Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting through the long, cold winter...

Sitting at my walnut dining table in this high-ceilinged loft in Printer's Row, I'm contemplating getting through the long, cold Chicago winter.  Two weeks before Christmas eve, the streets are covered with snow; however, the sun has shown today.  Now the last rays of afternoon are warmly reflected off the Donahue Building across the street.  But the warmth is an illusion.  I've been out today, and it's cold. Our 9 foot Christmas tree stands tall like the mast on Speakeasy. Lots of little lights glow like the stars did when we sat close together in our cockpit and gazed up at the summer heavens. At Crate and Barrel I found little wooden sailboats complete with canvas-like sails.  Now our tree is sporting ten of them.  They make me smile.  Would a brisk wind set them off for sights unknown.  No.  But my memory keeps returning to our amazing summer.  The summer from Harbor to Harbor that I should be writing about.  We talked about a book.  Mark diligently and creatively posted blogs on an almost daily basis.  I, hesitant to leash my unedited words for the world to see, didn't really blog.  Maybe you could say I plogged.  But after a conversation last night with playwright Rob Koon and an evocative holiday message from Shirley Nice, I have decided to write and post.  Scary but eventually maybe freeing.  

So here I sit with visions not of sugar plums but of harbors.  Many harbors.  I'd never entered towns from the water before.  I'd always arrived via plane or train or car.  It's different when you approach with waves lapping against the hull, sand dunes in the distance.  Then a lighthouse either port or starboard side.  The channels appear so narrow.  Especially when the waves are high.  Intimidating.  Frightening to approach land?  Oh, yes. I'd been forewarned by my knowledgeable brother that it's better to ride out a storm than to hurry in to a safe haven.  We didn't actually encounter any torrential storms, but we did experience wet and windy arrivals.  That's when Mark would take the helm.  I would silently pray that we would make it into the channel without banging Speakeasy on either side.  The farther into the channel, the calmer the waters and I became.  After several such arrivals, I knew I had  to take my turn. I had to steer Speakeasy into safety. And I did!  Just remembering, I'm smiling broadly. Accomplishments are important.  Goals achieved are valuable.

Maybe I will survive the long Chicago winter by writing about our warm and wonderful summertime adventure.  I will try.  Starting here.  Starting now.  Now I will publish post it. Come on, a little nudge.  Like that time we got stuck trying to anchor.  Mark hung on to the boom and rocked back and forth while I put the engine into reverse and forward and then we were free.  OK,  let's free this up. 
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