July 9, 2007 - Sale Creek, Tennessee
In the Seven Seas Cruising Association, members who have achieved "Commodore" status through their voyages are expected to declare themselves "Rear Commodores" once they have been ashore for some time. Although we still live on a boat, we've been here at the dock at Sale Creek for almost two months now and I suppose it's time to admit we're no longer cruising and end this log. I've been waiting to finish my "cruising video," a compilation of the best videos and still photos we took during our cruise, but as usual I'm finding it difficult to transform my grand visions into reality. If I ever get it finished, I'll put up a note so anyone who wants a copy can let me know.

Several people warned us that "re-entry" into a non-cruising lifestyle would be difficult. Annie, who went back to her old job at Erlanger Hospital, has seen the most change. For the time being, Laura and I still get to sleep late and make our own schedule. We do schoolwork in the mornings and then work on other projects (laundry, cleaning, riding bikes, etc.) in the afternoon. We keep very busy, and I wonder how we ever managed to survive when both Annie and I were spending ten hours a day at the office. After two months, I still have good friends I haven't gotten around to visiting, places I still want to go. It looks more and more likely that I will be staying at home and home-schooling Laura this year. We've talked about building on the six acres we own on Lookout Mountain, but don't really have the money to get serious. If that's what we want to do, I need to put Laura in school and go back to work--but if I've learned anything in the past two years, it's that time is more valuable to me than money.

Some things haven't changed. I still like the idea of reducing life to the essentials, or at least the cruising essentials. What do you really need to live? A well provisioned boat, good friends, a family to love and time to spend with them. Once upon a time, that was us.

It's so quiet here at the dock. There's no wind, no waves; the boat sits placid and still. Days and nights go by almost without notice. Sometimes it feels as if we never left, and maybe that's the hardest part of coming home.

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Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Ling. All rights reserved.