The Games We Play

10/11/20 Sunday

The only good thing about a forecast of a straight week of rain is that sometimes the forecast is wrong. A few days of gray is fine, cozying up to a warm fire, hot soup, and movies on a fluffy couch. Today as the rain poured down I had the interesting experience of losing a 3-hour game of chess to my 10 year old son, and honestly I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day. However this was the second best part of the weekend. On Saturday, the sun came out.

after-the-rain.org / Beach rocks

On the way back from the boat, Day and I stopped off at the beach to grab a few rocks for the garden. While there, the wind backed off and the sun came out. We began to dare each other to see who could venture out the farthest to grab a pebble before the next wave crashed in. What started off

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I started writing this post on Sunday but never finished. Due to an unexpected text Sunday evening, I think my son may be having some issues that I need to focus on right now, and so I’ll be letting go of wordpress for a while (although continuing to support y’all the best I can!)

Take care

Puttin’ the Boat Away

10/9/20 Friday

It was a good summer, one I thought would never end. There was a good bit of learning, tidal cycles of give and take, but always an adventure. And through hardship, mistakes, joy, and surprise, there was always love. But uncertainty can be relied upon, and the season is changing. The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and the wind has switched around to the south – it’s time to put the boat away.

after-the-rain.org / At the mast

Gear gets removed and packed away. Small things that were once essential now have little meaning. I scrub and clean and beneath my hands most of the dirt washes away to a memory, but I don’t know if I can get rid of it all. There’s always a little bit left to remind me that it wasn’t just a dream.

It’s time to put the boat away, time to open up to new opportunities, to be free in the moment. I’m taking the good with me, and leaving the rest behind. I’ll miss her, but as I leave and walk away, I won’t be turning around to look back.

Thank you Kindly

10/5/20 Monday

Spent the entire weekend working on the Flicka – winterizing, patching, sealing, varnishing, cleaning. We only have a few good weather days left, and Little Miss Butter Biscuit aka “boat cat” and I made the most of our free time.

after-the-rain.org / Peekaboo

Instead of using this post to blather on about divorce or parenting plans or sailing, I would rather take this space to say thank you to the new wordpress friends I’ve made along the way. I appreciate your likes, thoughts, and general encouragement, and it’s fun to be a part of your life as well through your own posts. I wish you the best and hope you found some calm moments last weekend as well.

R

Pretty Things

9/29/20 Wednesday

I found these agates on the beach. When held up to the sun, they radiate a warm beautiful light. Each one is unique. The clarity is never the same, as some are almost flawless, while others have scars and impurities. The colors vary but are soft and warm without fail. Each one is different in size, no two ever have the same shape.

after-the-rain.org / Agates

What I find most intriguing is the tendency to pick one up, put it in my pocket, take it home, display it, show it to others. But the truth is that once this is done, the magic disappears along the way. The true beauty is not in the appearance, but in the experience of the moment – the search, the time, the discovery, the appreciation, the holding tight, the setting free. Taste, texture, smell, anticipation, experience, memory.

If you’re a guy and know what I’m talking about here then that’s cool – you get it. If you’re a woman and know what I’m talking about here then well, I wish I could date you.

Brown, Blond, Gray

9/23/20 Wednesday

I turn 48 tomorrow, and am excited about it for three reasons:

1) I’ll get to spend the day with my son, which was a 50/50 shot considering our current parenting plan. Nothing will make me happier than an evening of cupcakes, candles, balloons, a kitty cat, and watching my boy’s favorite show with him on a big fat couch.

after-the-rain.org / Brown, blond, gray

2) I feel really good considering… I’m getting older but am in pretty good shape, definitely in the “I’m not as good as I once was but am as good as I was once – once” category. I play hard until I sweat and my muscles burn, but please let me sleep in the next day..

3) Learning to appreciate life – thank you to friends, family, and the good lord above. I’m lucky to be here and for the chance to experience the world and see my dreams come true, little by little and one at a time, often in the most unexpected ways.

Refuge

9/21/20 Monday

The smoke from the wildfires cleared out yesterday, and for the first time in weeks we can breathe fresh air. Conditions had become oppressive, with even healthy people reporting burning eyes and an irritated throat. People with lung problems had it worse, and it goes without saying that we were the lucky ones – many lost homes and even lives.

It was hard not to notice that even the animals were affected. Some were displaced, and many seemed to seek refuge or water from humans. I’m a construction manager for a cellular phone carrier, and we lost a handful of cell sites to fire last week. I was talking to a site tech today who said deer have been coming up to his truck for water, and another tech reported a black bear doing the same.

