Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Old and New of Friendship and Boat Collecting

Me and Cami have proven to be timeless friends, picking up right where we left off.

This past week-end, we were visited by my best friend ever, Cami, and her husband, Bill. It seems like a memory from another lifetime when I think back to the time she gave me a place to stay when I needed to end a bad relationship, without the support of my family or other friends. We would stay up late drinking Jagermeister in a smoke filled farmhouse apartment, talking about life, love, and God, while singing songs and giggling together. She was the best therapy that I could have had. Even though we have not seen each other for nearly eight years, it seemed no time had passed since those good ole' days back at the farmhouse.
I had met Bill previously, but had never gotten the chance to hang out with him. He's a really cool guy, who both Maggie and myself instantly hit it off with.

Bill proudly accepts his new relationship with "Little Hooch"
 The reason for their visit was to pick up Bill's birthday present, Little Hooch. Now that Maggie and I are getting closer to cruising time, we have decided to reduce our boat collection and get a dinghy to be used as a tender for Me Voy. Cami sent me a message on Facebook a few weeks back asking if I had a solo canoe she could get for Bill for his birthday, and I told her about The Hooch. She showed the pictures to Bill, and it was love. His grandfather was a fantastic woodworker, and one of my early inspirations, so Bill has a real eye for anything wooden and varnished. Easy to see why we hit it off. He was so thrilled to get this boat. He will be paddling her on the Shenandoah River, near his home in New Market VA. He is an avid fisherman and needed something to help him outsmart the big bass. They have a small son, who I have not met yet, who will fit nicely on the second seat I installed for Chopper.

Me and Chopper figuring out the rig aboard "Miss Gen"
 Now that we have depleted our boat collection, it was time to get shopping. We have been researching and measuring, and imagining, all sorts of different options for our tender. We want something that we can stow on deck; we like to drag up over rocky shorelines littered with glass shards, so it can't be inflatable; and we wanted something that sails, rows, and motors equally well. It seems the answer came from the source of all such answers, Craig's List. This Dyer Midget, named Miss Gen, came with the barely used sail rig, and oars, AND the ever elusive title, so we can actually legally use a motor. This is good, because I am a terrible oarsman. We picked her up on Monday, not 24 hours after saying good-bye to Little Hooch. After getting her home and rigging her up, we spent the remainder of the day sailing the Patapsco, and exploring rocky, garbage covered shorelines. She sailed fantastic, and seems to be more than adequate for the two of us plus dog and gear. Maggie and I agree that Miss Gen is a solid addition to our family.
Billy watches us come in under sail, completely unimpressed.
I am beginning to think that life is just one big soup of old friends and new friends, old boats and new boats.  We meet, we love, we share memories, and we have each other for the rest of our days, even if we don't see each other as often as we would like. There is not a single friend from my life that I don't still cherish, and there are no boats that I have shared time with that I don't still love. If only our lives, and storage space, were big enough to spend more time with those who have impacted us so deeply. But we just can't keep all of that goodness for ourselves alone, that wouldn't be right. We have to share the people and things we love with others, so that they can have new experiences, and so that we can make more friends and meet new boats. The world is our oyster! I have enjoyed the trip down memory lane, and I am enjoying looking to the future. What do I see in this future? Cami and Bill, going sailing with us on the Chesapeake this Summer. Bring the kid. It will be awesome!!! We'll supply the Jagemeister.


Samantha said...

you reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes." ~Snoopy

Anonymous said...

What Travis left out of this story is, When I asked Travis where I could get a canoe for my husbands birthday he said I made one that you can have! I said no I can't just take it. He said I would love to give it to you. It made him happy to be able to gift me something that he was attached to. To all that is wondering this kid is leaving right! He and Maggie are truly great people. Anyone that has the pleasure of knowing them should value your relationship!
<3 Cami

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Great post! It's the relationships, old and new, that make life so fulfilling.

jomamma said...

Great post Travis! You should christen the new little sail boat as "mini me voy"

Travis and Maggie said...

Great quote Samantha!! I may have to post that as my facebook status tomorrow.
Cami, you are the sweetest!! I will never be able to repay you for all of the kindness you have shown me over the years.
Friends are the best kind of people! Better even than family some of the time.
Thanks Jomamma! Mini Me Voy is not bad. How did you come up with that so quickly?

jomamma said...

I'm just 'on it' I guess. I would give you the name of my future yarn store/yoga studio but it's so good that it could go national.

Overboard said...

I love your new header. Too funny!

Anonymous said...

Economy is a way of spending money without getting any pleasure out of it.

Travis and Maggie said...

Yarn store + yoga studio- interesting image. I've been trying to come up with a name and all I got is Namastknit. I hope that's not it.

Snoopy is very wise

Anonymous said...

Yes, probably so it is