divorce · dogs · Sailboats · Sailing · Uncategorized

Risky Business: It’s not just a movie

Well it’s happened. The company  I worked for was effecitively shut down on Monday and I am again without a job. I feel as if everything I’ve worked so hard for the last few weeks is at risk of being lost. The marina and boatyard I worked at wasn’t just a job. It was my home. I’m a bit at a loss as to what to do now. I found the work I did meaningful there. At least I thought it was until my boss told me otherwise.  That cut me to the core a bit. I know she’s angry and hurt that things didn’t go the way we all wanted them to.

It’s risky trying to be a friend and an employee.

My life has been a series of risks recently that haven’t paid off well. I’ve been a part of the “play it safe” crowd for so long that I thought if I just closed my eyes and leaped for once it might pan out. Unfortunately it seems I’m just free falling into nothingness again.

Someone asked me today if I had a magic wand what would I do with my life. Honestly, I have no idea. I wish I could find a way to make the blog/writing my actual job. I wish I could travel all over the world with Ava in our boat. While money doesn’t buy happiness, it bought a boat that needed maintenace, slip rent, and fuel to do all of the above with. I’m beginning to think that maybe I got in over my head with this whole “Travel/Adventure” thing. It’s lonely on the boat, even with Ava. I feel like I’ve not been fair to her recently either. Working at ESM allowed me to have her with me in the office on days I was tethered to a desk. Now she’ll have to stay on the boat or in a doggy day care (which she HATES) while I’m out looking for work. Crap she sounds more like a baby than my dog.

There was a great deal of risk involved when I moved back home. I took the chance that Kenny might come back if he saw that I had found some normalacy and happiness here. Obviously that hasn’t worked out in my favor.

Life is risky business. Everyday we take chances in love, with friends, with family.  I suppose it’s worth the risk though. What is the saying “it’s better to have love and lost than to have never loved at all.”

I seem to be rambling so I’m going to pour myself another cup of coffee and hope that I find some solace in it, and maybe a job. Yeah a job that would be nice right?

via Daily Prompt: Risky

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Just believe

boatsunsetvia Daily Prompt: Believe     

Can you believe that I took the above picture just a few weeks ago? The sky was on fire as my friends sailed in after a day out on the bay.  The colors that flashed across the sky and into my camera’s lens were unbelievable. Belief is something that used to be a huge part of my life. A belief in a high power, belief in myself. I’ve begun to question so many of my beliefs that I can’t sort out what I believe and what I do not. I know that good things take time but gosh I’m so impatient for the good to work out.

I think belief and hope go hand in hand. How can one believe anything if they have no hope in it?

 

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Life Over/Life Beginning

Ava is currently barking her head OFF! She is usually very quiet but today the roofers are here and she is quite sure they mean to do me harm. I’ve noticed she’s been extremely protective of me lately. It’s actually a comfort as I have felt pretty vulnerable lately. The last few days have been very tough. I keep trying to keep things in perspective. I have come so far in the last few months, even though I’ve seemingly been gut kicked pretty hard again. The company I work for has been forced out of business, so once again I’m on the hunt for a job. I really loved living and working here so it was a bit of a blow.

On another note, I’ve me some crazy, incredibly wonderful people here at this job. They come from many different backgrounds, businessmen, military, attorneys, you name it. We all share a love of the water though. One of the highlights of my morning is to join them with a cup of coffee on the docks. We talk about the weather, the latest maintenance on their boats, sometimes the government and social issues. I enjoy the diversity their opinions. I’m going to miss my co-workers. I’ve formed a friendship with them and right now has been a time when I’ve really needed friends.

This weekend we had the joy of experiencing a hurricane at the Marina. Hurricane Nate showed up unwelcomed. We hauled out boats with the travel lift for 48 hours. It was hard, slow going work. As the storm got closer, neighbor began helping neighbor in the marina. I tied up boats, tightened lines, and worked alongside our other clients to make sure everyone was taken care of. I slept through most of the storm itself. We thankfully didn’t get hit as hard as expected. Not a single boat was damaged due to the storm. In fact, the only boat that sustained damage at all was mine. The wind caught the Rialto Zephyr as I steered her into the travel slip to be lifted out of the water. She smashed into the pilings busting out a navigational light and bending my pulpit and stanchions. I’m just glad no one was hurt. The current and the wind were too hard to fight. The tidal surge did create a bit of mess. Docks floated up and washed away, but overall it was a successful storm prep. It made me realize how much I’m going to miss working here all the more.

