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Adelante is a Spanish word that means to “go forth” or “forward” and can be used as an interjection to mean “come in” or “go ahead.”  The Adelante is my friend Dan’s sailboat, and Dan has been gracious enough to invite me sailing on several occasions.  The Adelante has provided many long afternoons of laughter and happy times out on the water.

The Adelante, Race Week 2008

An intact Adelante being transferred from land to sea in 2012.

I love this photo of Meghan!

I think this is my favorite Adelante photo, complete with Meghan looking good on the mast.

High times on the high seas, Memorial Day, 2013.

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The Happiest Hour

“Have you already left your house? Slight change in plans, I’m going to come pick you up, be outside in five minutes.” Five minutes later, I was sitting on the curb on the corner of my street.  It was Friday afternoon, and I had escaped work early to join in a happy hour sail for Edie’s birthday.  Dan had the Adelante all ready to go at the city marina on Lockwood, and we were going to leave Edie’s car at the Yacht Club on East Bay.  The plan was to sail around the harbor, and dock at the Yacht Club.  It was a perfect day, with a perfect breeze.

Friday, August 8, 2013, the Adelante is ready to set sail.

Friday, August 9, 2013, the Adelante is ready to set sail.

When Dan picked me up, I suggested that we stop at the Harris Teeeter and pick up some champagne for Edie’s birthday.  He assured me that he already had two bottles in the cooler on the Adelante.  Dan is smart like that.  Edie and her brother, Brooks, were waiting on us in the parking lot of the yacht club.  I was wearing my favorite patagonia dress, and Edie said she was glad I decided to go with “sailboat cocktail” attire.  In no time, we were at the city marina, setting sail with a cold beer and a perfect breeze. I’m very much a sailing novice, but it is something I would like to learn to do.  There are a list of things I feel like you should know how to do, most of which I do not know how to do.  Drive a stick shift, sail a sailboat, clean a fish, apply a tourniquet, start a fire without matches, land a plane.  You know, life skills.  I do know how to call 911. 

When it comes to sailing, I have this fear of over correcting and knocking the sailboat over, which Dan has repeatedly assured me is not going to happen.  He says the worst that would happen is that I could knock some people into the water.  I related a story of my mother requesting that I use a life vest at all times, and Dan assured me that we had plenty of life vests in the cabin, but that he did not anticipate anyone needing one. The cooler had a couple cans of Gosling’s Dark and Stormy, and I remarked that Dan was the first person to introduce me to the Dark and Stormy.  Brooks assured me that Dan introduced the entire city of Charleston to the Dark and Stormy, and that Dan single handedly convinced all the bars that not having ginger beer available was unacceptable, and that we all have Dan to thank for the availability of this summertime staple. The conditions were perfectly breezy but the water calm, and I ended up at the helm, steering.  Everyone tried to talk me through how to head into the wind, or fall off, and a lot of other terms I still haven’t grasped, but I’m working on it.  I tried to “feel” the wind and to watch the little arrow at the top of the mast, and I tried in vain to catch the giant cargo ships in the harbor.  I was instructed on the optimum amount of boat tilt, and tried to get my sea legs.  

The trick to being at the helm, is figuring out a way to not get distracted.  It went something like this – I would get comfortable in my abilities, and start feeling confident –

Edie:  “Did you see that?  Over there?”

Me:  “Where?”

Dan:  “Charlsie!  Look Alive! What are you doing?!  Head up!  Fall off!  Agghhh!”

Me:  “Gah!  I got it!  I think, wait, I’m doing it wrong, hang on, I just spilled my beer everywhere.  Are we going to hit that boat in front of us?”

Regardless, I did well enough where no one took away my steering privilege, and when we got out past Fort Sumter and turned around, I got to yell, “Prepare to come about!  Coming about!”

Fort Sumter from the Adelante.

Fort Sumter from the Adelante.

And we turned around with no problems!  Sailing back into the harbor was easier, and Dan handled the docking of the Adelante.  It was all in all a very successful sail.  After the sail, we walked across East Bay to Edie’s friends Bo and Anne’s  house, and participated in some porch sitting, and then some kitchen congregating.  Edie left with her car to go to the mexican restaurant for Birthday Dinner, and Bo was nice enough to take Dan, Brooks, and me to the city marina to get Dan’s car. When we got to Dan’s car, we realized the keys to the car were on the boat, so we had to go by Dan’s house and get his spare set.  This was no big deal at the time.  Once we had Dan’s car, we met Edie and company at the mexican restaurant for a delicious meal.  We all went home happy and full of good food and good times.

