Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm Still Here

2 Months In America

I went 2 years and 3 months without touching US soil. Now I've been back in the USA for a whole 2 months. I feel a renewed connection to my passport and tattoo. I still love this country.

The last you knew I was gorging myself on Mexican food and reuben sandwhiches while trying to sell a rental home. I'm still delighting in the cuisine, but the house is sold! I was actually in contract the first day I listed it, which made me sure I didn't ask enough. Turns out it appraised for only $3,000 more, so I think I did quite well in retrospect. Even still, it was a poor financial decision given the reduced value of the house in this market, though a great peace of mind strategy. My pockets are now loaded again and I have one less landlord headache. I'll be buying that new dinghy, converting the bimini to a hard dodger, and I might even purchase a new chartplotter for the binacle.

Life with "The Momma"

She's not the best mom in the world but she's in the top 5. My brother and I refer to Jere Mae Friedman as "The Momma". I think she understands it's a term of respect. She's been spoiling me rotten and in return I've redone her patio. There is honor in staying home with your mom on a Friday night. I have found the Zen in chiseling concrete in order to repair the patio. We do the crossword together in the morning and watch Jeopardy together eveyday at 4:30pm. She lends me the car whenever I want as long as the sun is up, but boy does she fight me if I want to go out at night. That's when the curfew negotiation begins. It was cute in the beginning but now it's just like highschool all over again. She has an over developed "mom gene" that makes her want to protect her kid, and since she has no control over my scary life at sea, she now needs to over-exercise her mothering instincts. Here's some irony for you – I was staying here in her house while she went to Europe for a 2 week cruise around the Med, and guess what: she didn't email me at all! When I'm at sea I email her everyday. She's really a special lady and I love her completely.

One of the first mornings I was here I awoke to what sounded like shrieking winds in the rigging of Barraveigh only to find that I was safe in my childhood bed at my mother's house and it was the yard crew outside the window with a weed whacker. What a wonderful mistake to make. I forgot how good it can feel when the elements are not a threat.

It's obvious that I enjoy the exotic and the exciting. We all do. But this quiet time with my 71 year old mother has proven to me that once we teach ourselves to hear the music of life, even when played at the lowest of levels, it doesn't matter what country we find ourselves in, what company we share, or what work surrounds us – we can enjoy it all. It's all about finding the sublime in the subtle. The simple joy of submerging myself in my mother's pool can still be as pleasurable as the Pacific ocean. It's been a great homecoming.

I do miss my boat though. She's the main girl in my life, and as of July 1st, Barraveigh will have been my home for 4 years. I do think though, that once you get the hang of traveling, home can be anywhere. I think of my mom's house as home, my brother's little sanctuary in Tokyo feels like home, even my storage room at the beach house in San Diego with the bunk next to the hot water heater - It all feels like home.

2 cliches: "You can never go home." WRONG – "Home is where the heart is."

It rings true.

Your fish out of water,

Capt Bobby

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