Loosening Ties

Colloquial sayings stick around because they strike a chord, but the best of them work in multiple situations with multiple meanings. “Don’t shit where you eat” is a saying that’s been on my mind lately. The 5.5 miles I ride in the morning wake me and get me warmed up for my shipping and receiving job. It’s a lot of big stuff. Crates and skids and 70 pound boxes, LTL truck shipments, and not a boat part among them. I resent paying full price for marine hardware, but it is freeing to tie my bank balance and my life’s most irritating site of coercion to something I don’t love the way I love sailing and living aboard this floating home. So when I think about not shitting where I eat, I’m not focusing on the traditional “don’t sleep with coworkers” version or any of the other similar interpretations. I’m thinking about making a job of a joy and how absolutely wrong that can go. James and I have been linking more and more closely with the maritime world since that first time James ran a boat club for the City of Oakland parks department. I got hired at West Marine a couple years after that and then James came aboard at the same store (Honolulu, HI). We’ve both done boat clubs and marine hardware stores and marinas and boat yards on and off since then, and this winter was the last straw. The stress of living where James worked spiraled out of control over the course of a couple weeks. We left Boston Harbor for Salem Harbor on a cold grey day with a storm looming. Beluga Greyfinger completed his first boat ride moments before the snow buried the fragile cracked ice riming the waters of Pickering Wharf. I applied[…]

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