High Seas Adventure

Remember that time James, Caleb, and I were supposed to turn into sailors but fevers and nausea overtook the boys and we missed out on a private passage to Camden, Maine? Me too (If you haven’t read that tale yet, here it is). Well, we finally experienced our maiden voyage last week, and I am here to tell you that I took my job as the one who should get knocked out by Dramamine very seriously. As a precautionary measure, the preventative pill competed very well against the three to five foot seas we traveled in, and although the container’s label claimed the medicine was “non-drowsy”, I think my conked out, sprawled out form on the salon bench told a different story. Meanwhile, Danny did an amazing job at the helm, guiding the boat around buoys, away from the path of other vessels, and into the marina at Martha’s Vineyard. 

Normally, one wouldn’t share their diary with the world, but I thought it might be fun to share a few of my entries from the trip, giving you more insight, as if you need it, to what goes on in my brain. My journaling leaves a lot to be desired since I usually just write a sentence or two, so that weeks later when I read it back, the memory that should have been jarred by it is lost forever and it’s super fun to see if I can recall the event. 

Without further ado:

July 1: 

*What is the one thing you cannot bring on a boat? (if you guess in the comment section, I’ll let you know if you are correct)

*Freckled cutie and golden-haired beauty

*It’s a beautiful day to be seasick.

July 3:

*Buoyant, wild, semi-aquatic mammals, but no ocean life spotted. Are there even animals in this ocean or is it just a conspiracy?

July 4:

*The amount of crewing I’m doing for this man is rapidly amassing. First, I pushed two buttons. Then, I pushed two more. After that, I pulled back on the throttle so we wouldn’t collide with another boat. Post that wild ride, I used the boat hook to grab our mooring line up out of the ocean and then tied it to the bow cleat. 

*Okay, this is getting out of hand. I just tied off the dinghy. Not once, but twice! If Danny’s not careful, I’ll be taking that title, “Captain”, from him before long.

July 5:

*Today, I convinced my seventy-year old knees they could jump from the boat to the dock by yelling out encouraging phrases like “anchor’s away!” and “all hands on deck!” and “Who’s the landlubber now, huh?” so I could tie the stern line to a side cleat. Then I ran up to the end of the dock to catch the bow line James threw to me so I could tie off up there.

I know I’m using some nautical lingo, so I’ll help you out. The takeaway here is that I essentially docked the boat. I definitely didn’t almost electrocute myself by dropping our electrical cord into the water while hooking it up to the docking station.   

*Oh yeah, turns out there are other fish in the sea. Saw whales, dolphins, and even a shark, despite cruising through so. much. fog. 

All in all, it was a great and successful first voyage for me and the little boys. I won’t say Danny didn’t have an amazing time with us as his crew, but I will say that we came home a day earlier than planned. I’m fairly positive it had nothing to do with that one time he purposely fashioned a knot in a line for fitting around the wooden piling to keep the boat from bashing into the platform as we were docking in high wind and strong current, but I thought the line was, well, knotted and untied it (don’t worry, he came rushing back to to fix it and grab the piling before we hit anything). Or the time one of the boys broke the handle off a window (don’t worry, ‘we’ reattached it right away). Or when grape jelly was spilled onto the cockpit (don’t worry, it was cleaned up as best a young boy could). Unfortunately for Danny, he’s stuck with these barnacles for awhile because we love him and wouldn’t want him to boat alone. 😀

p.s. I’m sorry for these larger-than-life photos. Working with WordPress’s capabilities is rough, to say the least, not to mention how poor my own inabilities are when it comes to tech stuff . You can either have the pictures literally in your face, or as small as a thumbnail. Anything in-between is beyond my scope and Isaac immediately found something else to do when I started asking him for assistance…Enjoy the giant window into our lives!


You know that feeling you get when most of your family has been out of the house for the day but the hour is approaching when they should all return and you hear the sound of the car rumbling into the garage, distant words being spoken as car doors open, then slam shut, footsteps nearing the kitchen door and then their noise spills into the house unlike the way something liquid dribbles quietly down the back side of the refrigerator when it was accidentally upturned, and you know you should have made more of the most of your time alone but didn’t because you couldn’t decide whether or not to shower, read a book, do the laundry, mop a floor, clean out that closet, or go shopping and so you didn’t do any of those things and now you won’t get another chance to be home alone for at least seven months but you are happy that your people have returned?!  I’m on month six and a half.