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“If You Haven’t Run Aground, You Haven’t Been Around.” – Old sailing maxim 

Saturday afternoon, Brooks and Edie were at the beach out on Sullivans, around station 28 1/2.  Dan appeared seemingly out of nowhere, from the tidal pool.

Edie:  “Dan!  What are you doing?  Where did you come from?  Who are you with?”

Dan:  “See that commotion off shore?  The fire and rescue boat?  I was out there, and now I’m here.  Can I use your cell phone to call the coast guard?”

Turns out, the Adelante set sail on Saturday with Dan and three other friends for a fateful final voyage.  Through a series of unfortunate events, more than half a mile of the coast of Sullivans, the Adelante hit a sandbar, and the rudder broke off, and in the process of escaping the sandbar, an unknown structural imperfection was exploiting in the 35 year old boat, resulting in a crack in the keel, and a short time later the Adelante went down. Dan says that there is a persuasive technical argument to be made that the Adelante did not, strictly speaking, sink.

She just fell over.

She just fell over.

And took on some water.

And took on some water.

All crew members were left on the sandbar, in four feet of water. It was too far to swim, but a kiteboarder was able to drag all four crew members to the beach.  The news picked up the story.  I’ve been singing the Gilligan’s Island song for days.  A three hour tour, a three hour tour. http://www.wistv.com/story/23117498/stranded-boaters-saved-by-kiteboarder-off-sullivans-island?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9191035.  

The important thing to remember is that no one was seriously injured (one crew member required stitches for a leg injury), but it was a sad day. Remember Friday night when we went to get Dan’s spare set of keys from his house?  Um, yeah, so that meant that on Saturday, both sets of Dan’s key were on the Adelante.  And the Adelante was upside down, drifting into Breach Inlet.

The tourists in this photo are classic.

That’s not Dan in the foreground, in case you were wondering. Those are classic, unidentified tourists.

Shockingly enough, the dry bag washed up on the beach, along with several other personal possessions that went down with the boat, and the keys were recovered along with a couple of cell phones.  The water bottle I left in the cooler of the boat on Friday did not survive the wreckage.   Sunday, Dan and George were left with the grime task of watching the recovery of what was left of the Adelante.

Sunday recovery of the Adelante.

Sunday recovery of the Adelante.  George was there for emotional support.

Presumably a bad time to ask about the sunglasses and water bottle I left on board Friday afternoon.

The former home of the 1200 lb keel.

The former home of the 1200 lb keel.

The Friday after her last sail, the many friends of the Adelante gathered at Salty Mike’s for a farewell happy hour in memory of all the great times, and to thank Dan for sharing her with us. We all raised a Dark and Stormy in tribute, and felt lucky to have spent time on such a beautiful old boat!

Salty Mike's D & S

Salty Mike’s D & S

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I’m sitting on a patch of grass, on the edge of the parking lot of my office building. My building is one of many neighboring office buildings, and my friends work nearby. Paul works directly across the street, Dan works around the bend in the road, and Friend organizes food trucks to come visit.

It might not be a glamorous area of town, and my building might be the plainest vanilla box you’ll ever see, but it takes me 15 at most to get here every morning, and there is plenty of free parking.

I took off my long sleeve shirt and am sitting in the sun in a tank top. Of note, this would have probably (or definitely) gotten me fired from last job. It is 70 degrees, bright blue sky, and I’m eating roasted red pepper hummus and carrots. A few of my coworkers are walking laps around the complex for exercise. The interstate is buzzing along behind me, and although that could be an annoyance, I’ve gotten rather fond of the noise.

At my last job, I was only allowed 30 minutes for lunch, on a good day. It is hard to drive to Wendy’s and back in 30 minutes. The job before that, my bosses liked to discuss cases at lunch, and lunchtime was not my own time, and the places we ate would have put me to sleep for the rest of the day if I’d actually eaten it. Work lunches were simply part of the job, and I think that is reasonable in certain professions like small law firms. I did lose ten pounds in the 18 months I worked there, as a side note.

Having control over my own lunch is an amazing privilege that I try to never take for granted. I go to lunch whenever I want between 11-2, and I live in a place where the weather often lends itself to sitting in the sunshine. My coworkers like to pick on me because I eat a turkey melt on an English muffin every day. But it is a privilege, and I am going to enjoy it, because it makes me happy.

