Friday, July 26, 2013


I am a dweller.  I dwell on things way too much.  I don’t hold grudges, but I dwell.  I want to please other people and I think entirely too long about how things turned out.

It feels so good to admit this because I’ve been thinking of what this feeling is for the past 10 months.  Turning the thought over and over in my mind.  As one opportunity after another this year disappeared in my outstretched hands, I found myself dwelling.  Inevitably I got over it and picked myself up by my bootstraps and tried again.  I think I gained a bit of patience and lowered my expectations in the process.   I wish I could say that the experiences from this year would have stopped the dwelling.  Today I am reminded that I am still a dweller.  I guess maybe we are all just a work in progress. 

I am on this sort of battleground with myself stuck somewhere in the middle.  On one side, I have routine, plans and expectations.  I crave schedules, school planners, a perfectly decorated and clean house, and reliability in my job, life and relationships.  I hate confrontation and arguments of any kind.  I worry about what people think of me all the time.  I wish I thrived off of the unexpected, last minute invitations and being casually 10 minutes late.  I wish I was like Andrew and didn’t care what people thought or said about me.  However, I am not that person and that is ok.  We are who we are.  But on the other side of the battlefield I have this love for adventure, being free from 401ks and 9-5 work schedules, and pursuing a career in what I love instead of what I have to do.  This is the greedy side of me.  The side that wants to have my cake and eat it too.

This lovely summer Nor’easter that we are experiencing in Nantucket has me dwelling.  I have lost two huge days of work in the process and I am inevitably dwelling. And by dwelling I mean that I am angry at the weather that I can’t control, stressed at the loss of money and how I will make up for it in the short 5 remaining weeks of summer, considering a complete job change that does not depend on weather and wishing that I was a salaried worker who didn’t have to worry about such problems that plague me today.  It’s like this annoying Justin Beiber song that keeps playing in my head over and over again.  I tell myself to move on, but I can’t seem to press the stop button fast enough.

I think I am on the right track though.  The track of knowing myself and figuring out how to make a treaty on this battleground.  In the end I do love what I do.  I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone else (except maybe Jimmy Buffett).   I think its ok to accept the fact that I dwell.  With all this dwelling that I do, I am still a believer.  A believer that we can have it all if we work hard.  That there are many possibilities in life and for all the ones that don’t work out, there will always be ones that do. Sometimes dwelling might be a good thing.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Boys Are Back in Town

Out for a sunset row

You know that 1970's song from Thin Lizzy, "The Boys are Back in Town"?? That is EXACTLY what I've had in my head the last few days since Spartan and Blackwatch arrived to Nantucket.  For all you sailing newbies, Spartan is the 72 foot wooden sailboat Andrew runs and Blackwatch is another classic yacht our friends' Kyle and Meriah run.  Meriah's brother just so happens to be the first mate on Spartan.  Its the best of both worlds: summer in Nantucket with my people from Newport.

So, my boss and I decided to go out on his Alerion sailboat and be the welcoming committee for Spartan's arrival.  It was the perfect late afternoon with 10-12 knots of breeze and a clear sky and lots of sunshine.  As they sailed right into the harbor with full sails, a car ferry trailing behind and boats coming in and out of the channel I couldn't help but think how the crew maneuvered this boat 100 years ago.  Spartan is 100 years old this year having been originally built in 1913.  She never ceases to amaze me with her clean lines and elegant look. It is the epitome of a classic yacht. 

car ferry barging in on Spartan


And it is one of the reasons I fell in love with Andrew.

It seems so fitting and bittersweet all at the same time.  On July 21, Andrew and I will have been together for 2 years!  I cannot believe that it has been that long and at the same time I realize how far we have come in life both personally and as a couple in such a short amount of time.  But people, it is only the beginning. We have big things ahead.

And so it is the last summer that Andrew will be with Spartan. 

Sister boats: Quakkeress II and Spartan on the moorings

And as happy as I am for him and us to move on after this season, I had that feeling of sadness as they rounded Brandt Point and came into the harbor.  Taking a trip down memory lane, this boat has been such a focal point in our relationship.  She was after all Andrew's girlfriend before me:)

Out for our sunset row

I remember my first time out on Spartan with this handsome, rustic new guy I had started can imagine how romantic it was to date someone who not only captained a classic yacht like the ones in my Dad's sailing books, but he ALSO BUILT the boat.  I think I was in love within the first week.

