Is everything we own really on the boat?
Oh wow, this is such a jam-packed question. It is not just about our current state, where a nice little “yes” or “no” fits but it really conjures up the journey behind the answer.
But the answer is “Yes”. Everything that we own is now on Wild Horses.
The only things we have “elsewhere” are cold weather clothes and some spare overnight things that we left at my parents’ place. And, our car. Everything else that we owned in our last pre-boat home has now been integrated into my parents’ belongings. Our bed, dresser, nightstands, plants, work desk is now theirs, although we will be using them over the next year, when we are back on land. The rest of our things were given to family or to charity over the years. Whew. It has been a long road getting here.
We have been downsizing for awhile, knowing that our eventual goal was to live on a boat. It was a peeling-off-the-onion effort to get rid of our stuff but it is great to know that it all now is downsized enough to fit on Wild Horses. All the “stuff” that made the short list (i.e. the “I use/love this every day” list) actually found a home in the various pockets of boat storage around the boat. All our clothes, electronics, toiletries and stock-ups (tissues, toilet paper, paper towel etc), kitchen gear, dog stuff (including her crate), plus all our boat gear and Mike’s tools. Oh Mike’s tools.
Mike is a handyman in the true sense of the word. And in the ways of such handy men, he had acquired a solid workshop full of tools over the twenty-five years of our togetherness. Working through these tools to get to the cream of the crop (those things we would keep on the boat) wasn’t easy. The first stab wasn’t so bad – chainsaws and bandsaws are not really necessary equipment on a boat. Shocking. The next several layers were harder. I would look at a tool and think “when would you even need such a thing…can’t you make due with another, similar tool?” and Mike would answer “nope”. And, so it went.
Then we installed our steel arch on the boat and I had the a-ha moment that made me realize that sometimes you have to make extra room for single purpose stuff and certain tools definitely fall into that category.
I was recruited into helping with the arch installation because I was the smallest person on hand and could ball myself up to fit into the back stern lockers where we had to attach the backing plates for the arch. The first three backing plates required only minimal yoga moves to allow me the positioning and dexterity to screw in the four screws with accompanying three washes. Without dropping anything. Dropping a piece meant untangling myself, finding the wayward piece of hardware and then getting back into position, a feat that took about fifteen minutes. Ugh.
Without saying a word, Mike reached into his toolbox (actually one of three of his toolboxes) and pulled out one of those tools. A little used piece of hardware whose sole purpose is to make another tool longer. A tool I had previously interrogated Mike about (When would you use it? How often? Is it really critical to keep?) and to which he would smile and answer “don’t know”. Well, that day, I knew. It was the only tool that allowed the job to get done. The job I had written off as impossible.
With that, our downsizing mantra changed from “I use/love this every day” to “I use/love this every day and a few extras guided by intuition”. This has helped Mike but has also given me some wins for my galley. And, yes, it all fits in Wild Horses. 😊
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.