At the marina, visibility was down to just over a hundred yards at one point. This blue heron has been hanging around a little extra close lately, using the Flicka as a comfortable place to eat mussels, prawns and fish. He is a total slob and makes a huge mess, but I don’t mind having him around. I feel like it’s the least I can do to offer up a safe place to stay for a little while.

after-the-rain.org / Heron at the boat

Decision #1: Forgiveness

9/9/20 Wednesday

Over the long weekend, we had the best sunny weather imaginable for the Pacific Northwest. But instead of joining the masses out on the water, the new kitten and I stayed put at the marina tackling a long list of boat maintenance projects that need to get done before the rains begin. While I labored away, Little Miss Butter Biscuit explored the dark recesses of the bilge and took long naps. We both had a lot of time to think.

I want to forgive my ex wife, for all the things she did to me, herself, and my son. However I’m not sure how to go about it. First of all, I tend to think of forgiveness as something that happens after the harm is done. But since we are still going through a difficult divorce, the pain is still present and raw. I wonder if I should wait until later. Also, I don’t know if I really can forgive her for what she did to herself or others, am I only able to forgive someone for what they did to me?

Endlessly I sand, varnish, sand and varnish. The sun burns my back and sweat drips down my face. The terns cry over and over from high above, and the kitten emerges surprisingly from the battery locker. I’m ready for peace, to let the bitterness go. I’m ready to forgive, but don’t know how. We close our eyes, and rock gently with the wind on a late summer afternoon, safe and snug in our little slip.

after-the-rain.org / Sleepy kitten on a boat

Light

8/31/20 Monday

It’s been a busy week or so, a good busy. Work, having fun with my son, and moving forward with divorce negotiations. Having plenty to do keeps my hands and head active, and creates a quiet place inside that I’ve been using to mull over a couple of big decisions. I’m not ready to write about them yet, so in the meantime here are a few photos from last week for you to hopefully enjoy, or at least provide a glimpse into our little corner of the world. Coincidentally, or maybe subconsciously, the theme seems to fit with my recent quiet ideas.

after-the-rain.org / Squishy sea creature
Squishy sea creature

after-the-rain.org / Barefoot on the beach
Barefoot on the beach

after-the-rain.org / Solo fishin'
Solo fishin’

after-the-rain.org / Camping night shadows

Quick camping getaway

after-the-rain.org / Field of sheep
View out the back

Sailing with Cookies

8/16/20 Sunday

The heat warms by bones, the wind fills the sails, and the water cools my fingers as I reach over the rail and drag my hand through the sea. It’s been busy lately, and if I’m not working the days are being spent camping, fishing, swimming, and sailing.

A year and a half ago when my ex-wife and I split up, I tried what seemed the appropriate response – I posted myself belly up at the nearest bar with a big mug of beer. Watching football and attempting small talk with the people around me, it was soon obvious that this was not the direction I wanted to go. Since then I hardly drink, don’t smoke, and drugs were never for me. I work out and stay active, likely to a fault. I run full steam ahead, because I’m afraid of falling back. Moving forward with whomever and whatever are still around me, I cherish my time on this planet and appreciate everyone and everything around me. The sun feels more intense, the water colder, the sky bluer, and these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are next level as my little ship pushes forward through the waves of time.

after-the-rain.org / Cookies on the boat

Thanks Summer – Love, Me

8/7/20 Friday

A busy day at work, a busy day at life. I forgot about lunch until well into the afternoon. Fortunately there was leftover spaghetti in the fridge, plus a handful of juice boxes. I took my break outside, and the clouds pulled apart long enough to make a perfect moment, which is all I can really ask for at this place and time. There’s a lot of news about work, about the divorce, and tomorrow I plan to go sailing. But as autumn draws closer, I just pause to reflect on some of the summer moments and share a few random photos. When life seems to fall apart, there are still so many memories to enjoy and be thankful for..

after-the-rain.org / Looking for wind
Lookin’ for wind

after-the-rain.org / Dungeness crab
Lookin’ for Dungeness crabs (found lots)

after-the-rain.org / Sunset
About to go salmon fishin’ (got skunked)

after-the-rain.org / New friend
Found a new friend (got shredded)

after-the-rain.org / Mountain loop
Camping – Mountain Loop

after-the-rain.org / Swimming - Stillaguamish river
Swimming – Stillaguamish River

after-the-rain.org / Hiking near granite falls
Hiking – Near Granite Falls


after-the-rain.org / Kickin' back