Finding Parks

Finding Parks

“I want to ride on the Spanish Moss Trail.” I’ve loaded my bike on the car and am working on tempting Geoff to join me. For someone who used to right 40+ hours/week, he can be difficult to get on a bike. Mainly because he doesn’t like to go slow and I can’t keep up with his normal pace. But the idea of a bike trail beside the water, with spanish moss dripping over the trees and neat old buildings to ride through sounded like my idea of fun, so off we went. Once he dialed his pace back to match mine, we even had fun.

Skye rode on Geoff’s back, laughing, waving at me, and pulling on his sunglasses. I’d stopped by a bike store earlier and they’d had balance bikes, but I couldn’t get her to even consider trying one. She was interested when I offered it to her and wanted to push it around, but still prefers her car for sitting on and scooting. I think she just needs more exposure to bikes.

2016-09-24-09-30-07She vastly prefers kayaking and gets excited whenever she sees the kayak off the boat. Geoff takes her with him regularly in the evenings and comes back reporting dolphin sightings. I enjoy the times they go kayaking to get caught up on work or perhaps sit and read for a minute undisturbed.

She’s also learning a song in school about bubblegum. She was walking around the boat saying “bubblegum! bubblegum!” which was confusing since neither one of us use gum. Thanks to Stephen, I finally figured out it was a song they sing in school. She has since progressed to singing “chewy chewy chewy bubble gum!” and making the little hand gestures that go along with it. I never thought I would be the parent to sing silly songs in the car, but the smile on her face when Geoff and I sing and make the motions to the bubble gum song is great.

2016-09-21-16-54-40Dear SIPDS, please please please do not teach her “The Wheels on the Bus.”

We went out to Hunting Island State Park for more kayaking for Geoff and beach time for Skye and I. We collected mud, made sand castles, and jumped in the waves. The water is still plenty warm for swimming, but if the sun is behind a cloud, being on the beach can get a bit chilly. So we didn’t stay too long and went to get changed. We both were eaten up by mosquitoes once Geoff got us. We’ve since loaded up on various bug spray.

Boat projects also continue. We aim to have the mast up (finally!!) by this weekend as well as more progress with the wood work. Skye, of course, helps by scattering all the parts that were neatly stored in a plastic bin all over the cockpit. I just hope we have all the screws when we go to reassemble.

“I’m just a man who wants a door.”

“I’m just a man who wants a door.”

Slow but steady progress on the boat. It’s the little things like getting the salon bench fixed so the cushion isn’t always sliding out onto the floor or getting the wood varnished outside so we don’t look just a little prettier.

2016-08-28-19-01-40Monday was our 7th(?!!) anniversary, so we left Skye with a sitter and went out for sushi. We’ve never bothered much with date night because, honestly, she’s an easy baby, so it was a bit novel to go out without her. Even if we still pretty much talked about the same stuff.

The sitter brought Skye home and she and I went to bed while Geoff stayed up. Per the lady that lives on the boat behind us, it was apparently headlamp night. Geoff was out in the cockpit working on cutting and replacing the wood slats that hold our door in place and apparently several other men were on the dock working with headlamps as well.

“He was working like an energizer bunny doing his sanding,” she told me. “I told him, ‘You’re being really productive tonight, especially since it was date night!’ and he looked up at me and said, ‘No, I’m just a man who wants a door.'” She laughed, then went on to remark about how sometimes she feels like she’s living in a fishbowl at the marina. Which is true.

While I like the social aspects of it, it does mean everyone knows what you’re up to – especially people who live on the same dock. There are six liveaboard boats on our dock and after a month, we are friends. We’ve half merged meals with the other liveaboard family, mainly because it’s just fun to cook and eat as a group several nights a week. The entire marina piles into the lounge to watch the news and the presidential debate this week will be even more fun to watch for having two dozen drinking buddies in the room with you calling out both candidates. I’m looking forward to it.

One Day

One Day

“What do your day to day lives look like?” I saw this question recently on a forum and as I am asked regularly, I’ll just tell you about today. It’s probably not that different from your day in many ways. [Ed: this was written over the weekend, but refers to last Wednesday when I started writing this.]

I woke up right before the alarm went off at six and crawled out of bed. Being very quiet and careful not to wake anyone, I grabbed my running shoes and clothes and stepped off the boat. I spent a few minutes in the marina bathroom getting ready (and surfing the internet) and then met another lady who lives on a boat for a social run.

We did run, a bit, but mostly we walked and talked. Over the bridge to downtown Beaufort and through the park. We watched the moon set and the sun rise as we came back over the bridge.

When I stepped back on the boat at 7, Skye was lying in bed looking at my kindle and Geoff was still asleep. She put the kindle down and crawled out as soon as she saw me, gave me a hug, then went to the cabinet to get her breakfast squeeze pouch. Geoff woke up and raced off the boat, late for a meeting, while Skye and I made yogurt with granola.

