I lived in Colorado the majority of my life, since the age of 7. It’s all I know—till now. Colorado lies in a High Desert climate zone and is basically bone dry. As a result, I am familiar with ailments like lizard skin that I would remedy by slathering on almond oil before ever stepping out of the shower. Or cracked, bleeding fingers from fall till spring that Super Glue would temporarily fix. I used a saline nasal spray to keep my nasal passages moist. A whole-house humidifier would kick on whenever the furnace ran to try to add a bit of soothing moisture to my home’s inside air.
Living on a boat in the Pacific Northwest is a whole different reality. If I use lotion, it’s simply for a soft fragrance and to indulge in a bit of feminine vanity. My fingers don’t require SuperGlue because they are soft and supple. (I’m told by locals I’ll look years younger soon as my skin plumps up. We’ll see.) My nose is dripping with moisture. While my body is loving this wet place, I’m fighting the battle against excessive humidity in our floating household in many ways.
I run a DE-humidifier every day we’re on a dock connected to shore power, along with fans to keep air flowing to mitigate moisture. Against my inclination, I also run the heater at night to keep the air warmer and hopefully dryer. I wipe water droplets off windows and ceilings every morning. I have gridded tiles ordered to place under our mattress which hopefully will provide more space for air circulation as a means to ward off mold and mildew growth (yuck!). Until they arrive (and maybe even after), I’ll continue to fold our mattress in half each day and aim fans at its underbelly after I spray it with Norwex Mattress Cleaner.
Sunshine or the lack thereof is another thing to which I’m adjusting. Rather than worry about skin cancer, I’m taking 5,000 I.U. of vitamin D about every other day to make up for the absence of UV rays (which the human body uses to naturally produce vitamin D). I still use sunblock every day on my face (the only thing exposed to the sun for a few minutes every fourth or fifth day in this damp cold), but think it may be a waste of product.
So I’m not lacking moisture in my life, but do feel a lack of independence, which is driving me CRAZY! If I want to go any distance, it requires a boat. While I’m sure I could/would get Sundown anywhere she needs to take me, doing so for sport doesn’t feel comfortable or reasonable yet. Besides that, where would Clay be if I take the boat somewhere for the day? Besides THAT, I feel dependent on him to do the “hard” stuff, like dock Sundown. I am taking her off the dock and can pilot her through narrow passages using charts and electronic navigation equipment, but going solo would be nerve wracking right now. (We can’t afford any newbie accidents that result in damage to Sundown or anyone else’s boat.) I have plans to practice getting more familiar with Sundown’s spacial-ness (sic?) the next day the weather’s calm, but till then…
I’m so tempted to take Lightfoot, our dinghy, out by myself. Starting the motor isn’t coming easy though, which is SO frustrating. I grew up working on a golf course and started all kinds of mowers, tractors and trimmers. Why doesn’t the #$%! Honda 2.3HP start for me?!? Lightfoot has oars, though, and I may just have to row, row, row my boat.
My only easy recourse is running which I do every day that allows such an escape. “What about your bike?,” you might ask. The island roads lack shoulders of even a narrow width, so I’d prefer to go by bike with Clay, for safety’s sake. We’ve taken a couple of rides, but not enough to satiate my appetite for pedal-powered freedom like I’m used to on almost a daily basis. Clay’s in his element, which makes me happy knowing he’s thriving.
Obviously, this new adventure remains challenging for me, but I know I’m dealing with minor inconveniences. We are living in beautiful country filled with new sights, sounds and smells…most of them fresh, but not necessarily at low tide. The forests are thick with ferns and moss. Flowers of all varieties are still in bloom. Yesterday we had a great day of sailing and were thrilled when a large pod of doll porpoise were frolicking along beside us for awhile. We’re both healthy and relatively safe. And Clay’s in his element, which makes me happy.
So I will cling to the belief that God put me in this place for a reason and will give me what it takes to enhance it, to serve His purposes. I also daily repeat to myself the words stamped on the back of necklace charms given to me by my friend, Stephanie. Strength. Confidence. Intuition. Serenity. I pray for all of them daily.