“I miss the smell of teak,” said Captain Chameleon.
It was 2006. I should have known that Captain Chameleon was missing our boat from the Florida Keys when he brought home 4 teak benches, 2 teak steamer lounge chairs, 3 teak chairs, and a teak table. Our Phoenix home is just shy of 1500 Square feet. Where were we going to fit 10 pieces of teak furniture? Without doing the math, I knew we were headed for heeby-jeebby-vill. Seriously, how many pieces of teak can fit into an urban desert dwelling? Not ten. In hindsight, Captain Chameleon was missing his boat, Seamore.
14 years earlier, I almost missed the boat, so to speak. 1992, it was a blustery February day in Missouri when I accepted a job in Homestead, Florida. Finalizing the details went something like this…
“When can you start?
“Hmm. Well. When is a good time?”
Not the answer I was counting on. Smack dab in the middle of the semester, I had imagined the phone-hiring process for a nurse (traveler) position would take another few weeks. Torn between a job in Florida or obtaining a degree in art/design, I opted to withdraw at mid-term and not tarry getting to Florida. This was my chance to live by the ocean and nothing else mattered. Certainly not a still life painting of stacked boxes placed a top a velvet cloth. The timing wasn’t great, but it was ok. It was time to leave behind my studies of light, dark, form, function, and perspective. Else, I’d miss the boat.
Now, the Captain and I are pretty much back into a routine of balancing work and play. When people ask about why we took 6 months off from our jobs to go sailing, the question invariably comes up; “Do you miss the boat?” Certainly.
It will be several dozen weeks before we return to Seamore Pacific and sail to the eastern shore of the Baja. Until then, I don’t want to miss the boat on urban composting (new experiment), beach glass art, sewing linen halter dresses, family, friends, and work. Regret would be to return to the boat, untie the dock lines- then realize that we had not spent our time on land wisely; instead of being mindful about the present, we were stuck thinking about the past and the future.