I settled down to read the news and eat breakfast. Skye, frustrated with the slow pace I was feeding her, walked over to where her special set of silverware is stored, found her spoon, and came back to help herself. I spread a towel out on the bench and set the bowl down between us. Elli patrolled the floor for spills.

2016-09-13-15-27-46-1At 7:30ish, Skye and I walked up to the showers and enjoyed a nice, warm shower and a snugly towel before getting dressed for the day. Since it is a school day, I found her lunch box and filled it with some leftovers from last night and a cut up apple. They’re learning about apples in school and she loves apples. Lunchbox packed and added to her backpack, socks and shoes on, and then we take our time walking up the dock.

By this point, most of the other liveaboards are awake and walking about (the other kids are already in school) and so we stop to chat and pet dogs as we walk to the car. (If we didn’t have our own cars, the marina has a courtesy car I could use. Or I could just walk the 0.7 mile to Skye’s school to drop her off.) By 8:50 we are in the drop off car line and Skye is excited. Her day starts with recess, generally followed by snack, art, music, yoga, playtime, and lunch. They sing songs, learn to play games, and are clearly learning the pledge of allegiance. Skye blends all this together by placing her hand over her heart while walking backwards up the dock singing a song about bubblegum.

I’m back in front of my computer and have three hours to get as much work done as I can. This is generally when I do work that requires focus and quiet. Although plenty of times other liveaboards stop by to chat for a bit, most people know I’m working and respect the time.

Right before noon, I run back to pick up Skye, who is happy to see me and now waves bye to her teachers. We’re soon back at the marina and sitting down for my lunch, her second lunch. This is either left overs, a simple pasta, or rice and beans, something that doesn’t take long to put together. We eat, clean up breakfast and lunch dishes, and if we have a bit of time, do some other cleaning as well. Skye helps me wipe down the cabinets and floor. Today we emptied and cleaned out the fridge and scrubbed the sinks.

About 1 or a little after, Skye starts rubbing her eyes and she and I crawl into the vberth for her nap. She generally goes down in about 5 minutes although I stay with her a bit longer reading articles or a book. Then I slowly crawl out (ok, sometimes I fall asleep with her), refresh my la croix, and get the last hour or so of my focus work done.

Skye woke up about 2:30 today. She’s generally calm when she wakes up and goes and gets herself an apple, then sits down to cuddle next to me while she eats it and I quickly finish the last of my work. This calm won’t last long.

It’s hot outside, so I grab and blow up the baby pool, throw Skye in a swimsuit, and we step out onto the dock. Skye brings me the water hose and the water, while slightly cold at first, quickly warms in the sun. Skye has a bucket and sits in the pool pouring water over herself (and some on me). I make a mental note to bring a few tub toys back with us for her to play with in the pool.

Eventually she tires of the pool and starts running around the dock. I scoop her up, change her, and then we drag the bag of laundry up the dock to the laundry room to get it started. Once that’s going and the timer on my phone is set for 45-minutes, we go grab some milk from the fridge and mix up pudding (and then Skye drinks a big glass of milk). Two other marina kids run through at this point, just home from school and activities. I hear about football practice and gymnastics in a rush (complete with backpack-on demonstrations) before they are off to their own boat and Skye goes to help me move the laundry from washer to dryer.

2016-09-13-17-55-21-1Skye is playing in the cockpit when one of the boat kids comes by to pull up his crab trap. There are six feisty blue crabs trapped inside and he runs to get a cooler, ice, tongs, and some help to get them all out.

“Supper tonight?” I ask, only quasi-joking. The boat mom replies that yes, indeed, they’re doing a rice, avocado, crab cake with spicy mustard. I volunteer to bring wine.

Laundry is put away and is wine cooling in the ice box when Geoff gets home. I inform him of dinner plans and that his task for the evening is to fix some of the outside wood. He goes about that while Skye and I wander up to where the cooking is happening. Skye happily runs around with the other boat kids while I chat with the adults. As long as I can hear the kids, I know the older ones are keeping an eye on Skye. They play incredibly well together and Skye loves her friends. She gives them hugs and walks around the dock holding hands.

I, meanwhile, get a glass of wine and enjoy socializing while the crabs are cooked and picked. Geoff joins us right about when dinner is ready. We’ve taken over a table in the lounge and in addition to the crab cakes, there’s grilled corn, banana bread, and salad. The kids eat quickly (except Skye, who clears her plate) and then go back to playing while we get to sit and talk.

I’ve always loved how social marinas tend to be, especially when you find people you really click with. I like my quiet and down time, but I also like having people to talk to. Especially when traveling, you can get lonely (or tired of talking to your spouse), and while getting to know people at a marina doesn’t cover all of that, it does mean that if you want to talk, all you have to do is go sit up where people hang out and wait.

I do the dishes and put everything in the drying rack. Geoff is still pontificating, but the kids have moved from playing into that keyed up mode right before bedtime. They head off to do their nightly routine and we take Skye back down to the boat. It’s a little after 8. Skye is watching tractor videos with Geoff and I will put her down shortly. And since I was *so* productive today, maybe I’ll just stay in bed and read until I’m ready for sleep.