There is some nasty weather coming so we decide to stay at the marina. We shower, do laundry, clean out the boat, check email and pay bills. The marina has a courtesy car so we decide to ride to town to re-provision. On the way down the dock, Joshua is swinging his small stuffed dog (alternatively named “Puppy” or “Buddy”) from a rope that he has tied to his hand. As it arcs up, it comes off the line and goes flying into the water. Matt goes for help. A marina neighbor comes running and stops when she sees Puppy floating out there and says in a relieved voice, “Oh, I thought it was real.” I see Joshua’s face fall. “Well, … he’s real to us” I say. Several marina neighbors help in the rescue mission. Joshua recovers a cold and wet animal and we continue in to town. (Note: the boys’ new mullet haircuts – Matt’s contribution and a ‘souvenir’ from Portsmouth).
We are only allotted 90 minutes with the car. Town is 15 minutes away. We have just a little time left after getting groceries. It is supposed to get down to 28 degrees tonight with 40-mile an hour winds. Matt and I briefly consider going to the hardware store and getting a space heater. We both decide that once we cross that line there is no going back. Thus, no heater. We make sure the boys are well bundled up and have hats ready if they need them. They have been plenty warm in their sleeping bags. Matt gets in bed and gasps, “Geez, it’s freezing! I think my heart just stopped.” We all make it through the night but no one wants to get out of bed in the morning. There is ice on the docks and snow near the bath house.
Note: A word about these supposed “hardships.” They’re not. Rather, they are simply part of the adventure. I am becoming much less of a wimp than I thought I was. If I can do this, anyone can. After taking out the trash yesterday, I was on the bath house porch about to go down the steps. Pausing a moment, I gazed out at the coming storm. The sky was full of gray and threatening clouds and the freezing wind was whipping. I started laughing. I had the sudden urge to go running down the dock, yelling and waving my arms. I felt wonderful but wasn’t sure what I was feeling. Then I realized I felt alive – and that I had not felt this way in a really, really long time.