Winter has began to cast its ugly shadow across our path here and for me, it is the toughest time of the year. I have put the boat upon the hard dry about forty days ago and it already feels to me like a lifetime. We had gone out for one last sail and found the water so low that we just could not justify “one last time out” risking not being able to load the boat on the trailer before the water level dropped to unmanageable levels. There was a time when winter was perhaps not so bad but those days are forever gone for me. Winter has begun getting me into a funk that I do not like and I do not know how to get myself out of it. I long for the warm sun, lack of shoes, long pants and sleeves. All I have to do now is either figure out a way to get to where to weather suits my clothes or attempt to survive here until summer.
The summer brings the warm breezes and turns the earth to a thousand shades of green. The excitement of the impending summer is almost more than I can stand. Preparing the boat for the nearly countless trips she will make each summer is a thrill that is without a duplicate. As Captain Ron would say, “We can get what we need on the way,” so forgetting something is just not that big of deal to me. Getting on the water is a big deal to me. I am getting good at getting the store quickly up to speed. We are usually on the water by the end of March and never later than the middle of April.
I like to think my enthusiasm is infectious and will never apologize for it. I really do not care if I am the first on the water in the spring or the last off in the fall. I am only out to squeeze as much from the short, short summer as I can. “And still twenty four hours may be sixty good years, It’s still not that long a stay.” is a line from a Jimmy Buffett song that has come to really mean a lot to me. Again, I should stress, at this point, that I make no claims whatsoever that I possess any mental state of mind even slightly resembling sanity. Winter just makes it worse.
I used to be able to hunt and could find a way to stay busy in the winter. I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder and have been having trouble for about the last 4-5 years now. I have come to the realization that I am not getting any better. Complaining does no good so I do stay away from such practice as it is a waste of time. My time is simply more valuable than that and I will not waste time arguing about anything with anyone, anymore.
The contrast between summer and winter for me is as drastic of a difference as anything I have ever experienced and it tends to grow in dissimilarity every year. Honestly, there is no longer a spring or fall in my eyes. Either my boat is on the water and I am sailing for the summer, or it is on the hard dry and I am too and it is winter. In turn, I am breathing warm air with the breeze on my face and soaking up the sun or I am wheezing the stale air from a furnace with socks on my feet dreading the frozen precipitation. In the summer, my sails are filled with wind, my boat slices the waves, life is good and it is the only time I am ever afraid I will die. Conversely, the winter fills me with such dread that I cannot function, I do not want to talk to anyone, go anywhere, do anything, the drudgery of each day is intolerable and I have an irresistible urge to smash garden gnomes. It is the only time I am ever afraid I will not die.