This would be the first year, since having children, that we didn’t have our own home where we would spend Christmas. This was when I first experienced a disappointment in our live aboard life.
In early December Jim said “Our Floating Home needs to be decorated for Christmas!” Bummer, I was hoping he wouldn’t notice! You see, I had put together a small box of Christmas decorations that I planned to use on the boat. When we were in the Pennsylvania area in October I went to the storage unit to retrieve them. I pulled up the big, metal door and looked among the furniture, old bikes, shelves and boxes. My eye spotted a neatly stored little plastic container marked with a label Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, it had gotten pushed far out of reach, behind rolled up area rugs, bookshelves and all those other stored items I mentioned. No, I was not going to climb into that cavern to get to that box.
Jim and I enjoyed hopping on the rusty marina provided bikes to ride into the town of Brunswick. We headed to the local Dollar General and picked up a few tacky decorations. On another day while wandering through some cute craft and antique type shops while docked in town and we found the perfect Christmas tree for Floating Home, a lighted, two foot, artificial tree!
Floating Home was now ready for Christmas, next we needed to get ourselves together with our family.
For the past 35 years we woke up in our own home with our children down the hall. Even when they had moved away they returned to their childhood home on Saddle drive so we could all be together on for Christmas morning. We would have a family breakfast, traditionally sausage egg casserole, together at the house. We often hosted Christmas dinner with our extended family, or took a quick drive to my parent’s, sister’s or brother’s house for dinner.
This Christmas required a bit of planning to get back to the area, which I suppose will always be considered home. I searched for a kennel for Blue, purchased plane tickets, rented a car to get to the airport, booked a hotel the night before we took off because our flight left at 6:00 am. But once again, it all worked out, which reminds us that what we are doing is meant to be.
We usually stay with our daughter Amanda when we visit Pennsylvania. However, there were times that she and her husband had holiday plans with others, so we coordinated visiting other friends and family while they were out and about.
Christmas dinner at Amanda and Matt’s house was full of conversation, activities and laughter with 28 family members! A huge meal was shared in their beautifully decorated home.
Two days later, at 4:30 in the morning, our son Steve gave us a ride to the Philly airport, where we got in the security line that went all the way back to the parking garage! AAAAAH! We then had an extended layover in Atlanta, the busiest airport in the country. People watching at the airport is entertaining on a regular basis, but at Christmastime it’s even crazier, people with lighted headbands and other over the top holiday clothing abound
Jim and I agreed that it felt good to get back home and we quickly made plans to move through the water once again. To find a new port, a new part of the country for us to discover together.