I’m trying to think forward to the future as far as a new career. I have no idea what I’ll do now. I suppose as long as it supports my sailing habit and feeds Ava and I, it’ll be ok. Life while looking like it might be over, is actually starting to feel more like a beginning. I’m starting to realize that it’s all about cycles. Just like Mother Nature cycles through weather, we have cycles through life as well. Sometimes it’s grey and stormy, often it’s bright and sunny, but I have to keep in mind that these changes don’t always happen overnight. I have to allow myself to experience both the good and bad knowing that they don’t last. In the meantime, I’m going to ride this adventure to wherever it takes me. Jake1

 

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Sailboats · Sailing · Uncategorized

Stormy weather, since you and I ain’t together.

via Daily Prompt: Interest

I’ve always had an interest, almost wild obsession with the weather. Maybe it’s the sailor in me that always keeps an eye to the horizon for the dark clouds that often roll in off the Gulf, or maybe it’s the energy I revel in as I stand, facing the wind defiant in the face of the storm.

While most children are afraid of storms, I can remember the excitement as I would watch them form over head. Thunder crashing all around only fed my interest. As I grew older, hurricanes began to fascinate me. I felt drawn to them. The power they displayed was amazing. It reminds me of one of my favorite Christian band songs where God’s love is described as a hurricane and we are a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. That word description has stuck with me for years.

My life being stormy on the other hand, isn’t fascinating or powerful. The storm clouds that have gathered over me and my family have often left a sense of impending doom. Storms are unpredictable. The whip through sometimes unexpected and often leave paths of destruction. They cannot be tamed. That’s my life as well. I feel the swirling clouds of uncertainty, the wind howling to me that my life will never be the same, the waves crashing over me giving me a sense that I’m just at the cusp of drowning. I fear these storms.Silhoutte1

Alabama Gulf Coast · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Life in a Southern Coastal town

A Sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind”  Webb Chiles

 

Sailing has become a form of therapy for me. When I’m out on the water, I don’t care about the present troubles I’m facing. The snap of the sails quite literally snaps me out of the funk that I’ve been in for weeks. I’ve been in a funk the last few days, though no one would know except my very close friends and family.  Today I decided the only way I could snap out of it would be some good ole’ southern hospitality. I’m lucky enough that I both live and work at a local marina in Fairhope, AL. At night before I go to sleep, I hear the shrimp boats as they make their way out of the channel and into the bay. They spend all night out there casting their nets. In the mornings as I’m having coffee in the cockpit of the Rialto Zephyr (my beautiful sailboat and home) the seagulls and the shrimpers greet me on their way back to the docks. This Friday the funk I was in led me to the decision that the only way to cure it would be to host a shrimp boil for my coworkers and fellow neighbors.

Gerald has been shrimping this bay for longer than I have been alive. His boat, the Miss Elise, is a traditional setup made for catching bay shrimp. She is well worn, but well loved. He pulled into the dock Friday morning with ice chests full of beautiful white shrimp. No sooner had he tied his lines, people were lined up with cash. He shook my hand and asked me about my “people” and how “my mom and ’em are”. He shared stories of some tough shrimping times as he scooped the shrimp 5lbs at a time into Ziploc bags. I love hearing his stories and sighed silently as I realized that this way of life is beign pushed to the corner of extinction.

The marina is filled with liberals, conservatives, wealth and not so much wealth,military, civilians, but the one thing we all have in common is our gypsy souls. Always keeping a weather eye out for adventure. I love to sit and listen to the conversations that happen when we are all together. In those moments, our differences don’t matter so much and we share food, companionship and sea stories. We laugh, we reminisce, we love.

