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Date: 20 November 2018. My Life Afloat Decision (Alz advice too)

janice142

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.
 

As Thanksgiving 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 Daddy.
 

Memory Lane: 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 him.
 


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 year and 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 heart attack.
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 80's.
Back in those days there were a lot of independent towboat operators.
 

Memory Lane: 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...

She was 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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2018

Categories: Characters, Comfort, Locations,

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