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Yesterday, I went to yoga for the first time since before Christmas.  In the past year, I’ve been fairly dedicated to my yoga practice, mostly because if I only go once a week, it is difficult to walk and breathe the next day I’m so sore.  I’ve also made some fantastic friends through yoga, and I hate missing them.  When I’m consistent in my practice, I sleep better, I work better, I feel better, I eat better, and I am significantly more in control of my anxiety.  Plus, I feel stronger and more aware of my body.  There is very little excuse for me to not be dedicated, especially since there are no real negatives.

In the summer, I was running and doing yoga, but in the fall when my tennis season started back, running became more difficult.  The high impact of running and the high impact of tennis do not live harmoniously in my joints.  Too much working out causes me to have debilitating muscle cramps. I’ve tried everything, believe me, and the only sure fire way to stop the cramps is to not work out every day of the week and cut back on my high impact activities.  I’m better off with one or the other.  I’m sure I will start running again in February, if only so I can enjoy the bridge run.  I’m happy to go out and run a 5k when I haven’t been running on a regular basis, but running a 10k without prior consideration sucks.  I can do anything for an hour, and I’ve done it before when not prepared, but I was miserable the whole time.  My masochistic qualities are spotty at times.

The yoga class I went to yesterday was at the studio in Mount Pleasant, which is the largest yoga studio I’ve ever practiced in, and there were more people there than I’ve ever seen. It was SLAMMED with people.  This is what Saturday morning yoga looks like in January.

I went to the movies last night – Django – because, as you know, movies make me happy.  We went to the local Carmike, because the movie was not playing at the smaller arts theater that is infinitely preferable (but also significantly more expensive).  We got there about 15 minutes early, and the theater was already starting to fill up.  By the time the movie started, it was 3/4 full, and after 20 minutes of previews, it was slammed.  This is what the movie theater looks like on a Saturday night in January.

This morning, I went to church.  I love my church, it is the greatest little Episcopal church.  I can walk there, all of the preachers are great, and the congregation is a perfect mix of diversity.  I should go more often.   I love that my Episcopal church here retains so many qualities of the church where I went to school growing up, and the Episcopal church in Athens.  I feel confident I could find an Episcopal church in most places in the world, and some aspect would remind me of home.

You know how if you’ve been traveling abroad for long enough, and you find yourself at the McDonald’s eating a McFlurry, simply because it feels like home.  I never go to McDonald’s, and even when I do, I rarely get McFlurries.  But every McFlurry I’ve ever eaten in a foreign country sticks out in my mind as the greatest McFlurry ever made.  I don’t mean to imply that McDonald’s and the Episcopal church have a lot in common, I’m just saying there is comfort in familiarity.  As a side note, the McDonald’s in Greece serves something called the McGreek – which is a hamburger patty in a pita with tzatsiki sauce on it.  I have it on good authority that the McDonald’s in India serves something called a McVeggie.  Way to assimilate Micky-D.

Apologies for that ridiculous tangent.  Back to church this morning.  It was Epiphany – which is one of the happiest services of the year beyond Easter and Christmas.  I like using Epiphany as a noun.  I felt lighter when I left.  I like to sit in the balcony, and in the summertime, the balcony might have five people in it.  This morning, the balcony was at capacity.  This is what church looks like the first Sunday in January.

In other January news, I’ve been toying with the idea of Drynuary – I normally have little interest in absolutes, and believe that life should be lived in moderation – but the holidays left me feeling a little pickled, and I thought it couldn’t hurt to try out.  I also made this decision on New Year’s day, at Home Team after the polar bear plunge.  I don’t feel convicted enough to last the whole month, but my goal is 10 days, maybe two weeks, of no alcohol, and then a commitment to moderation.  This seems reasonable, healthy, and doable.  I’ve given up drinking for lent a couple of times, but that was at a time when I was much more interested in absolutes and convictions.  And my masochistic tendencies were less spotty.

It is raining today, and there is a  woodpecker outside of my window – going to town on the carolina cherry.  At first I thought it was a redheaded woodpecker, but further investigation reveals it to be a Red-bellied woodpecker.  Apparently redheaded woodpeckers have red all over their head and their neck, and this dude most definitely only had red like a cap on his head, and a white stomach, with a speckled back.   Learn something new every day.

