Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Off the edge ...

Yesterday (barring something totally unforeseen) I flew ye old jet for the last time, landed it at the maintenance base where the new owner is getting a pre-buy inspection, and walked away. My goal was to see this flight department closed with the same commitment to professionalism with which it has been run. And it was. Almost done, almost dusted. There are a few non-flying details yet to address but it is likely my 40+ career in aviation is over. (Okay. I admit that getting my head around the idea of being an "ex-pilot" is not going well, so I have decided to put off mulling over it until later. I think a good time would be swinging in my hammock, cold one in hand, watching over the bow as a flaming red sun sets into blue water. I'll toast the sky and say, "Thank you.")

Today we met with Craig, financial guru and a real pro, who has helped us figure out how we can get away without condemning ourselves to abject poverty. (This may be the only time in history that I endorse Wall Street types in any way, shape, or form, but Edward Jones' has been nothing but honest, professional, and helpful. We couldn't have done it without them.) We are not swimming in money and it wouldn't take much of a disaster to throw us into deep water. But as of now we can say with some assurance, "We made it". There is enough cash stashed away to get us to deep water, get some work done on the boat, and put fuel in the tank and food on the table for the foreseeable future. It is likely that, now and again, we will have to hole up somewhere pretty and generate a little extra dinero somehow. But that is actually something I am looking forward to doing.

The only real glitch left in the works is the house. Nobody seems to want it but me, and I don't want it anymore. This next month will see one last attempt to get it sold. If it doesn't go then it goes on the rental market. Sailors need to work with the wind whichever way it blows, and that is as true of the housing market in St. Louis as it is out in the Atlantic 100 miles from land. (Which housing market, I must say, really blows right now - rumors to the contrary not withstanding.) We are pretty sure of the destination marina on the coast. We have a choice of two shippers who can do the job, and there is lots of water in the lift pit so Kintala will not have to fly very high to get up out of the water. There are a million little details that will fall out of the sky like graffiti on a ticker-tape parade. But they will be handled and then forgotten.

So here we are, hanging just off the cliff like Wile E. Coyote, no ground under us but not yet falling. In the morning I head to the boat knowing the final push has started. The only kind of living I have ever known has ended. A different kind, a kind still mostly shrouded in mystery, has started.


Robert Salnick said...

How exciting!

Unknown said...

Martina and I hope to follow in your footsteps in a few years. Good luck and maybe we will see you in some distant port.

Latitude 43 said...

It is a weird feeling. Like having a door close on you with no handle on your side. Just a smooth grey unremarkable door. It's obviously closed, and you can't get back in, but you stare at it for a while anyway, wondering what the hell just happened. Eventually you turn yourself around to look at where you are, and find multiple open doors from which to choose. Pick the one with the bright blue water behind it.