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Just in case you were starting to think I was making life on a boat sound all easypeasy, I wanted to share what it’s like to perform one of the most basic of family duties: getting groceries into the cupboards. Just the other week, I collapsed on the floor in exhaustion after the hours-long process of loading food onto Wondertime with two small children in tow was finally complete. I wondered why I was so tired after completing such a menial task, but then I began to mentally replay the morning spent gathering foodstuffs at Costco:

fix breakfast for two small giddy children
clean up breakfast mess
get kids dressed
brush their teeth
gather raincoats and boots
put them on the children
get myself dressed
brush my teeth, wash face, moisturize, clip hair up
find and put on my coat
gather the raincoats and boots back up that the children have shed already
re-coat and re-boot children
turn off all lights and turn down heaters
help everyone up the companionway and into the cockpit
fetch boot that has fallen off the smallest child’s foot on her way up the ladder
go back below to find my own shoes and put them on
put lifejacket on each girl
go back below to find the umbrella
once back outside, search cockpit for hatch padlocks
lock hatches
notice cat sitting next to hatch
unlock hatch
drop cat inside
re-lock hatch
help girls onto the dock
trek up the dock and ramp to parking lot
find car
take off lifejackets and stow in back of station wagon
load both girls into car
take off sopping wet raincoats
fasten Holly in her carseat
tighten Leah in her carseat
run the car for 3 minutes to defog windows
argue compromise with Leah over which album to play on ipod
drive car in direction of Costco
hand out mints to children pleading for them in the backseat
arrive at Costco
search for spot close to doors to minimize walk in the rain
release girls from carseats
help them put raincoats and boots back on
help them out of car
run to cart storage area in rain
select cart
fasten Holly in and lift Leah into main cart to ride
enter store and commence gathering food
make trip to the restroom
gather food
run back to car in the rain
load both girls into car
take off sopping wet raincoats
fasten Holly in her carseat
tighten Leah in her carseat
load food into car, stacking items around all passengers because back of station wagon is full of boat stuff
run shopping cart to cart depository
run back to car and jump in
drive back to marina
listen to complaints about hunger pains from the backseat
reach for and open package of goldfish and hand it back
find parking spot in marina parking lot
run to the gate and grab a dock cart
run back to car
load groceries into cart
release girls from carseats
help them put raincoats and boots back on
help them out of car
run holding on to both girls and cart to dock gate
unlock gate and shove girls and overloaded cart inside under cover
put lifejacket back on each girl
walk down ramp, hanging on to dock cart for dear life since it’s the lowest tide in weeks
back at boat, help girls into cockpit
take off lifejackets
unlock hatches
put girls down below where they shed raincoats, boots, sweaters, pants and socks
turn lights on and heaters back up
go back outside and load food from dock cart into cockpit
dash the cart back up the dock and up the ramp to the storage area by the gate
dash back to boat and quickly check below to make sure girls are not torturing the cat
load food down into the boat
pile perishables into the refrigerator box
unload perishables from refrigerator box as still is a pile on the floor and the box is full
reload perishables into the refrigerator box carefully so it all fits with not an inch to spare
toss rest of perishables into the cockpit since it’s winter thankfully and cold enough outside for the rest
remove cans, boxes and bags from growing pile of excess Costco packaging
load cans, boxes and bags beneath and behind settee cushions, moving children and cat as needed
toss recyclable packaging into cockpit
…but only for 5 seconds as the children are now standing overhead begging for lunch.


  1. Victoria says:

    I totally totally understand! My friend who is leaving for Mexico and beyond on Sunday took two hours to provision. It’ll take me hours and hours! There is no buying ice cream around here because there is no way I’ll get it home before it melts.

  2. Trevor says:

    Of course you know this well, but it gets more fun when your car is a dinghy and conditions are choppy. Oh, and all those boxes may have tiny cucaracha eggs within… so now you’re sorting before loading 🙂 …and perishables? It’s never winter in the topics!

    1. Sara says:

      I know– I had this post in my drafts for quite a while as I wasn’t sure I wanted a public reminder to myself at how easy we have it now!