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Before I moved to Charleston, I assumed the tourist season was the summertime.  We all know what happens when you assume.  Tourist season last all year, but the peak is in April and October.  Hotels are booked six months in advance in blocks for weddings, and whereas in the summer time people are strewn about the various beaches, in April and October, everyone is on the peninsula.  The peninsula is not a large place. Peninsula is a hard word to spell.   apparently Conde Nast readers voted Charleston the #1 city in America, and the #1 city in the world for 2012.  Y’all should come visit.

 

 

I had my first tennis match of the season thursday night.  I got killed.  But I played well, and my opponent was just much better than me.  At least the sky was pretty.

 

 

In other news, Briscoe finds working from home to be extremely taxing, but she is really striving to be helpful.  I think.

 

 

 

 

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I awoke this morning to the semi darkness of the late sunrise of early autumn.  Getting out of bed this time of year is exceedingly difficult, and as much as I hate the darkness when I get off work, I appreciate the sunlight in the morning.  I intensely covet the ability to bounce of out bed at 6:30 am on a regular basis, and bright sunlight is the best way to get me out of bed.   I need windows, large, east facing windows on the opposing wall from my bed.  My bedroom has big windows, but none of them face east.  The real trick is opening the blinds at night so they will be open to the sunlight in the morning.  I might be a paranoid person, but I’m also slightly nosy, and if a light is on in a room in a house where the blinds are open at night, I am going to look.  So if lights are on at night, blinds should be closed.  Somehow turning all the lights out and then opening the blinds seems strange. 

Oh, duh.  What I need is a chamber maid, to come in the morning and open the blinds for me and leave me clean clothes and tea and toast with butter and marmalade and maybe a hardboiled egg.  I guess if I had a chamber maid I could also have a house with east facing windows on the water or on a mountain somewhere that blinds were not necessary.  Then I wouldn’t need my chambermaid, but breakfast would be pleasant.  Then I might bounce out of bed at 6:30. 

Alas, I was languishing in bed at 7:45 this morning, thinking about what I would wear today.  And I checked the weather, 71 degrees, 84% humidity.  This sounds like an improvement over 78 degrees with 97% humidity, but I wasn’t entirely convinced it was a significant improvement.  The fact that it is September 30th means nothing as far as what kind of weather could be expected. 

Have you ever wondered what the UPS guy does all day?  Because when you want a package to arrive at your house by a certain time, and you track it, it seems like regardless of anything else, the UPS man never gets to your house til after 5 pm, regardless of where you live, even though the UPS.com tracker told you he left the warehouse at 8 am this morning.  Well, apparently he is delivering packagings, because I got a delivery I’d been waiting on at 1:45 this afternoon!  It is like the UPS man knew i needed the package before 5.  Or else it’s friday and he just wanted to go ahead and get rid of all the boxes so he could go home. 

Why do I need this package before 5 pm?  Because I’m going to Augusta today for Britt’s 30th Birthday!  HOORAY!  Happy Birthday Britt!  Yay 30!

I have to admit, my 30th year so far has been pretty spectacular, and I feel sure Britt’s 30th year will be equally amazing!

Happy Friday, take time this weekend and smell the tea olives, and when it gets cold tonight, or tomorrow night, and you shiver in your tank top, remember that is finally the best month of the year, OCTOBER!  Just typing it makes me happy.  I’m going to go dig up some fingerless gloves with skulls and crossbones on them.

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Briscoe is at the salon today, getting her hair did.  Her hair was getting so long I was starting to feel neglectful.  I can’t wait to pick her up so Bobby can have a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.

I’ve been getting some awesome blog love from Betsy and Molly, my sweet Atlanta friends who I never get to see.  But I was lucky enough to see BOTH of them this past week.  It’s amazing how long you can go without catching up with the important people in your life.  Actually, it’s amazing how fast time goes by and how quickly life seems to happen.

Speaking of which, I’m really happy that the time changed last weekend and the daylight last an hour longer every day from now on until the fall.  I love spring, and I love summer, and I’m excited.  Also, I’m starting a new job on Monday!  It’s time for new beginnings, and I’m ready for a new challenge.  Until Monday, I’m working on getting my life put together and cleaning my house for the Masters!  Did you hear that Tiger is going to make it this year?  I don’t know how I feel about it – it’s going to bring a lot more hype to the week, which can be fun, but it can also make everything more difficult for us local people.  But the golf traffic signs are up and the flowers are starting to bloom!

First the red buds were blooming, then the Japanese magnolias and now the Carolina jasmine and the blue star onion flowers have started to bloom and it’s only going to get better from here!