I started a pot of boiling water and began to chop up the onions and garlic out at the pavillion. Soon I had several live aboards stopping by to see what they could bring to the cookout. They asked questions about traditional southern food, shared their favorite stories and recipes, and anticipated the shrimp, andouille, corn and potatoes that would soon be dumped out on newpaper and gobbled up in a free for all. Coworkers brought glass Root Beer and Dr. Peppers. Even a straggler from a subcontractor joined in our feast. All of the sudden, my troubles felt small as we shared a meal. I laughed, teased, and for once let go of the burdens I’ve been carrying all week. I reminded myself of how thankful I am to be home, how this life is worth living, and that you don’t have to look to hard to find yourself. These vagabonds are my as Gerald put it “people” and I wouldn’t trade living in this little coastal southern town for anything, well except some more of Gerald’s shrimp.

 

Next rounds on you boys!

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Government · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

We did it! The little engines that could…

Ava and I officially live aboard my new boat! A few weeks ago, I came across a 38′ Rhodes Seafarer. The Rialto Zephyr had been well taken care of for a girl her age and I couldn’t pass up the deal. She’s large enough that Ava and I are able to live comfortably aboard. We’ve now fully moved in and it’s been interesting to say the least! Ava has adjusted to ship board life fairly well. I did however discover that I MUST close the hatch covers before I leave if she is staying on board. She has learned how to push them open and jump out! A few times I caught her out making friends with other boaters.

Life is different now. Not bad different, but different none-the-less. I’ve met some very interesting people at the marina. Sailors, Gypsys, Nomads. We have a lot in common. I love their stories, their personalities. They reflect a kaleidiscope of colors in our society.

Our journey through the intercoastal was incredible. Well, until we hit Point Clear, and by hit I mean literally hit a sand bar about 1 1/2 miles off the beach. We were watching dolphins play around the boat. What we didn’t realize was they were actually running the fish into the shallow sand bar. An hour later, we were able to free the Rialto Zephyr only to run aground again. I’ve learned that you if you see dolphins swimming fast towards the beach, you should probably go the other way. They are running the fish into shallows and your boat will end up in the shallows too if you don’t haul ass out of there!

It’s been an adventure to say the least but one that I’ve loved every second of.

Ava and I are starting to get back on our feet again. I was able to get a job working in the marina where my boat is. I love the boatyard and the work that happens there. Watching the guys resurrect a derelict boat and handing the client a beautifully painted work of art is amazing! Unfortunately, my job and my home has been a fight for the last two months. The city of Fairhope voted to take the marina over. Since part of my contract with the marina was that I have free slip rent, I’ll be paying the city that now. I’ve ruffled some feathers over how the city has handled the take over and I’m sure I’ve made enemies. I just can’t sit by and watch them run over the little guy or in my case, girl. Catherine, my boss, was handed a disaster. Her father had run the marina for years and not necessarily in the best management practice. The marina definitely needed repairs and upkeep, but Cat came in with a plan. Sadly it seems the city had a plan as well and that has been to shut her down. I’ve never been on to get into politics but I felt like I couldn’t watch this happen without voicing my concerns. Now it seems I’m being played out as the disgruntled employee, angry about her free lease ending. The city strategically took out sources of revenue at the highlight of the season by tearing down the fuel dock, then they voted to take the marina over, and now it appears they have secretly emailed clients telling to to demand their money back in order to pay rent to the city.  While it may not change my situation, if nothing else I want answers for our clients and residents of this city. Did the people of Fairhope write a blank check to the city for the renovations of a project that will cost over $2 million?

Enough of my work rant, other than the above mentioned struggles, Ava and I have made friends, found a new church, and maybe found a little piece of heaven here in Fairhope, AL. I wake up every morning to the sounds of rigging, clinking and tinkling, the bay lapping at the shore and boat, and beautiful sunrises. At night, I’m rocked to sleep by the waves and the gently tinkling of the rigging again. I can’t ask for more right now. I am healing.

 

divorce · dogs · Pets · Uncategorized

Navigating Separation: 10 Things NOT to say to your friend during a Separation/Divorce

So I know this is a travel blog and yes, it’s primarily about my dog Ava, but I want to be real with my readers, the few of you that there are LOL! I am almost officially at month 4 of being separated from my husband.Never thought it would get to this point, but here I am and NO it’s not any easier.

