Saturday, May 29, 2010


home |hōm|
noun -- a place where something flourishes
All those big plastic bins holding the last of our belongings are starting to feel like so many Pandora's boxes. Every few days we pull another one out of the car and release its content, every time left to deal with the consequences.

The truth is, we don't want any more stuff on the boat, but once it comes out of the proverbial box, we have to remember its history, judge its value, weigh its role in our future, and if we keep it, deal with the increasingly onerous task of finding a place for it on the boat.

Tonight instead of the painstaking process of pulling out each item and debating its fate, we played a game of Top Ten, taking turns picking something out of the bin until we each had 10 items. The rest would go back in the car and eventually be dispatched to Goodwill.

The bin held tools, cookbooks, folders, printer paper, books, charts and fabric, but except for a putty knife, neither of us chose those things with practical value.

Instead, Chip picked a small stuffed rabbit I gave him one long ago Christmas, a dog-eared notebook of song lyrics in progress and a Queen Elizabeth II ashtray given to us by a friend. I kept a decorative wooden mermaid, a tiny Buddha that Chip gave me and a little stuffed mouse in a red gingham dress made for me by my great aunt Flora when I was nine.

We've spent months stockpiling the practical yet impersonal necessities of life on a sailboat, the things that will help us survive. But today, we both felt the need to bring aboard the sentimental and fanciful essentials of living, the things that will help us thrive.

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