I Won’t Be Home For Christmas, You Can Count On It

Tuesday December 25, 2012

So here it is on Christmas, and we’re sitting in a boat yard in Florida, on the hard for three weeks now. Not exactly where we thought we’d be at this time, and not where we wanted to be either, but you take the cards you’re dealt and do with them what you can. We’ve had multiple offers to spend the holidays with friends and their families, but we decided that if we’re not going to be with our own family we’d rather spend the holiday just between the two of us. Although thank you very much to everyone who offered to take us in. And we did try to make it home to see all our family and friends that we left behind, but we just couldn’t find anything cheap enough to justify the trip. Plane tickets, car rentals…dropping hints to family to send one of the two our way. None of it worked and  I was even completely ready to hijack Rode Trip’s rental car, steal it from them while they were sleeping after having gotten us to Pennsylvania. It’s really not that far from Michigan. You think I’m joking, but I was really at that point. Either Matt’s more sensible or a better person than I am, and he talked me into staying in the boatyard. (Although I think my plan would have worked)

 The days leading up to the holiday have been very uneventful. We forced ourselves off the boat on Saturday to do just a little provisioning and stocking up on things. This has started becoming a common occurrence with us, going to the store every few days, not even because we really need anything, but just to get ourselves off the boat. And as much as I hate to admit it, the landlubber life has already started effecting me. During that grocery trip all I could think was ‘We better really stock up, because what if Monday or Tuesday comes around and we don’t have something that we need. The stores will be closed and what will we do then?’. It took me a moment to remember that we only used to have the opportunity to go to the grocery store every few weeks, or having to going on foot, that was as often as we wanted to go. Ran out of milk? Don’t eat cereal. No fresh meat? Heat up a can of soup for dinner. I’ve already become spoiled by the convenience of getting whatever I want whenever I want it that I don’t remember we used to go even more so without, and we’ll (hopefully) be back to that soon.  Right now it’s still a few miles round trip on bike, and everything we buy has to fit in our backpacks or strap on to the bike rack, but for us that really is convenience.

Since then we have done nothing. I partly blame it on insomnia and some very odd sleep schedules we’ve been having lately. With no early morning departures or places to be, we’ve fallen into a habit of watching t.v. until just after midnight (or 2 am for Matt) and allowing ourselves to sleep in the next morning. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll set an alarm for 9:00 to force myself out of bed and get a little writing done or do something even mildly productive. Somehow both of us had a terrible bout of insomnia the night before (or morning of) Christmas Eve. We tried to go to bed at 1 am and after an hour of laying there we weren’t any closer to sleeping and got back up, just surfing the web and trying to make ourselves tired. At 3 we tried to go back to sleep and again had an hour where sleep was completely eluding us. Back up and on the computers. Soon it became a joke to see if we could stay up until the sun rose since it may as well have been three o’clock in the afternoon to us. Finally at 6:30 am my eyes were starting to droop enough to the point I thought I could try bed again and Matt was thirty minutes behind me. Needless to say, we were completely useless after we woke up for the day at two in the afternoon.

Even though we weren’t good for much of anything else, we were still able to participate in a little holiday tradition we’ve had going since 2004, which is watching ‘Love Actually‘ within a week of Christmas. It it such a great movie, and my second favorite movie of all time, only coming in after ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’. And after having watched it nine years in a row now, I’m pretty sure I have all the lines memorized. Which is fun for me, but not so fun for Matt when he has to suffer thrugh the next week of me quoting lines from the movie in the most random ways, and always in a British accent. Like when I hand Matt something he isn’t expecting and he asks “Is this for me?” and I reply with “It’s all for you….sir.”. Or even more randomly when they don’t fit into the conversation at all and I just blurt out lines like ‘Which doll for Daisy’s friend Emily? The one that looks like a transvestite, or the one that looks like a dominatrix?‘. (Referring to Barbie dolls dressed in feather boas and leather skirts) I’m so lucky that he puts up with me.

Christmas morning we woke up with the excitement of any other day. ‘Oh, what, it’s Christmas? I didn’t even remember’. It wasn’t even until a few hours after we woke up that we looked over at the presents and cards we had received from family but refrained from opening, hoping it would get us a little into the holiday spirit. There were humorous cards, a little Christmas money, and Matt even got a few new shirts. On any other day I would have been ecstatic to open the gifts we received and feel thankful for everything we’d gotten from our family and friends, but even gifts (and money!) couldn’t take me out of my funk and I spent the day in a depressed mood. Who knows if it was because we were in a pile of dirt and rocks all by ourselves, that we weren’t with friends and family, or we knew that even all of our cruising buddies were with theirs, it was just a shit day and I wanted it to go by as quickly as possible. And with being the only one on board that felt like that, there was no company for my misery.

Originally thinking that I’d use this day as an opportunity to try and re-fit the fitted sheets for our v-berth I had planned on dragging the cushions over to one of the ship sheds which would be completely abandoned on this day and have all the space in the world to spread things out. I’ve found that sewing projects are much tougher when you’re trying to measure a piece of fabric and you can’t draw a straight line because the 2×4 table that’s your only flat surface won’t allow you to mark the length you need in one shot. But while having my little self pity party I couldn’t assemble the motivation to get any projects done and sat around on the computer all afternoon, not doing anything of real importance, except writing a few Thank You cards that I wanted to get out the next day.

For our big Christmas dinner I tried my hand at making orange chicken and while it didn’t turn out a total disaster, it looked nothing like what we’d be served at Panda Express. So if anyone could give me hints on how to bread chicken in a 10” skillet I think it would make my life a lot easier as we now seem to try and make Chinese food at least twice a week.and I have become no closer to mastering it. Dinner was enjoyed in front of a glowing tv screen while watching Rambo which is something we’ve both made it 30 years without watching up to this point. Then throwing on a Christmas themed movie I relaxed with a glass of red wine in my hand and cat cuddling in my lap. Surprisingly that was all I needed to turn my day around and I could go back to feeling content again. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that keep you going, and I guess for me it’s movies and wine.