The Business of Getting Ready

Here it is, Christmas 2014, and we are taking a break today from the business of getting ready to move onto AfterMath.  We have been very busy clearing out things we definitely don’t want or can’t take with us.  The huge artificial Christmas tree we have used over the past few years is going to Kelly and Craig’s house and this year we have a small real one that can be put out and taken away on brush day.  The ornaments on it are either tropical or sentimental and all of the others are being delivered to Kelly’s house with the tree.  Jeff and Sarah will take the Christmas tree stand built by John’s father when we were first married.  We are glad to see it go to them as it will be appreciated by the next generation and probably more generations to come.

We held a garage sale a couple of weeks ago and said good bye to a truckload of possessions.  One was the crib that was used by all of my children and grandchildren.  I expected that to be a sad moment, but a nice young man showed up who needed a crib as his baby was outgrowing her bassinet. He was so happy to be able to buy ours that we both felt really good about the situation.  After the sale, the car was loaded up with the leftovers and a very nice donation of goods was made.

John has been prepping inside the house for painting and he continues trimming the trees and bushes around the house that never stop growing in our tropical climate.  We hope to have the house on the market in a couple of weeks.  It’s a lot of work, but the payoff will be worth it when we actually move on AfterMath.  People ask us what we will do if the house sells quickly, and the answer is, we will figure it out.  We will probably have to rent somewhere if that happens.  We’ll keep you updated but, for now, we wish you a Merry Christmas and an adventure filled New Year.

Today is the Day!

About three years ago, while sitting at our favorite conversation spot, the dinner table, John and I started thinking how great it would be to retire.  We thought about where we would want to live, what we would want to do, and when it all could happen. Then one of us (I really don’t remember who) said that, at retirement, we should buy a trawler and travel for a few years.  We both thought it was a fantastic idea.  Now, we really love our kids and grandkids, and we love to spend time with them, so, as exciting as this sounded, I needed to think of a way that I could slowly adjust to being a little farther away from them than I am used to. After giving it some thought, I suggested a year doing the Great Loop before heading south to the Caribbean, Central and South America. That way we could fly or drive to them more often and see them as we passed by their homes.  This idea began to grow more and more over the next few months and we started to think of it as a reality.  We passed the idea by our kids, who all love boating themselves, and we received full support.  In fact, they each started to pick the spots where they would like to meet us during our travels!

Well, here we are three years later after lots of planning, thinking and dreaming.  We’ve looked at several boats, decided what we liked, and today we closed on a 48 foot Hatteras Long Range Cruiser.  Her name was Outback, but she will be re-christened “AfterMath” in honor of my math teaching career and John’s engineering background.  We are so excited to have her!  Right now she is in Mystic, Connecticut, which is ironic, as Connecticut is where all of our boating took place before we moved to Florida.  AfterMath will stay on the hard there until the spring at which point we will start our journey by heading north via the Hudson River to the Canadian canals and Georgian Bay.  We will then head south down the east coast so we can see our kids and grandkids on the way to the Caribbean next year.  We plan to spend approximately two years traveling the Caribbean, eastern South America, Central America, Mexico and then back to the US.  If all goes well, we will continue once again to Canada visiting Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and then southbound deciding along the way what to do next.

We will both retire this winter and become live aboards, so now we have so much to do.  We need to simplify our lives: put some things in storage, sell some, give some away, and pick the items we just can not live without to bring along. (I know my cameras are first in the “can’t live without it” pile.) I think life will be a lot less simple over the next couple of months, but will pay off once we are settled on AfterMath.

One of my favorite quotes is from Henry David Thoreau.  He said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.”  Here we go!!!