Monday, April 19, 2010


As you can tell by the frequency of posts on the subject, dealing with accumulated and precious "stuff" is probably the most pressing issue when one is transitioning from a land-based life to a boat-based life (see Stuff and Such Oct 07 as an example). It's probably the most asked question when people find out we're planning to do this, because most folks just can't imagine living without their 42" flat screen, 3 cars, 8 sets of dishes, 15 sets of linens, 6 junk drawers and the 14 appliances that litter the 300 sq ft kitchen..."How are you going to live without all your stuff?  What will you do to keep occupied?"

We've spent the past week wandering around New England visiting grandbabies, living out of 2 suitcases and 2 back packs, traveling by plane, bus, train, and subway, and I can most assuredly tell you that I didn't think of all of the "stuff" at home once.  (More posts with many pictures to come as soon as I can grab the time.)  Cruisers have a mental framework that they deal in, a framework that has pared things down to what is essential to living, to what will enhance the essence of life without detracting from it.  The few possessions that we have left are carefully picked to sustain the physical life and to remind us of the important things...diaries, logs, a few photos, a few books that speak to us.  I've been mulling this all over once again while watching my granddaughters dig in the sand in Cape Cod and while watching my grandson sleep in his mama's arms on the subway and I was trying to figure out just how to put it into words that the non cruiser would "get" as my son-in-law says.   When we got home late last night I was getting caught up on the sailing blogs I follow while waiting on laundry, and one of the cruisers put it in better words than I can so I'll just let you read hers to understand.  As a little background, they decided to move back on land for a short time while their teenagers went to school and had a little social time with other kids.  They had just found a house and put their total possessions (that amounted to a few suitcases) into it, when someone broke in and stole everything (see The Ultimate Purge).  Recently the police found some of their things as well as the thieves and the police asked them to write an impact statement for the sentencing.  Their experience has moved me beyond words and may help you to understand that while we are ditching a huge amount of our physical possessions, there still remains the need too have some tangible contact with past events and people we love.  Here are her words:  In Our Own Words.

And, if you're wondering at our classification of ourselves as "cruisers" when we're only living on our boat in the summer on an inland lake?  Well I guess you've figured out by now that we've already left in so many ways.

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