We recently took a road trip. We had several errands to run—family to see, shopping to do in our storage unit and at Costco, friends to visit, cars to take care of, a life raft to pick up, and so on. It was a lovely trip; all the things we have missed were present in spades, and after having done without, were more appreciated than ever. The air conditioning was colder than we remembered, the date night was more pleasant and the French food more delicious, the family more precious, the friends more dear, and the Costco full of more things than we could fit in the back of our vehicle.
In short, we crammed a lot of enjoyment into four days. We were not, however, without concern or thought for Take Two and the two cats aboard. We had left the generator in an automatic-run state, secured hatches so they let in air but not rain, left extra food and water for the cats, and had asked a few friends to keep an eye on things. We were not sure what, if anything, would happen while we were away, though we could easily imagine a few worst-case scenarios.
We returned on a sunny afternoon, bailed out the dinghy, which had filled with rainwater, and unloaded the truck, heading back to our mooring ball at a brisk pace. We cautiously peered around inside the boat, looked at the battery monitor and checked on the cats (who meowed ceaselessly, “where have you been???”) but everything appeared in order. What a relief!
We all found ourselves a cool drink and stood around on deck, surveying our small domain. It was so good to be home, surrounded by the water, the sky, and the wind. They all felt like familiar friends welcoming us back. After being so comfortable in air conditioned rooms and fed so well at restaurants, I thought the readjustment to life afloat would be difficult.
Instead, I realized how happy I feel here, how cozy and comfortable our floating home, and how much we belong out on the water. It was a comforting confirmation that we are still on the right path. Though this life costs something, it is worth every sacrifice. In the words of the old song, be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.