Confessions of a Switch-Hitter
03 January 2019 | Martha's Vineyard
“What is a switch-hitter?” I asked Jay the other night as I was falling asleep. He was reading.
“In baseball or sex?”
I laughed. “In baseball.” I said.
“It means you can hit with either your left hand or your right.”
Now, I’m not a baseball player, nor am I ambidextrous, but just go with me on this…
Six years ago, Jay and I sold our home in Malibu and moved into a two-bedroom apartment while we finished preparing Cadenza for cruising. We had both lived in California for over twenty years. We had our careers there. We raised our children there. With the children either married or off to college, we decided to cut the lines and head south. It was exciting, daring, and a little bit scary. Initially, we weren’t sure how far we intended to cruise. Mexico for sure, probably not to the Marquesas, definitely not around the world, but Costa Rica was a possibility and even Panama and through the Canal. One thing I was sure of, I didn’t want to get “stuck” in a marina in Mexico. Well, if there is one thing we can count on in life is nothing stays the same.
Selling our house and moving onto a boat means downsizing. That was both liberating and challenging. What to keep? What to throw out? (See our very first blog, “Cruising and the Second Noble Truth.”) I found it interesting, how many material things I was attached to. What I didn’t foresee (and please don’t think bad of me) is how attached I was/am to family.
At the time, I was yearning for adventure. I was always a bit of a dreamer growing up. I got that from my father. We traveled constantly, moving from house to house, apartment to trailer to house again. We moved from city to city and state to state. We even moved out of the country, living in Bangkok for a year. So, after staying put to raise my children in one city, I longed to venture out again and see the world. I longed to challenge myself, to get out of my comfort zone, so to speak. When Jay shared with me his dream of cruising, I jumped at the opportunity and together we made our dreams come true.
We are “living the life” as they say. But there are downsides. The main one is, of course, being so far away from family. I think that was the biggest deciding factor – at least in my point of view – in not cruising any further than Mexico. Sailing in the Sea of Cortez, I learned what it is like to be in a remote area with little ability to communicate. We were missing out on their daily life accomplishments and struggles. And what if something happened to one of our children? How would we know? I realized then, if we went further south, we would be even more removed and I started second-guessing our choices.
Some people sell their house, move onto their boats and cruise the world. Others, like us, live in two worlds; one on land and one on the sea. We chose to keep our house on Martha’s Vineyard and make it our land home. Our sea home, our west coast house, is Cadenza, our sailboat. We spend four to six months on Cadenza and the other half of year at our home in Massachusetts. We are still far away from our children and grandchildren, (most living in California) but it is easier now, to stay in touch. We visit as often as we can.
This year is the first year in six years we spent the holidays at home, and I must say, I was very happy to nest and decorate and cook for family and friends. And we aren’t really “stuck” in a marina. Last year we sailed over 700 miles. When we returned, I asked myself how will I ever say goodbye to cruising? Now I understand. Like with everything, when it is time, we will know. But for now – we both love living our life on land and on sea.