We have been off the boat for 4 months now and the official ending to this chapter in our life is eminent, in fact just days away. I knew this day would be coming soon, yet it does not make me any more prepared to officially close out this chapter of our lives with the sale of All In. While the common saying goes, that the two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day you buy and sell your boat, I am not having that same feeling with selling our floating home. We have moved on and are living in a house now and started our land life, but All In has been a comfort knowing she was just down the road sitting on her mooring ball. Of course, she has also been a liability and costing money every month with no use from us, so we do want her to have new owners who will care for her and take her on new adventures. So, the day has come and she will be officially handed over. The memories and lessons that were had with All In are more than I could have ever dreamed would have occurred over the last year. My family is forever changed by the experiences we had together as we move forward to our next adventure.
Hurricane Irma swept through last week and kept us on our toes with preparing All In. Thankfully for us, the storm moved further west making the impact on Beaufort and All In minimal. We spent the morning as a family on All In after the storm making sure all she fared well and everything was in order. I am now realizing this will probably be the last time all four of us will have been on her. This was an emotional time, as all the memories of our life came flooding over me. Walking down the companionway, into the 37 ft of space we lived on, brought back all the sweet memories and fun times. Even the most challenging times such as when we ran aground and had to be off the boat for three weeks while the rudder was repaired evoke such strong and positive memories since the experience turned into an amazing road trip and invaluable lessons were learned as we moved forward cruising. I was able to spend the precious and fleeting younger years of two of my children’s life side by side with them, without having the distraction of traditional work. No doubt it was and is challenging, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges. The bond between Bryan and I have has grown stronger and healthier than I knew could exist. The future for our family seems so wide open and the possibilities endless. I have no doubt that one day we will find ourselves back on the water cruising and experiencing new places.
Some have asked if it difficult to start over with very little and rebuild life on land. Surprisingly, it has not been too difficult. The biggest challenge came when our family was in flux during the summer moving off the boat and traveling and not having set up our “land” home yet. We all felt a little homeless during this time. But as we started setting up our home, the next steps have all come together very naturally. As I have learned over the past year, very little material things are needed to be happy. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the modern conveniences of living on land. And I have enjoyed starting to put comforting touches throughout the home such as cruising pictures that decorate the living room and fabric scraps from our time in the Bahamas that hang in the girls closet. I continue to cling to keeping a minimalist and clutter free feeling in our home.
Over the last months, Bryan has been busy building our new kitchen (in addition to building beds for the girls and for us). He has ripped everything out of the old kitchen and started fresh. He has done everything himself, not only saving us money, but allowing him to learn different aspects of home building. The next big project will be expanding our townhouse by enclosing the deck and making it our living room.
I have started my company, All In Educational Services LLC, and have not had a shortage of business since beginning. I am looking forward to expanding and helping more families as the months continue with the edition of a new website. Avery has begun kindergarten and really loves school and her teacher and classmates. She appears to be growing and her interest and curiosity in learning new things always amazes me. Leslie goes to school three days and week and stays home with Bryan or me the other two days. She has already picked up where she left off with her little group of friends. Both girls are preparing to be big sisters in January and I continue to grow and feel the little feet kicking inside me. Overall, everyone has adjusted and transitioned well as we say goodbye to All In and re-create life they way we want to live. The timing seems to have lined up rather perfectly confirming my belief in the subtle signs that surround us everyday.
As I have mentioned before, the itch to start a new adventure continues and no doubt adding another little girl (yes, three girls!!) to the family will be a challenge and adventure of its own. But, we have started the beginning phases of our next family adventure with the purchase of a map of the U.S that will soon be hanging on the walls of our home. The scale of travel will not be as large and significant as it was with living on All In, but we have learned with a dream and a plan, we can make something happen! So with fondness and sweet sadness I close this chapter and probably this blog, and open a new one as a family of five planning a summer road trip across the US.