Friday, October 22, 2010


Manteo, NC -- Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

I know what you're thinking. Every day is the first day of the rest of my life, but let me explain.

Tomorrow, at long last, we will untie the lines and leave this dock in Manteo, sail out of the Roanoke Sound and leave our home waters. In this marathon plod to the water, tomorrow is the finish line, the successful culmination of a 10-year plan. We made it. We did it. Our plod to the water is complete.

While I don't know yet exactly how I'll feel tomorrow, today is an emotional salad bar. Tomorrow is the first day of school, graduation, every vacation rolled into one, an appointment for a root canal, my final exam in calculus, the first day of a new job, Christmas and birthdays and anniversaries. Tomorrow is everything.

And as we head south, we'll be following Old House Channel, notoriously treacherous, strewn with markers that tenuously guide the way. As our navigator, I study the charts to determine what lies ahead and then scan the horizon, watching, waiting with faith that the next mark will not only appear but make the path clear. And just when my nerves start to fray, my faith wavering, knowing that a wrong turn means running into underwater perils, the mark appears.

But at some places along the way, the water, the marks and our movement through them conspire to create an optical illusion, and I experience moments of utter confusion. The only way to find perspective is by looking back at the last mark and then looking ahead to the next, lining them up to make sure we are on the path.

As we have navigated this long, long plod to the water, through the dense fog of an economic downturn, so many times I scanned the horizon ahead with faith that a mark would materialize in time to show us which way to turn. And each time, at what felt like the very last moment, there it was, tardy in my book, but there all the same.

Just as on the water, that next mark points us to where we were going but not how to get there. It is the path behind us that gives us the perspective we need to make our way. It is this blog that reminds us where we've been. This is where we look to line up all the marks behind us together with the one ahead to know we are in the channel, to assure us that we are on the right path.

And tomorrow, as we finally leave the dock behind us and set off into the wide open water that is our future, we laugh, we sing, we weep, we tremble in fear and jump with joy.

And then we scan the water ahead, looking for the next mark.

Chip and me and Cara Mia, we three. May we always sail on fair winds and kind seas.

TO OUR READERS: This blog, has now ended. Our long plod TO the water is now complete. You will now find us We hope you'll come along for the ride.


GW said...

I"m very happy for you guys. Glad you're finally casting off!

Worry a little less about being perfectly in the channel. You'll enjoy the 'sail' more! :) Hope to see you guys if you come down the ditch in FL!

tammy kennon said...

Thanks, GW! Don't forget to come with us at the new blog: