That was the biggest rollercoaster that I’ve ever been on.
The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving were full of ups and downs. Emotional highs from the excitement and nervousness of this huge life change, and a big part of that being the total unknown of it all (None of us *except Patrick* had ever stepped foot on this boat, had never been on ANY type of sailboat before at all and had no idea about any of it other than from photos and these videos). We were excited, stressed, emotional and all over the place. Add to that the relationships on land that we knew would drastically change once we left. Spending time with those people was emotionally trying as well, both happy making and distressing at the same time. Full of large swaths of denial, because we just couldn’t picture the reality of it all and it was easier to avoid.
Thanksgiving was more of the same, until it came time for the end of the night.
There were a lot of pretty intense moments. Tight, nearly panicked hugs. Sobbing messes and ugly crying. That feeling of just not knowing what is coming next, not being able to quantify much. We couldn’t really say, “I’ll see you in two weeks! And then every Month after that!” or anything. After spending so much time together, we had realized more and more each day how much we depended on each other.
I slept fitfully that night, as did everyone, I imagine. Too much emotion and excitement… anticipation.
I woke up somewhat early (for me) the next morning and started the last rounds of cleaning and packing. We had thought we’d leave at the ass crack of dawn, but things just took so much longer than we thought they would. I had a few crying jag-meltdowns over the course of the morning. Honestly, I knew I was going to miss my kids and that it would be difficult. I was not prepared for the gut wrenching emotional chaos that ensued. I wasn’t prepared for dealing with the grief of my adult kids upon my leaving. I was somehow just expecting this inuslar-only-to-me emotional thing. I wasn’t prepared to see my kids hurting because of it. I don’t know why, but I just wasn’t prepared for that. It was almost too much. Standing there in the kitchen, with my son hugging me, saying “I’m going to miss you so fucking much” through tears almost had me saying, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t.’
Kainan came to say good-bye one last time and then all of us had some crying meltdowns for a while. Once he left, I walked past Jazz and Paris, her crying on his shoulder. Just to be clear, we are NOT generally the crying type. We use humor and sarcasm instead. Most of us pretty much refuse to cry in front of others. This event broke all of that down. I mean, I’m sure we’re now back to hiding our tears for the most part, but this transition brought down the walls, if even for just a short time.
But finally, at 1:30 on Friday afternoon, we left our house, climbed into the van and set off for what we thought was a 24 hour drive. (Ha, that reminds me of the whole Gilligan’s Island ‘Three Hour Tour’)
We drove steadily for the first two thirds until our van broke down soon after crossing into Florida. We were stuck in a North Florida parking lot for a lot of hours. A lot of uncomfortably hot hours with 5 people and four pets in a parking lot.
Thanks to the facebook group “Sailing and Cruising”, Patrick was able to get advice from Travis, a diesel mechanic from Texas on how to get the van going again. It was a temporary patch and meant that we had to drive the last 5 hours without ever shutting off the van, but it worked.
- We arrived in West Palm at about 2:00 am Sunday and because we had warning that our van wasn’t going to start again once we shut it off, we took the steps to make sure we weren’t stranded.
- Dropped the trailer full of our belongings at the marina/yacht club where our boat was moored.
- Dropped the kids and pets off at the hotel for the night.
- Picked up a rental car so we had a vehicle until our van was fixed.
- Dropped ME off at the hotel.
- Patrick went and parked/slept at the marina by our trailer full of belongings. Since every single thing we owned was in that trailer, he was too nervous to just leave it unattended.
Once we all woke up, it was time to go meet our new home!
Talk about excitement. And panic. We were all so excited, but nervous that we wouldn’t like her once we met her. It was weirdly like… online dating. Like we had spent 5 months preparing for this meeting, talking about her, seeing photos and even videos of her, researching other people who lived this life, etc. and now it was time to actually meet IN PERSON. ACK!
We got to the club and we could see her out there, floating all alone, tied to the mooring. She looked so much smaller than we expected, but then again, she was pretty far away. We had to wait for Patrick to patch the dinghy whilst we all paced and fidgeted and watched over the pets as they explored the dock and the beach.
Finally it was time to get into the dinghy and start our slow crossing to our boat…
Coming up next: The Video of our Journey and Meeting Our New Home!!!