Meanwhile, I continue my side gig as chauffeur, though my routes are always the same and the customers never pay.  Besides dropping off and picking up Ellie from Chick-fil-A every other hour, she and Anna attend a summer sand volleyball camp twice a week where they are learning how to get sand all over their bodies and into the car and there’s not even a beach involved in this for me. I do get to read my book uninterrupted, but that’s because I haven’t brought the noise boys with us to the courts yet.

Speaking of the little boys, they’ve picked up a side gig of landscaping for the neighbors. While the jobs are not terribly tough, it has been terribly hot and yard work is terribly boring when you are ten or eight and so though there are two of them, they are doing the work of half a person. The neighbors have been either incredibly generous in giving them payment for these little jobs or insanely naive to be giving out hardly-earned cash.

Jake and Isaac maintain their main gig at the fast food establishment, though the restaurant will not have the pleasure of their presence much next month due to the hundreds of miles that will separate them when the boys go on vacation. In between hours of taking orders, bagging orders, looking for orders, handing out orders, or accepting payment for orders, our extrovert has enough stamina left for rollerblade hockey, basketball, and hang-outs with friends while our introvert has enough stamina left to go to bed. 

Danny’s picked up a new and very uniquely niche side gig as a marine logger, where services include removal of logs stuck under boats during ripping currents and disposal of said logs (but not back into the water because he’s not an idiot). Once he finishes that job, he dons another hat that looks suspiciously like a captain’s cap and takes his vessel out to sea. Though his wife doesn’t mind planking on the dock while helping to jimmy the sodden plank out from under the boats, she much prefers her role as solar panel for the sailing vessel. 

My side gig as suncatcher is really a labor of love. We all know marriage is built on compromise, communication, and contribution. Sitting where I can catch the rays means that Danny doesn’t have to suffer heat, hear me talk, or watch me steer the boat into a buoy. I bring a lot to this union. 

It is nice to be on the receiving end of the chauffeuring and not fret about what I could be doing with my time. Since there is nowhere to go and nothing to do, getting out on the water is absolutely wonderful. And though the noise boys typically come too, I am happy about it! 

Breaking News!

This just in: Isaac Allan, a high school senior from Hudson, NH, has graduated high school. It has been confirmed that the last twelve years were grueling, but Isaac is looking forward to putting off procrastinating until he begins his college education in the fall. Sources close to the student say he didn’t come through the process unscathed.

“There were a lot of assignments overdue,” says one family member. 

“He overslept 99% of the time,” another one revealed. 

We are now being told that Isaac Allan will take his work ethic with him to college, where he will pursue a degree in Computer Science at the University of New Hampshire. We reached out to the school but they were unavailable for comment. A source, who wishes to remain amomymous, worries, saying she knows he can do it, but at what cost?

We asked Isaac if he shared the same concern. He said, and I quote, “Cost?! What cost? It’s free!” 

He has good reason to be cheerful. His accomplishments were honored during a graduation ceremony last weekend. We were told there was a good number in attendance and Isaac was the laughing stock of all speeches. Our news agency recently came into possession of one such speech and we’ve decided our public has the right to read it. Below is the transcript.

Oh, Isaac. As I sat down to compose this speech, my memory wandered, and then I remembered what I was doing at the computer. Thinking back over your childhood brings me to the fridge in search of chocolate, which brings me immense joy. Incidentally, so do you. 🙂 Other feelings are mingled in as well. There’s exhaustion, frustration, and some sadness, but enough about me. 

From the beginning of our homeschool journey, it was obvious you were adept at avoiding school work, though you were also so incredibly adept at school. I know you had good reasons for not always getting your work done, however. One time when I asked why you weren’t accomplishing anything, you replied simply, “Oh, I’ve lost my invisible pencil.” 

Since you’ve always been smarter than me, you learned at an early age how to find the answers to all of your questions on your own–questions which usually started with the word, “how?” I’m glad I could aid you in learning how to learn; you’re welcome. 🙂 There was that one time I stumped you with a “how” question of my own, though. At some point in your young life, you wanted to be a farmer as you enjoyed playing with a toy barn we had and the plastic animals that came with it. I wondered how that career was going to work out given your proclivity to stay indoors, so I asked, “Isaac, how are you going to be a farmer if you don’t go outside?” Exasperated, you answered, “Mommy, I’d change my ways by then!” Considering you still don’t go outside often, I’d say harvesting a dream that you’ll be a farmer is an idea that won’t take root.