I wanted to take a moment and address some of the mistakes I’ve had happen along the way. Not necessarily things I’ve done, but things well meaning friends and family have done or said to me. I probably would have made the same mistakes if roles had been reversed so this isn’t a blast but a “hey if you want to be encouraging or helpful DON’T DO or SAY this”. Here we go:

1) Most of you know I’m a believer, a Christian. While sending verses and encouraging messages is helpful, I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with the “God has a plan” bit. I know He has a plan, I know it’s a great plan but right now this part of the plan hurts. Somedays it’s physically painful and on those days it doesn’t feel like a great plan. It feels like one of those plans that some how went awry like a Chevy Chase National Lampoon’s Vacation plan. I know people mean this in a way to say that God will see me through all of this and that He wants good for me, but most days I wish we could have just stuck to the ORIGINAL plan which was that my husband and I stay married forever.

2) “You’ are strong. You’ve been through worse/or even better this is the second time you’ve experienced this, you should know how to handle this.” THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE DUMBEST, HURTFUL THING SAID YET.  Yes, this wasn’t my first marriage. Yes, that marriage ended up in absolute disastrous flames, but it was an entirely different situation. When that ended, I was downright THANKFUL that it had. I do not feel that way about my husband right now. Yes, I know this type of hurt, but you know what it’s DIFFERENT. Do I know that I’m strong? Yes, I know, but somedays it would be nice for someone to acknowledge that somedays it’s ok not to be strong. It’s ok to breakdown and want to eat ice cream and potato chips and drink soda and cry.

3) The “girl he don’t know what he’s missing” campaign. While I get that this is meant to empower me, make me feel good about myself, most days it actually has the opposite effect. Maybe he doesn’t know what he’s missing. Maybe he isn’t missing me at all. Maybe he knows and he’s decided he doesn’t mind missing it. At any rate, I hate when people say this to me.

4) “I’m jealous. You get to start over and live YOUR life”. What’s to be jealous of? The fact that if I wanted to live “my” life is that I wouldn’t have remarried. You’re jealous of legal issues? Or maybe it’s the endless nights I spend awake trying to figure out what went wrong. Don’t tell me you are jealous of my freedom when in reality I’m a slave to the what if’s.

5) “I hate him”  Here’s the thing I can hate him, you can’t. I love him, still love him, maybe will love him for years to come. There are other ways to share your frustration with what I already know to be a frustrating situation. Instead you can say you understand it’s hard.

6) “I don’t know how you are getting through this?” GUESS WHAT ME EITHER!

7) “Let me know if you need anything”- I don’t like asking for help so if you’re offering be specific. It could be something as simple as asking me if I’d like to have dinner or chill out and see a movie. This is the vaguest statement and I will feel as if I’m burdening you because I feel like my situation is a BURDEN. It certainly is for me.

8) Who cheated? OMG guess what NEITHER OF US DID!

9) “Why did this happen?” You know what I have no idea. See above sleepless nights and what if questions. Besides do you really want to know? You are only going to get my side of the story and quite honestly it’s filled with some pretty big questions.

10) Last but not least “THERE ARE MORE FISH IN THE SEA” Do I look like the Gordon’s Fisherman? I don’t care if there are more fish in the sea. The assumption that I’ll just get over this marriage if I find another relationship is STUPID! Maybe I wanted this person! Maybe the thought of being with someone else is not only revolting but frightening and right now the feelings of LONELINESS are pretty dang high. So this doesn’t make me feel confident, or excited to meet anyone new, or even consider meeting anyone new.

 

Ok, so I’ve probably come across as a pretty ugly word at this point, but I am trying to be helpful to those who maybe know someone in the situation I am in. Really right now what I could use is a friend to spend time with, to make my life feel somewhat normal. Just getting my mind from dwelling is a welcomed break. Don’t think we have to talk about my separation, we don’t. But, don’t think it’s not ok to ask about my husband because it is. I want to know that this is real. That the loss I’m experiencing is real, but sometimes it’s ok to be able to watch Bridget Jones’s diary with a bottle of red wine and reenact the opening scene because I am all by myself and I don’t mind embracing the absurdity of it.

Maybe this will be helpful to some, maybe it will make me out as a huge jerk, either way time keeps ticking on.