Its strange, I'm sure to most of you non-sailors out there, but this boat has helped make decisions for us, allowed for some truly wonderful experiences together and helped me see the type of person that Andrew really is: caring, meticulous, humble, focused, genuine and passionate for classic boats, the sea, and sailing.

Charlie & Judd happy with sushi, saki and a sunset
For the last 4 nights we have been surrounded by our Newport friends for cookouts, sunsets overlooking the harbor, and even a Rusted Root concert at the Chicken Box.  It has been a comforting way to bring in our third summer together and the last one we might have out here.

Judd & Andrew gave Kyle a new burgee for Blackwatch...

I am so thankful that the boys are back in town! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

30 Hours in "America"

This week I had a bit of a reprieve from work and got to take advantage of the after 4th of July lull. I packed up way too much stuff and got on a ferry bound for "America".  Andrew picked me up in Hyannis and I got to spend 30 hours at HOME.  How wonderful it is to actually have a HOME of my own.  It may not seem like much at the moment with our mismatched walls, peeling wallpaper, and assortment of "hand-me-down" furniture, but to me, it is an oasis and retreat to a place I love.  Andrew of course put up welcoming flowers in every room - hydrangeas from our yard and these beautiful sunflowers - you can't ask for much more in life!

With a few more days before Andrew and Spartan come out to Nantucket, he has been working around the clock in my absence.  The back living room is really making progress.  Andrew put up all the primer and "Lazy Gray" paint, as well as cove molding and "Ice Cube" for the trim.  Left on the list for this room is trim around the doors and windows, painting the radiators, designing and making the new mantel, and decorating! The decorating part is of course my favorite! Luckily for us my parents will be staying in the house for 2 weeks while we are away and bringing up some furniture I had made from Virginia. This back living room is going to be a tranquil retreat in no time!! 

New dimmers and thermostat

BEFORE - sliding doors

AFTER - French Doors & Loving the "Lazy Gray" with "Ice Cube"

Did I also mention that we have a beautiful new washer and dryer?!?  Thanks to Andrew's MORE than generous sister who helped us buy these beauties, we now don't have to go around smelling like dead animal.  I'd say that's progress...

When I come back August 1 to shoot a wedding, I think I'll bring some laundry home just to try it out:)

New Washer & Dryer with new plumbing, vent and wiring!  
In just that short 30 hours that I was home, my whole level of happiness went up tenfold.  Not that I have been unhappy in Nantucket by any means.  I guess sometimes it just takes the people you love, good food, and a piece of HOME to make you feel whole again.

Oysters & Beer at the BoatHouse in Tiverton

Lunch at the Shipyard with Uncle Dandy and Piggy

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Today is a hopeful day. The kind of day where I feel like I can conquer the world.  High hopes run through my mind: I will be a world class photographer; I will captain the most beautiful boat in the world one day; Andrew and I will have beautiful babies and live in an amazing house that we built.  Its this feeling of endless hope and boundless opportunities.

Yesterday, not so much.  Even the day before that, not so hopeful. 

Maybe its because I had a big ice coffee today and yesterday I didn’t.  Or the fact that I am home in Tiverton tonight with the love of my life who keeps me centered. Whatever the reason, we all have these up and down days, weeks or months.  They rise and fall like the tides and ebb and flow like the currents.  That may be the greatest thing I’ve learned from sailing…that sometimes things go as planned, and sometimes they don’t.  Forecasts can be wrong.  Things will inevitably break and sometimes the wind will die.  How true this is of life.

And still I find myself frustrated by these circumstances that I cannot control.  I would think that after all these years of sailing and then teaching sailing, I would come to assume that, well, shit happens.  But it is days like today that I am reminded that for each day that weighs me down, the next sunrise will bring a different day and a different me.  I think that is what keeps us all going, is it not?  The idea that tomorrow will bring something new and erase yesterday’s crap.

I think Albert Einstein had it right...

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