Date: 20 November 2018. My Life Afloat
Decision (Alz advice too)
Occasionally I am asked how I came
to live aboard Seaweed. It is a story that began over a half
century ago. I was conceived, born and raised aboard our 40'er. The
tale can be found in
The Fishing Boat
article. That was the beginning. This piece covers the chronology of
my decision-making process. You will learn how I came to the life I now enjoy.
approaches I am
filled with gratitude for my Seaweed.
Seaweed is a marvelous boat for me:
In a nutshell, Seaweed and life afloat is what I
was destined for. This is home. I was born and raised on our 40'er.
Being aboard a boat is a natural state of being for me. It is where I am
happiest. I am grateful to be here.
During the past ten
years I have upgraded the accoutrements aboard Seaweed.
Now I enjoy a decadent lifestyle which includes lots of power
provided by solar panels along with adequate
water. Hauling water was the most physically challenging part of
life at anchor. That is no longer an issue.
I grow red clover sprouts. Here
↑ I am enjoying some
Polish kielbasa sausage with my sprouts.
After ten years
into this journey of course having these things
is to be expected. It is those who do not have a plan that all
too often fail. No one wants to live long term in depravation!
Me, circa 1975.
When I grew up I knew "everything"
and married a good looking fellow. We had two children. When my duo
were 10 and 13 we divorced. I chose to raise the children as a
single parent. Later Son moved in with his dad.
Son and Baby walking up the dock, followed by my
My kids loved visiting grandma and grandpa on the boat. They
understood my love of the water. Son that last week he lived spoke
about buying a catamaran and sailing around the world. That was his
dream. A piece of his spirit remains with me always. I still miss
An emergency room RN once told me:
The most dangerous person in a
home is the shack-up or second spouse.
And that is why I chose to be The Mom versus dating way back
when. My duo came first. Initially cops always look at people
in the household should a crime occur. As a parent, that
naturally concerned me.
This comic ↑
is by Shoe. Shoe is a
favorite found in the Sunday newspapers.
I do have rather
rigid views regarding step-parenting. Suffice it to say, that's not
for me. While there were vulnerable children in the home, I chose to
be The Mom rather than pursuing relationships.
Frankly I loved being The Mom. It
was a great joy in my life. I was a home-school teacher too. Ours
was the house where the neighborhood kids hung out. We also had a
very large collection of kidlet books because I bought the library
of a private school that closed.
Home was chaotic and loads of fun too.
I was truly blessed.
This is me ↑ in
2001 at the 7 Mile Grill in Marathon, FL.
We never had much money however we
had a lot of love. Then cancer took Daddy in 2001. Mother was
sinking into Alzheimer's induced dementia. We sold the 40' boat that
brought mother to the house with my daughter and I.
This is a view of our boat, looking
down below from the main salon:
Baby was just 18 when Son had the
It was a horribly difficult time. That was in 2002.
Son wearing Grandpa's hat and Baby in the tow boat my Daddy had in the
Back in those days there were a lot of independent towboat
The Coast Guard maintained a list of every
towboat owner in the area. When a call for assistance came in you
had the opportunity to take the job. If you turned the work down,
the next company on the list would be called and you went to the
bottom of said list. Daddy made between $75 and a few hundred
dollars per tow back then, in case you're curious.
Regarding Alzheimer's: I feel it is a
disservice to "correct" folks who are living in a fantasy
world. I saw no purpose in telling Mother that Daddy had died.
Instead I fed into her imagination. She would often ask
about Daddy. I'd tell her he was off on a boat delivery.
Then I would remind her that she had spoken with Daddy the
previous night but it was late and she was tired when the
call came in. I would
assure her that Daddy was in port, waiting for a weather
window. In the meantime he was having a great time and would
telephone when he arrived at the next port...
comforted. That was critical to her continued happiness.
In the meantime (2006-2007) I did
surgery (twice) and chemo 3x per week for a year. That was not a
good year. I used to tell the gals in chemo clinic that chemo was
the high point of my Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They thought I
was kidding. I wasn't. Mother had Alzheimer's and she was a handful.
The final Chemo was in the winter 2007. Mother died in January 2008.
I bought Seaweed on *Pi Day, 2008.
*Pi Day: 3.14, just like pi 3.1417
aka March 14, 2008
I am eternally grateful for my
Seaweed. This boat is my joy. I am content.
No matter what, having my home is a true blessing.
I love my boat. This is my happy spot. It would not matter if I had
a million dollars. Seaweed would still be my boat. Well, she'd be
shiny. I will confess that 30-plus year old gel coat is rather dull
and someday I'd like her to be glossy again.
For me there was no "decision" to be a live aboard
again... this is Home. Seaweed is where I belong. My goal is to live
out my life aboard her. Thus the moves to make her
accessible/comfortable and safe even for when I am much older.
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE MY BOAT?!?!!!! I
am very fortunate.
Someday I hope you can experience the joy I
have found aboard Seaweed. This is a Wonderful Life.
Thank you for reading.
I'd love to hear about your Dream Boat.
And, have you bought your Last Boat yet?
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(beachcombing finds) ~
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