Friday, January 23, 2015

The Bear floats away ...

The Floating Bear has found a new home. Daughter Eldest and Family did all they could to find their way back to a life on the water, but it just isn't to be … for now. Regardless of what their future might hold, the idea of The Bear sitting alone on the mooring doing a slow decline to “abandoned boat” status, was too sad. The Bear deserved better and Daughter Eldest figured out how to make that happen. So today Deb and I helped the new owner find his way around the boat.

He is a young licensed Captain who works here in Dinner Key, and The Bear is his first boat. He went out of his way to help Daughter Eldest and Family the months they lived here and is a good friend of the clan. All said and done the Family can face a future that does not include the constant financial drain of owning a boat, and a young Captain has his own piece of life on the water. Not the desired outcome, but not a bad one either. The next time you are sitting in the cockpit, sundowner glass cold in hand, have a good thought for The Bear and her Captains, both old and new. May they all find the wind at their backs and following seas.

Living on the water has taught me that we are much more like flotsam and much less “The Captain of My Fate” than we, particularly us strutting Americans, like to admit. Daughter Eldest and Family are safe and warm while awaiting the arrival of Grand Child Newest sometime in May. The Bear is in the hands of an enthusiastic new owner. All is well with the world. Except I'm not there yet. For me a lingering sense of failure surrounds the Saga of The Floating Bear. By any rationale I can manage, two parts of my family have taken nothing short of a massive flogging. Floggings that, no matter how many insist otherwise, happened on my watch. My best efforts only managed to make things worse. When the family needed at least a marginally competent Captain, I managed flotsam. The Universe was playing Master Level Chess. I came to the board sucking my thumb and clutching my Blankie.

Still, there is a thing about flotsam that most of us miss. Regardless of how rough the sea, flotsam just keeps on floating. Towering waves? No matter. Giant breakers rolling massive ships on their ear? Passes almost unnoticed. Sink a bit of flotsam deep as you like, it pops to the surface ready to go on as far as the wind blows or current runs. Indeed, flotsam goes on long after the Captain has met his match and taken up residence in Mr. Jones' Water Side Hotel.

I doubt I'll ever be flotsam enough to shrug The Bear off completely. There will always be this nagging feeling that I got that one wrong. But maybe I'll be flotsam enough to keep going anyway.
 

















































4 comments:

pfrymier1 said...

I have been lucky not to have a problem yet of the magnitude of the Bear but we've all had our share of regrets with decisions. My view is that perhaps you learned something that will keep you from making a bigger screw-up in the future. You are probably familiar with the anecdote of the two people who go walking, one has experience and the other money. At the end, the one with the experience has the money and the one with the money has experience. Sometimes you end up with experience on which you never capitalize, but such is the nature of being human. Keep writing if you can. It is very interesting to see the variety of people's experience cruising and living on the water. People's experience is all over the place.

TJ said...

Glad you enjoy the blog. We have been writting a long time, so I guess there is no reason to stop now. The Bear was a tough slog, no doubt, and I am sad that the kids couldn't join us "out here". But it is what it is and we had a good summer to remember. Maybe, someday ...

Lacey Jaye said...

From what I remember reading, you didn't pick out the Bear, right? Got there after the fact? Just tried to fix an old chopper gun tub of cheap broken bits and lies, right? Certainly not anything to feel responsible for! You needed to help your family, looks like you tried your best. I don't see any failure there. Good job! Well, I hope you get the karma points back at a later date (another healthy grandchild would a good start).

Jeffrey Michals-Brown said...

What Lacey said!