Friday, April 27, 2007

No Matter Where You Go . . .

Sometimes, even for an atheist, the universe seems to be sending a message. Either that or you just need to be good where ever you go. I had the weirdest revelation this evening.

I found a boat on the internet this February, bought it, quit my job and moved to Bay City, Mi where the boat is. Earlier I had commented to people that it was a little eery that I found this boat straight across the river from where I found a boat 10 or 12 years ago. I thought that boat was THEE boat, but it wasn't for a variety of reasons; not the least of which is that I had even less money then than I do now.

I found who I think was the previous owner. I even poked around and found out some details about the guy. I'll not reveal him, until I've discussed that with him. Last summer, while ushering at the Elkhart Jazz Festival, I stood no more than 20 feet from the very person who used to own my boat!!! I believe that he played there the year before as well. When I saw the band's website a couple months ago, it did not occur to me.

I was trying to find an email to send a note to the previous owner. As I cruised around the website again tonight something hit me. I hadn't even finished reading about the places they'd been. I looked at the previous owner's picture again and I could see the whole band in the tent by the river in Elkhart! What a great show too. I'm just dumbstruck.

There is some info that I can share with you. I suspected that the boat's name, In A Mist, was derived from the 1927 Bix Beiderbecke jazz piano composition. The band has actually played a Bix Beiderbecke festival out in Iowa. I love it! I am leaving the name just as it is. I will, however, add "Bay City, Mi" on the stern in celebration of where my adventure started. For all intents and purposes, my home port.

Just remember, be good no matter where you are!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Arrived in Bay City. . .

After a long drive last night, I made it to Bay City. It was a psychological victory to just put my head down and keep going. It wasn't too bad a drive. This morning it was pouring rain. I got a storage unit and checked on In A Mist over at Bay Harbor. She hasn't moved. I was soaked by the time I emptied the truck.

I found a really inexpensive place to live; it is populated by misfits and malcontents. I guess I'll get along just fine. The doors lock so it must be OK. The house is four or five blocks from downtown. In better weather, it will be a nice walk to some nightlife. The boat is about 4 miles away. In better weather, a nice bike ride. The weather is getting me down; can you tell.

I found a cool little coffeehouse downtown. The bluegrass band didn't show up, so some guy is playing the piano. A promising jazzy tune, followed by the Marine Hymn or something.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Tao of Spork.

As I'm thinking of things to outfit the galley aboard s/v In A Mist, I remembered a conversation with my brother about the Titanium Spork! also has some cool chop sticks.

So, I was talking to my friend Emily, who is wise beyond her years, about the spork. She responded that the spork ends up being neither a very good fork or a very good spoon.

I was struck that Emily's First Law of the Spork goes double for people. If you are trying to be more than one thing, you'll be good at neither. This is especially true of people who are trying desperately to be something or someone they are not. However, it is often a critical internal voice representing either self doubt or an unhealthy overvaluing of the opinions of others.

Working with my coach Kathy one of the most valuable lessons was learnging to separate these two. This is not a yin and yang relationship, it is a parasite and host. Once you stop listening to the constant hum of the what if's and worries of your life you can begin to here the soft whimpers of the real person you've been ignoring for so long.

You must do this now. Your real self, your actual soul, is not going to survive forever without nourishment. Consider also that you may have just enough in your life that your real self is alive. But if you slap it down every time it rises to the top of your mind, it will find some other way to die.

I had gotten so low that I didn't have much to lose, and didn't have much to pay off or sell. I was really lucky in the timing of it all. Almost as soon as I realized I was on the wrong heading, I was able, and willing, to gibe and start heading away from the storm clouds.

I am not completely on the right heading, but I am going the right direction. I have a few details to clean up. Nevertheless, I am back. It is the real me. I am doing, almost exclusively, exactly what I want to be doing. It was some work to get here but you can do it too.

It takes a real hard eye and an internal ear. It is not unlike what I've been going through the last couple weeks. I am a natural born pack rat. While packing to go from a small apartment to a small boat, I am making decisions about stuff. Man, that's hard. There are things, and boxes of things, that I have been carrying around for years; and many many moves. These things are excess baggage; sheer dead weight. I have had to literally go through boxes three and four times. Each time I manage to sever the emotional attachments and really make the hard decision to let go of something. I am staring now at three years+ worth of my sailing magazine. It is a lifestyle magazine more than a how-to publication. I have loved every sentence I've read and all the deck fluff pictures. :o) I haven't been able to throw them out yet. They will contribute nothing to my voyage. I subscribe, I will get them a while longer. I need to read them and pass them on. I may see if Dad wants to look through before I pitch them. I have done the same thing with clothes, knick knacks, books, two portfolios full of drawings from junior high and high school etc.

