Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Somebody Else’s Dream

This morning, I spent two hours in somebody else’s dream, a dream that will not come true for them.

They were a couple in our sailing club, and they were planning their dream retirement. They had found their dream location, Corpus Christi, Texas, where the weather is nice most of the time, and the bay is great for sailing. They had found their dream boat, Whisper, an Islander 32, in California and had brought it to New Mexico to carry out major refurbishing before taking it on to Texas. They had a financial plan in which they could retire in their mid-50s, and if the money ran short, they could always go back to working part-time, since they were both youthful and healthy.

Then he died. They were just a few months from that dream retirement, and he was working a short-term assignment to get that last little bit of cash that they would need to set their dream into action. He chose not to get the life insurance offered by the employer, because it would have cut his take-home pay by $6 an hour. While on that assignment, he died, suddenly, in his sleep.

Now she needs to sell everything. She’s already sold the truck. She needs to sell the house, and she also needs to sell the boat. There is a hitch to selling the boat, however: It’s all in pieces, because her husband was still working on the refurbishing. So now the members of the sailing club will be working to help her get it all put back together.

Thus it came that this morning, my husband, son, and I spent two hours with Whisper, taking pictures for two purposes: showing the sailing club members what work still needs to be done, and showing prospective buyers how beautiful the boat is.

And she is indeed beautiful. The interior is perhaps the most lovely I’ve seen in any boat smaller than the Queen Mary, with rich polished wood and wicker inserts in the cabinetry, and galley countertops and fixtures that would look right at home in the wet bar of an executive’s office. Even the head has a feeling of opulence to it. Mechanically, she’s beautiful, too, with such wonderful access to the engine that maintenance is easy and not something that takes a masochistic contortionist. Sure, there are some odds and ends that need taking care of … like attaching the rudder, and connecting a whole lot of hoses that right now don’t go anywhere, and remounting the water heater, and painting the bottom. But still, she’s a beautiful boat.

A beautiful dream.


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