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Cracking down

FestiveSo far, December has consisted of mainly three activities:

  1. gearing up for the big Christmas holiday ahead
  2. staying dry
  3. cracking down.

On the staying dry front we have to say that we could not do it without our trusty old Kenmore dehumidifier. Now, this monstrosity, which lives balanced precariously on a battery box in our engine room is obnoxiously loud and creates so much heat that we don’t need to run our other space heaters. This is a good thing of course as it’s typically been 40 degrees outside. We also dump out a gallon and a half of water after a day of running it. This is water that is no longer free to drip steadily off our cold bronze ports and down the uninsulated parts of the hull inside of lockers soaking everything not in tupperware. Also a good thing. Our Shade Tree has also been performing marvelously as a Rain Tree and lets us leave and enter the boat in relative dryness.

With two weeks left until Christmas the girls are as excited as can be about Santa coming for a visit. Since having children, we have been given a whole new appreciation for all that our parents went through to give us the wonderful holidays of our childhood. Which is to say, this holiday is freaking stressful. We are aware that we are on a bit of a teeter-totter with this, our last Christmas in the U.S. for a while. We are happy to see our girls so excited about this holiday, but at the same time we don’t want to build it up too much, for fear that they’ll be disappointed when the next few Christmases are celebrated under palm trees and Santa is a little (lot) more stingy with gifts.

What Michael and I are most excited about this year is New Years; when the clock ticks over to 2011 we will be able to say that we are going cruising “this year.” Not five years from now, not in two years. THIS year. It’s fairly mind-blowing since we’ve been scheming this for so many years. But this also means that we’ll officially have six months left until the dock lines are permanently stored in the bilge. Which means that we need to find that List we’ve got buried around here somewhere and get cracking.

Which brings me back to our Christmas prep; all of this shopping has made me realize that it’s time to crack down on that too. While we’ve always been conscious of what we are spending each month, truthfully certain frivolous expenses have slipped through: a trip through the Starbucks drive-through (Starbucks for four=$ouch!), the random things that find their way into my Target cart, that great deal on a toy at the Goodwill I can’t pass up. We are not going crazy on gifts this year, both because I don’t want Christmas to be about the material stuff to the girls, but also because we’ve realized that our list of “stuff” we need to go cruising just continues to grow (and I’m talking about gear like good tethers and harnesses for all — not negotiable).

What the New Year will bring is a new intensity in our prep to leave next June; whether it’s time spent or something to be purchased, if it doesn’t get us one step closer to leaving then it’s got to be forgotten. This part is difficult, but with the reward actually in sight it’s pretty exciting and come January we’ll attack that List with renewed vigor.

In the meantime, we’ll sit back and watch the joy on the faces of our little girls as small gifts appear under our sparkling boat tree, holiday music cranked up so as to be heard over the humming dehumidifier and raindrops splashing on Wondertime’s decks.

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