At dinner, as the early evening light faded on our outside table last night, we were thinking how this anchorage with a porch doesn’t require many of the things that past winter’s coves have required. We don’t need to consider an anchor watch during squalls, we don’t have to raise the dinghy each night, no need to check the batteries to see if we need to run the engine to charge, making or collecting water, worry about dragging, or hope we can get a signal for packet email.
Like cruising, we’ll be in this spot for 90 days, we have to motor to town each day for provisions, each time we go to town we see something new and interesting, the foods are diverse and delicious, we exchange money at the local bank, look forward to email and news from friends and home, hanging out we learn about the people and community, even pick up a little of the language and customs, and best of all consider how lucky we are to be able to experience different cultures: some familiar, like the Tesco Shopping Center or the urban traffic, while others are more foreign, such as the neighborhood outdoor markets, family one-pot restaurants and cycling thru empty roads of rural rubber plantations.
Traveling, anchoring (such as it is), helps us better appreciate our culture, rule of law, privileged affluence compared to many in the world, and especially our home in Durango. It’s easy to think “they” could do things better, like palletize loads of sacks and boxes rather than hump each load on their backs from truck to truck or truck to loading dock, choose a better government (no, wait, we can all do better at that). Or not litter, or not drive on the wrong side of the road, or use a backhoe rather than 15 guys in a ditch, or…. or…. But sometimes we need to remember that the slower, harder and maybe idiotic way might actually make sense, providing more jobs like loaders, street sweepers and narcissistic faux-megalomaniac leaders.
We’ve come to enjoy some of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) that our winter travels require. Hand washing your clothes daily, going shopping for food each day (no stove and tiny refrigerator), sweeping the leaves from the porches, sampling various Thai dishes, missing the news-cycles, visiting the banana lady, or buying a 20-liter water jug every few days. This slower, seemingly less “productive” pace, gives pause for more interactions and thought. Like “how many summers do we have left?”, or how long is four years, really?
Time goes real fast and is easy to forget. Having reached 70, that thought has brought on more concern for our twilight time table. It’s hit me harder than Stanna, since my folks never reached 80. And considering just how fast the last 10, 15 or even 20 years have gone, how should these next “summers” be spent? Some may remember that almost 10 years ago we were floating in our own aquarium diving for dollars.
In case you’re hoping for a revelation, “get your hopes up,” as cousin John taught us. There is currently no plan, not an inkling. Hope you’ll help figure this out with us. Not to mention hoping someone else figures out their plan and lets us in on it, too.