Back to Reality

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.
John F. Kennedy

We’re at home. Or perhaps I should say “home”. We’re at our house, the place where we spend 9 months out of the year.

This summer’s adventure is over.

After we pulled into the overgrown yard, I tentatively walked out of the car, feeling the cold, damp grass on my bare feet. When we opened the door, I was bombarded by the slightly musty, cottage-like smell of home. Beanie’s preschool diploma and artwork still covered the fridge. The launch reminder sat on the stove.

But man, so much stuff!

Do we really need a collection of old laptops, mountains of toys, and so many dishes? I thought we were done decluttering, that we’d reached our just-right amount of stuff. And our house does look more minimalistic than most. But, after living comfortably for 91 days, with so few possessions, the house looked like it belonged on “Hoarders”. There will be more decluttering, and I will keep you posted.

I needed to go to the grocery store.

I toyed with the idea of taking my bike, and I would have if the store were closer, if the town were more bike-able. So I drove.

I hadn’t noticed that stores are more fun by the water, especially in the middle of the western side of the state. There, people would always visit while in line, and somebody usually had something funny to say. At the very least, there would be small talk about the weather, and sometimes I would tell our story, which always interested everyone. Getting groceries was pleasant.

People here are so quiet. It felt lonely. I looked around for a familiar face, for some connection, for someone to at least welcome us back. Nothing.

We humans are social beings. We need community, even if modern corporate-sponsored culture has led us to believe that we don’t. This will be something we seek out. Friends will be much more of a priority than they have been in the past. Stay tuned.

There were the simple adjustments as well. Beanie rediscovered her dress-up clothes and took a bath. We have access to so much electricity, without any trouble (until the bill comes, so we will conserve!). We slept in our bedroom, on a comfortable mattress.

This morning, I procrastinated with starting the coffee, because I knew it was a pain. First, I had to go outside and get water. Then, rinsing the French press was always messy business. The stove had to be lit, which was especially annoying if it was windy or the fan was nearby. We always had coffee late in the morning.

But, folks, guess what…We have water, inside! There is a spigot right over my sink, and it’s even safe for drinking! We’re totally living it up here!

The stove isn’t that different, though. The range has an igniter of sorts, but we still get to light the oven. Bringing a bit of Moonraker home, I guess.

So, here we are. There’s a lot to do, and eventually I will have to deal with work.

But the thing we’ve noticed is that we’ve changed. Not everything will be as it was when we left. And I have a feeling that we have yet to discover exactly how profound that change is.

2 thoughts on “Back to Reality

  1. Absolutely fantastic piece. I think you really captured that strange feeling of homecoming very well indeed – I’ve experienced it a few times myself! Rest assured that over your three months adventure you lived more than most people do in 5 or even 10 years. I have no doubt it will not be long before you are experiencing adventures again, either on your boat or at home. A very nice tip I learnt from adventurer Alastair Humphreys is the idea of microadventures. You can search for “Alastair Humphreys microadventures” on Google. I’ve found this to be a lifesaver when back in “reality mode” – especially with young ones to consider. Good luck and happy adventuring!

    • Our micro-adventures will be trips to places we visited over the summer. There’s the Badger, the last steamship on the Lakes, which does a bed and breakfast cruise. Or the Boatel, a retired cruise ship that you can sleep on inexpensively. Luckily, my parents are up for some baby-sitting weekends. It will definitely help beat the winter blahs!

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