…Can you believe this shit? (!)

Adventure is all about the interpretation…

We’ve been at sea for 13 years. We’ve seen 40 foot seas in the north Pacific Ocean; we’ve seen 20 sunsets in a row without land; we’ve seen a dozen squalls blow over New Jersey, one after another!

We’ve also spent time in an apartment writing music in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We’ve written books in a house in Kallatumukku, Kerala.

And now, I (James) have seen an old pianist slip and fall in a laundry room in Groton, CT.  And it made me weep like a baby.

And now, I (Dena) have seen an upright, lithe woman with early Alzheimer’s look for a phone so that she could call her daughter and get a hotel room.  Because she needed a place to stay the night, though she lives right upstairs.  And I showed her that she had a key on her wrist and helped her find her apartment.

In Denver, we were in the last and smallest class for the type of training we did.  There were six of us, three couples, who were hired and flown right out to sales training.  In the future, couples will spend a week in a community first.  Those couples will know the emotional aspects and the time requirements and the pressures far better than we did as we made our way down to a hotel meeting room, day after day for two weeks.

On the side, of course, we maintained our lifestyle by hooking up with an old friend and a family known as the Bozos.

The training focused on sales and didn’t even try to touch operations.  We role-played and drank coffee and iced tea and took notes and struggled to stay awake while we learned how to sell an invisible product to the aging populace and their variably caring familia.

After flying away from the classroom environment and the nose-bleed altitude and dryness, we walked.

And we walked.

Returning the rental car that got us from the airport meant walking about 8 miles back to the boat.

The next day, we walked (duh) the 5 miles back to the community.

We showed up to a community that should be run by 6 people, but had 13 managers in residence.  A madhouse.

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The community has suffered one failing management team after another for years, leaving us with a pile of bills, a low residency rate, and a backlog amount due from the residents in excess of a hundred thousand dollars.  We also have a staff that doesn’t know who to listen to, if they feel like listening at all.  And 90% of the open apartments aren’t ready to rent.  That is our new job.

We thought this would be a good deal.  It’s not.  But we’re up for the challenge and, in four months, we’re determined that this job will be the scheduled, enjoyable experience that was promised by our interviewers.

Today, we battened the hatches in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.  She sounds friendly, like she’d be willing to grab you a beer or a margarita, but that’s not how she’s behaving this week.  We pulled the sails belowdecks and lashed the boom to the deck.  We pulled every single loose item and tucked it below or in a lazarette.

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We’re ready for the storms.



  1. When I worked in an abortion clinic, I said this over and over: You get to decide the meaning of what happened here today. Sin or salvation, trapped or freed, victim or survivor. Choose The Interpretation That Empowers You.
    We all make our worlds through the lenses we use. We compose and style and tint both the choices we make and the events that happen to us outside of choice, interpreting the meaning of our own story for ourselves before we translate it for telling to the world. Few of us consciously choose those lenses, but we always have the power to do so.
    You are empowered people indeed, the proof is in these pages. You’ve made a lifestyle of bold choices and embraced the consequences, even if your prospects looked like dragons, debt, or drowning. And likewise you are pressing on in the wilds of the disordered Community right now. A new adventure.

    I looked up adventure cuz I’m a word nerd. Adventure: An exciting or unusual experience; it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.
    Bold: check.
    Uncertain: check.
    Risky: check. For you. For sailors, to batten down the boat and buy furniture is oddly more risky than the sea in bad weather.
    Exciting: Up to you.

    Adventure, I think it’s all about attitude. I have faith in yours, rigorously tested and unsinkable.
    Carry on.

  2. I sometimes repeat myself but this time it’s on purpose. Kate, your not only a word nerd but darn good at using them so I’m just going to say as I did once before, “What she said!”

  3. Yes, I cannot chime in with anymore useable vocabulary than that also. I will say that this week has given me another insight as to what would describe ” Comfort”. James and yourself have experienced a vast array of it, some good some not so much. I did come up with a theory that would describe what I feel from your life. When life gives you some shit , you make a shit sandwich and say “give me a bite” then smile at each other . Love and Aloha’s to you both. Keep on Truckin….as they used to say.

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