Soon the cherries and the dogwood and the azaleas and wisteria and the whole world will be covered in flowers and everything will smell wonderful!  I can’t wait.

Of course, all this talk of warm weather and flowers blooming ignores the reality of pollen and allergies and bugs.  After playing tennis outside last night in Waynesboro I was violently reminded of the reality of pollen and bugs.  I think the flowers and the pretty weather are worth it.

Happy Tuesday!

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An effort in Futility

I love camellias.  The ones in my parents backyard are blooming right now, and I was really excited about picking a few and taking them home.  One of my favorite things about camellias is that they bloom in the winter and that when they drop all their flowers it creates a ring of color on the ground that looks like a skirt.

So last week I decided to pick a handful of camellias and bring them home to my house and put them in the sweet little vases I have slowly collected over the years of deb and bridesmaid gifts that sit on the window sill above my kitchen sink.  The problem is that this idea occurred to me when I was already out in the backyard, and I was too lazy to go get the garden sheers and cut my camellia flowers.  So I just went ahead and picked them.  Some of them broke off easily.  Some of them didn’t work out so well and I was left with a sad bald flower with no petals. 

But that didn’t stop me.  I picked a bunch of really pretty camellias and was so happy when I got them home.  They looked so happy and friendly in the vases that seemed to be completely intended just for them (and gardenias). 

Ohhh, but remember how one of the best things about this sweet little flower is that their petals fall off.  And the flowers I picked were no exception.  I found sweet little flower petals EVERYWHERE!  In my car.  On my front walk.  On my front porch.  Smashed into my seagrass rug.  In my dog’s hair.  Stuck to my kitchen floor.  In my pocketbook.  And let’s go ahead and be clear that my window sill was COVERED by the petals in a matter of hours. 

Another thing that has been falling recently is pine straw.  I LOVE new pine straw.  The red kind.  I’m not sure I can even come up with anything else that is the same color.  It is a totally different color once it lays on the ground for a few days.  Deeper, darker, brighter, better.  I like it when it drops from the real high pine trees and sticks in the grass straight up, like the dark red pine straw just sprouted up all over the yard.  Of course, I really like the pine straw because I’ve never actually had a pine tree in my own yard, and it’s much easier to love the pine straw when it isn’t sprouting up in your own yard. 

I’ve been watching the first season of Ally McBeal on dvd.  It makes me laugh.  I never watched the show when it was on television, and I’m so glad, because it’s so much more relative to my life now than it ever could have been then.  There is something about the show that makes me feel better about my own life.  I also love that most all of the characters are on other television shows today. 

I’ve been having a case of the mondays, where everything seemed a little off.  My coffee wasn’t strong enough, my favorite pen ran out of ink, I hit my elbow on the door frame, it got dark too early, my knee hurt while I was running,  nothing serious, nothing real upsetting, but just enough to make me remember that it is monday. 

I’ve been neglecting this blog, for some reason I just haven’t had the drive to put much of anything on paper.  I go through these spells where I have SO MUCH TO SAY, and I take the time to write it down.  But recently I just haven’t gotten around to writing it down.   I still have things to say.  I think of things to blog about all day long.  It is kind of like exercising, you know you will feel better if you do it, and you think about doing it, but it’s so easy to not have the energy to actually do it. 

I’ve always thought of this blog as a sort of bank account of my thoughts, every word I write here increases my investment.  I went to church last night for the first time in a while.  I don’t like to go to church by myself, and I don’t like to go real early in the morning and these two excuses help me to rationalize why I don’t go to church as much as I wish I did.  In Andy’s sermon he talked about how we should have a spiritual bank account in the same way we have a 401(k) or an IRA or a savings account.  I like this idea, it’s something I’m going to think about.  I wonder if spiritual bank accounts have penalties if you make a withdrawal too early.  I hope not.  I might need to make a withdrawal on a seconds notice.  Maybe it’s not something you are suppose to make a withdrawal at all, like an IRA that you were never allowed to withdraw without a penalty, because it will always be worth more to you later than it does now, compound interest and whatnot. 

I don’t know, I’m just thinking.  On a lighter note, I’ve eaten so much left over Halloween candy it is disgusting.  I ate so many nerds and sweet tarts last week my poor little tongue was ripped to shreds.  I’m addicted to mini kit kats and I’ve finished off the last of the strawberry laffy taffy.  It has been a good November so far.

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