Date: 6 January 2015. Holiday Invitations
misconception I have too often seen stated online is: "When you go into a marina
after a voyage you will be welcomed with open arms. Everyone will invite you aboard to feed you and ply you with
drinks in return for telling them sea stories." Although I have only been out six years
have yet to find an open
invitation to any boat. I matters not if I am in a marina or at an anchorage populated
by other boats. Newbies should not count on the generosity of fellow
Quite frankly, the previous scenario has almost never been true in
my experience. I had about 15,000 miles at the helm from the age of
ten onward and probably at least double that when too young to steer
our boat. The only time you were warmly received is when returning
to a port you had been at prior to the journey.
couple I met who first touched the US after having left 17 years ago were
not "feted" though folks with vehicles did haul them to a grocery store.
Truly, what you can most expect as a traveler is for folks to want to come aboard
your boat and see it.
want to learn what you have had success with along with failures
experienced. And we want to see it first hand.
will look over your equipment, ask questions and such. But as for
invitations? That is far less likely than the online world would have
the holidays... and out of the woodwork invitations arrive from
folks who have never invited you anyplace before. Suddenly you are alone and
they can "spare" you the agony of being an unwanted soul. It sucks.
you me, those of us who are solitary do talk about those
invitations. We wonder why you only appear in the days before
Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Where were you weeks ago?
Christmas Gifts 101
Recently a few friends and I were chatting about
the invites we had received to join folks for Christmas day.
Some were from virtual strangers and others from people best
described as *nodding acquaintances. We laughed about the
interesting gifts received from folks ashore...
Someone you nod 'hello' to in passing. Usually this is an individual
with whom you ave never had a penetrating conversation and
could not name if your life depended upon it.
This is a list of
received by sea gals:
- Perfume or scented lotions (most of us
have our favorites)
Bath bubbles and soaps (we don't have tubs on our
Candles (not every one
has flames aboard their boat)
My aunt gave us a set
of 8 breakable glasses with the Canadian maple leaf in gold
on the sides. They were large, did not stack, and, well, we
remembered our manners. I had to write the thank you note
for those gosh-awful things.
Of course men are not spared. Boat guys can expect to find items such
- Neck ties with a nautical motif,
especially prevalent when the boater wears primarily tee
shirts without a collar
- Shaving cream and brush (usually
gifted full-bearded men)
- Baseball caps
While we appreciate the
thought, the reality is for some of us a bit different. We are
simply not interested in gift exchanges with anyone we do not
particularly know well. What I would most like is a phone call and invitation
to ride along when you are headed
to a distant store.
Plus the thought of spending Christmas with strangers is less than
enticing. Frankly, the idea is intimidating and a bit scary too. I
not, you know?
the holidays nice however was an invention from the previous
century. The simple telephone allowed many of us out here to touch base.
Throughout the day I enjoyed catching up with other singles.
Everyone I knew who was both without local relatives and a soloist
opted to enjoy the day alone.
although I did not ask, from the discussions of gifts (see lists
above) we avoided by staying home, it was a unanimous decision. All
had invitations elsewhere and chose our destiny. By late afternoon
however several of us admitted to missing the leftovers.
treasured the time to think back to earlier years. Many happy
memories were shared, especially with my friend Irene. Irene is a
great listener who has lead an interesting life.
It was such
fun to tell stories about when the children were young, and so were
we. Where did the years go? It seemed to me not so very long ago
that I had my duo.
Here are Son and Kidlet on the tow
boat my dad ran for a while down in the Florida Keys:
several calls, and received some too. It was fun. And to my good friend
who had cheesecake for breakfast? I'm seriously jealous. That
sounded just about perfect.
speaking with Kidlet I was pleased to know that her family's
Christmas morning included Cheese Danish. That is something I started
when she and Son were young ones. Publix bakery supplied it. I would definitely recommend the Publix version if you
are near that grocery store chain.
outsiders we soloists were all free to spend the day as we pleased.
I read a couple of books. Have I mentioned lately how very much I
Kindle? It truly makes all the difference in my happiness
quotient -- I should have bought one long before. If you are curious
I read again
The Box-Car Children.
aboard Seaweed was quiet. It was quite pleasant too.
I rearranging a couple of shelves in my canned goods locker.
one cup canning jars fit to the left of my pressure cooker.
Stacked two high, they will not topple.
it was the stuffed green pepper (bottom left jar) that caught my
attention. It became dinner aboard Seaweed on Christmas 2014. It
was delicious too.
I enjoy making treats for
myself and was particularly happy to have made these last year.
The recipe can be found in the
Canning Stuffed Green Peppers
article. The best time of the year to
make them is when the babies are in season -- the little ones
fit into the one cup wide mouth jars. If you have bigger jars,
disregard the previous sentence.
I spoke with on Christmas day was a universal joy at being afloat. Also
there were a few regrets. Many of us missed the plethora of food
choices offered on holidays. Even though I cook for self, there was not the great
variety of good things to eat. Have I mentioned leftovers?!?
Plus I had
forgotten to buy apples for a pie. Christmas without apple pie just
is not the same. Mother's apple pie was one of my favorites...
Frankly though I cannot see
inviting a single fellow over to Seaweed for food and drinks who
just arrived in port -- not unless there was to be a large gathering
of people. And as a single woman I am careful. Out here all we have
is our reputation.
You, collectively, and me
too -- are nothing special. We are living our lives and should be
prepared to be self-sufficient. Holidays are no different.
What did you do for Christmas dinner?
Is there any holiday tradition you look forward to enjoying each year?
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