Have you changed your ways since then? Well, you are still kind, generous, stubborn, witty, strong, helpful, passionate, procrastinating, intelligent, quiet, loud, creative, unobtrusive, tech-savvy, musical, articulate, and full of almost-useless trivia. Does anyone want to know why Pepsi once had the fifth largest navy? Ask Isaac. Care to know how one human earned the distinction of being the farthest away from any other human being in history? Ask Isaac. Want to hear a toaster eulogy? Ask Isaac for a recitation. I promise it will spark joy in your life as you observe his appliance of humor and wit.

These attributes of yours have added color to our typically black-and-white homeschool environment. Because of them, there have been moments of joy and moments of frustration. There have been times when you’ve outsmarted us all and times when you couldn’t pronounce “rendezvous” correctly.  You’ve left us in awe of your almost photographic memory as well as your inability to remember the order of the months of the year. At times, we saw eye to eye and then you grew taller than me. You can solve complicated math problems in your head but struggle to read your shifts on Hot Schedules correctly. Just as often as I am kicking you off devices, I’m calling you right back for technical assistance. You effortlessly procrastinate yet your work seems so effortless. Your passionate excitement over your hobbies are sometimes overwhelming, but I’ve seen it spur on so many creative projects–most of which I’m still waiting for you to finish! 🙂 Your humor is hard to rival and your generosity is nearly unparalleled.  The annoyance and sarcasm in your school work is also nearly unparalleled. 

Who can forget the time you took the Study Skills class here at co-op and submitted these four objectives you hoped to accomplish from the course:

  1. I hope to avoid the wrath of my parents that is put into effect when I have no work.
  2. I hope to learn the meaning of the phrase “study skills”.
  3. I hope to avoid being kicked out of class all semester from making snarky comments.
  4. I hope that I will care enough to learn and apply the things taught in this course.

Or how about the time you had to finish a paragraph for a language arts curriculum you truly despised? The excerpt, from the book King of the Wind, was about a horse pulling a heavy load up an icy incline while being mistreated the whole way. The instructions asked you to add a paragraph to the passage, explaining what occurred next. You wrote, “A meteor came. It struck the earth. All life ceased to exist.” 

In what was retrospectively a poor decision on my part, I told you to do it again, as I felt you weren’t completing the task in the right spirit. Your edit went like this, “All of a sudden, Sham pulled his ACL. He went careening down the hill, and he was never seen again.” *sigh* Sometimes our years of schooling together bring to mind the time you asked me to write this saying on a birthday cake: Happy birthday, Isaac. We’re so glad you’re here. Growing up with you—was extra fun this year. 

And you do make it extra fun. Truly. More often than not, there is laughter and singing and light-hearted chatter and late-night chatter and sharing of almost-useless trivia and joking and pun wars and music-making and academic discussions and biblical conversations. And I love it all. 

Now, because I don’t want to be up here anymore, allow me to start wrapping this up by sharing a description of who Isaac is and what the privilege of homeschooling him has been like, written by one of my favorite authors,  “You guys have pushed me towards greatness. And pulled me towards greatness. And offered incentives. And punishments. And tried holding my hand. And tried letting go. And just about everything else you could think of to get me to do something. Well, here it is!”

I don’t think I could have come up with a more succinct, accurate, bittersweet way to encapsulate our experience! As I close this toasted eulogy about your homeschooling years, Isaac, I want to leave you with one thought and two stanzas of a song. 

By “one thought”, I really mean four verses without comment, though I trust you can make the right application as you head into this next phase of life and school. The first one is found in I Chronicles 28:9, “And thou, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts; if thou seek him, he will be found of thee: but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.” Proverbs 23:12 says “Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.” Next one is Isaiah 48:17, which reads, “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” And lastly from I Corinthians 7:17, “Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” 

I pray you will continue to follow Him as “the way of the Lord is strength to the upright” (Proverbs 10:29) and allow Him to use you as He sees fit. The words of the following song have been running through my mind for a few weeks now and seem appropriate to the message I’m trying to convey to you:

Have thine own way, Lord!   

Have thine own way!

Thou art the potter,

I am the clay.

Mold me and make me

After thy will,

While I am waiting,

Yielded and still.

Have thine own way, Lord!

Have thine own way!

Hold o’er my being

Absolute sway. 

Fill with thy spirit

Till all shall see

Christ only, always,

Living in me!

We love you, Isaac–congratulations!