When Does a Story Begin?


I believe stories are remembered and shared because they hold meaning for someone. Sometimes the plot of the story is so significant that it starts the clock on when to celebrate an anniversary. April 24th is the day that Captain Chameleon and I met and it is when our story begins. We met on a dock in the Florida Keys. He was chilling with a friend. I was tired from being a tourist with a fellow nurse traveler. A little bit like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, the Captain and I stumbled into one another, and low and behold it was a perfect mix. But for the purposes of this discussion, what if I were to start our story the day before Captain Chameleon and I met? When chocolate was a bar and peanut butter was in a jar?
I haven’t a clue what I was doing on the day before I met Captain Chameleon and yet, just thinking about it is thrilling. So many times in life a moment jumps up and takes our attention, stealing all the thunder from the previous day. If I focus real hard, I can remember the weeks that ensued before I met Captain Chameleon. As I recall it, I heard the name Jimmy Buffet for the first time. I discovered Key West, spent a night in the youth hostel on South Street, was invited to dinner on Smather’s beach by friends that I didn’t bother to ask their name, and was just beginning to realize the ocean could be my address.

Tonight, Captain Chameleon and I celebrate our anniversary of the day we met. We celebrate a day early because it’s exhilarating to think that neither one of us had a clue, a remote clue, that the day before we met our world was about to change. I would learn how to sail and he would learn about cats. For this special occasion we selected Styrofoam cups, over our Waterford crystal flutes, to raise a champagne toast to “the day before.” Ok, so we didn’t actually think, “Waterford? Styrofoam?” It came down to a long day of work, a desire to celebrate, and no energy to pull out the Waterford and rinse off the dust.
I guess the point to this is that one’s personal story begins even before the first sentence is spoken. I love listening to stories and reminiscing over my own stories. But if I were to compare a story to a Reese’s Cup, I’d say it’s the chocolate bar and peanut butter in the jar that I enjoy the most.

Lost in the moment

Lost in the moment


In Full Bloom



Contrast with Yellow


The Wino & I Know…


There is nothing quite like it, when a song instantly takes me somewhere.  Somewhere can be anywhere.  Somewhere might be a memory, a distraction, a ‘gee wouldn’t that be neat’ feeling, a catalyst for change, or clarity about something or someone.  10 years of private piano lessons and 7 years of playing a clarinet in the school band did little to move the needle on my musical talent.  But, pop culture music sent me packing.  It was Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills, and Nash that actually got the needle to move.  The needle moved me to Miami and in the path of Captain Chameleon (and Hurricane Andrew!).  Captain Chameleon has a similar story- private violin lessons did little for him other than maybe entertain the notion of cutting off his own fingers so that he could be released from practice.  But Jimmy Buffet songs are relevant and hold meaning for Captain Chameleon.  Like the ice cream man who’s a hillbilly fan, a wino, and a farmer that knows the pain of his pick-up truck rusting- Capt. Chameleon knows the joys of the ocean.  The Wino and I know remind me of Capt. Chameleon’s story of enjoying the ocean; on a 26 foot Columbia he set sail from Houston.  Taking his time along the Gulf coast, he eventually sailed to the Bahamas and then back to the Florida Keys, where we met.

The Wino and I Know

007The water maker for Seamore Pacific just arrived.  A song isn’t coming to mind that offers any real inspiration for Monday’s project of installing our little oasis.  On second thought, having ample amounts of clean water aboard and not dying of thirst does wonders to inspire me.  I can do it.  I can face our next romantic boat project without a song.  Uh, oh.  A song just came to mind…Boat Drinks by my hero Jimmy Buffet.