as we get the van travel ready, the boat all buttoned up, and our clothes and personal items packed, we'll be headed for Colorado, as quickly as we can. The boat will stay here in Maine while we are in Colorado, at least until early November, when we hope to be back and starting our sail south. We had tentatively planned to spend the winter in Puerto Rico, but we don't know yet if Puerto Rico will be feeling ready to have visitors. So, I know what my future looks like for the next, oh, say, 4 weeks. After that... who knows. Sailing south for sure. Probably. Maybe. Most likely.
Right now, what we have is:
* our love for each other
* our health, creativity, ingenuity, curiosity, flexibility, & mostly good attitudes most of the time
* the love, friendship, kindness, and encouragement of so many wonderful friends and family members
* a very strong, well-designed, sea-worthy sailboat & all the things we need to live in it & sail it
* a sprinter cargo van
* a jeep (for sale)
* camping gear - tent, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, jet boil, assorted camping cooking items
* two folding Brompton bicycles (they really help when traveling by boat, each place you arrive without ground transportation- it can be so nice to have them)
* our phones, cameras, & computers
* personal affects - clothes, toiletries, etc
* some books, art supplies, musical instruments, and a darn good yoga mat and a couple of yoga teacher certifications
* a collection of sailing stories
* passports, driver's licenses, social security cards, etc (these matter more than we often think about - it's tough to be a human without the proper documentation these days)
* insurance - health, jeep, sprinter, renter
* a lot of stellar AirBNB reviews
* a good start toward Captain's licenses for both of us
* 78 acres of undeveloped land in the Wet Mountain Valley of Colorado (for sale)
* a modest self-directed IRA retirement account
Things I really wish we had:
* an actual insurance document from the boat insurance broker who said (last week) that he would send me a copy of the policy and an invoice
* an answer from the seller of a fixer-upper house in Grand Junction, Colorado that we made an offer on, for retirement investment purposes
* just a smidge more liquid assets, to contribute toward a greater sense of security (security -- what an illusion, but I still crave it now and then)
I know it's taboo to talk about money and assets in some circles, but I needed to do an honest accounting of what we have and people ask me all the time, "How did you do it?" We haven't really done it yet. We are still doing it. We are pretty much out of the liquid funds that we had from selling the house. Selling the jeep will help. Selling the property could help with liquid funds and build up the IRA a little, too.
Traveling by sailboat isn't as super cheap as I imagined it might be. Dock fees or mooring fees can add up. Boat insurance for this boat is not cheap. And income is, so far, sporadic and somewhat meager. We want to go through the Panama Canal sometime in the next year and that will be a big expense too. So, at the moment, we're OK, but I do have some anxiety about how we are depleting resources we maybe should be saving.
I have started to put up photos on some stock photo websites. I have written a few good sailing stories, but not submitted them to any publishers, yet. We are still working toward Captain's licenses so we can do crewed charters in our boat in the future. I created a Patreon account, but haven't figured out what exactly to do with it... ideas welcome.
It's been an astounding 15 years together. I can't imagine life without Adam, who all my friends and family members love too and who can fix almost anything (including some of my dark moods) with his special blend of patience, steadiness, curiosity, and ingenuity.
I can't imagine what the next 15 years will bring. And then the next 15. And the next. I only hope and yes, pray, that our love for each other mixed with our synergistic blend of curiosity, spontaneity, patience, and mostly good attitudes most of the time, will take us amazing places we haven't yet even imagined. I know there will always be friends waiting in those places. Strangers turn into friends so quickly in this life and old friends turn up in the most unlikely places. We'll be watching for you. ❤️
PS. There will, one day, be an addendum to this post, with a photo album full of memories, full of friends.