None of that is easy, but is the same thing that I did with my life. You go back through several times. Each time that you pick something up, ask yourself: does this contribute to my happiness? If you cannot give an unqualified yes, it needs to go. I am not belittling all the different considerations and commitments you may have that I did not. The process and its benefits are the same. If you are carrying around more than you need, that is too much weight. If you are trying to be someone you are not, you can't possibly be happy no matter what you tell yourself. Go through your life's boxes. Ask that hard question.

You can't get rid of it all, but you can make your life easier, better and happier. I never did sort my CDs. I'm taking them all, you've got to have some ballast in a sailboat. :o)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Signs of Spring

Damn, April Snow!
I went to the store Monday with no socks in my shoes; I got the last six snaps on my tonneau cover snapped again; and I have no funiture. Well, that last is only about spring with regard to spring cleaning. And besides, today, there is snow on the ground again. Spring in Indiana.

I put up handbills in the building to sell my furniture and it was gone in 30 hours or so. Should have waited a week, I guess. :o) Beside books, my worldly possessions include four TV trays and an office chair; my guitar too.

It looks like it has snowed a fair amount up in Bay City. I have one foot in South Bend, one in Hudsonville and a mental one in Bay City. There sits "In A Mist." I can't wait to start working on her. The first project list is bottom paint and general clean up; along with an inventory. I am hoping that the existing sails will last this summer anyway. There will need to be some updated instruments, etc. I plan on using a sextan; not GPS. I would really rather use some alternative fuel stove rather than propane but I will use my propane campstove first. The alcohol stove is coming out regardless. The wind speed, direction, etc gauges may not work. There is a compass and an old VHF radio.

The throughulls and tankage need to be checked out as do the electrical and plumbing systems. I hope to make a list of phases. She needs to get back in the water so that I can get some sailing in. :o) I need to get my sea legs back.

I'm mostly packed. I have another trip to Hudsonville to add to the Garage Sale stuff there. Then, I need to get some stuff to Bay City and find some work and a place to live. I will likely be in South Bend until the 21st. So far emailing resumes has not been very successful.

Fair Winds,


Sunday, April 1, 2007

It must be right.

This morning, the beginning of the first week of my new adventure, birds were singing and the sun was up. It was an awakening of a new sort. Things are working quickly and according to plan. I will keep you posted.

A new era has begun . . .

My last day in the rat race was friday! It took three guys and four parties to get rid of me.

Last Saturday night, Junior and the Igniters were playing at the venerable Midway Tavern. 6 or 8 of my closest friends were celebrating bon voyage with all attending, including several of my blues show phone bank friends from WVPE.

Wednesday night, I had sushi and beer with a wonderful woman and great friend. We must have been the talk of the bar; laughing and carrying on. A true friend, we talked for a couple hours, I think.

Thursday night, Mouldings Division people, plus Jeff D. and Bill, went to Hacienda. Chuck's Deb was there too. It was fun. Pete and I traded bad puns for hours. Somehow, I talked to Tony F. for three or four hours and we closed the place.

Friday night after work, my old friends from Industrial, Roxi and Ralph [with wife Cathy], Emily and Suzy, and Elaine and her husband Mike feted at Between the Buns. Food and Friends. Thank you all.

My coach Kathy got to BTB just in time, she and I tried to talk over the din; moved to the Mishawaka Brewing Company. Then, the MBC band Jazzy Grass showed up. I lost my voice about 11:30. Kathy and I will try again. I owe all this to her help. Jazzy Grass sound pretty good. I don't think the grass referred to bluegrass. :o)

Saturday, I helped Albert celebrate his birthday; 37, what a pup. 6 of us joked with Randy, all star bartender and harassed his compatriot, Charlotte. The waitresses were probably sick of us and we sat at the bar! The food was good, the beer was better. Albert had is Blazin' wings and several Guinness. I had Mango Habanero and Newcastle. The rest of the guys were whimps!

I was in sad shape and went to Barnes and Noble for coffee afterward. A couple hours of cruising the web did me good. I went home and slept the rest of the day away.

Hopefully, all that, except the good friends, is out of my system.

The Cop and the Corn

I’ve written before about the DOT regulated hours I have to track as a truck driver. I can drive for eleven hours a day, but once I start,...