Oopsie! Here we are being towed by a towboat

IMG_2648So we have this boat. It’s an old boat. An old and creaky boat. An old and creaky boat that is erratic in its trustworthiness and sucks up money that we don’t actually have.

And we love it — or one of us does. I mostly hate it, because I’m prone to seasickness. Usually, I am grumpy while I’m packing to go on the boat, grumpy while I’m casting off lines and leaping onto the boat as it slips away from the dock, then grumpy again while we wait for the Mystic River railroad bridge to open up to let us putt down the river and into the sea.

And then? Something happens. It’s the same thing that happens when I head out on a trail in the woods. I am free. I am loosed from the chains that bind me and the wind picks up and we slip past the houses and the restaurants and the land-bound people who wave at us like we’re…something. I don’t know what. Maybe they see we’re free, too. I always wave back because I always feel a little sorry for them. They have to finish their lobster and then get back into the hot car and be land-bound.

Yesterday, we putted over to Rhode Island, dropped anchor, and swam and napped on a beach that’s hard to get to if you’re land-bound and don’t have access to a creaky old boat. The engine had revved a few times over, but did I mention this is an old boat? These things don’t bother us.

But on the way back, the engine stopped. We’d just bobbed past a large rock and then? We were becalmed. It’s a motorsailer, so technically we have sails and could sail on out of there, but it’s like sailing a trawler. We know because we’ve tried. The sails are mostly for show, and so that we can say, “Hey! We have a motorsailer!”

So we dropped anchor, called the towboat, and sat and made up lyrics to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” starring us. We sat and watched the horizon, and answered the phone of the towboat operator, who called us frequently to let us know how close he was. We ate potato chips, now soggy from the sea air, which made them fun to gum.

When Towboat Operator Keith arrived (we got to know him because we were tethered to his boat for an hour), it turned out he is a retired Groton police officer. He and Captain DJ discussed pensions, and retirement, and Florida and how they both really want to be there, but family’s here, so…

Meanwhile, I pretended to steer our boat. I was exhausted (the only kind of motion sickness remedy that works for me is the Dramamine that makes you sleepy) but weirdly happy. We’d died in the ocean. We lived, anyway. We didn’t run aground, hit a rock, or otherwise meet doom. The boat died. We didn’t.

Later, in the car, I watched Hillary Clinton give her acceptance speech on my phone. We got home very late to a parched garden that is today getting served — finally — a heaping helping of rain.

We own a boat. A creaky boat that makes us poor. The repair bill will break us, most likely. This is a first-world problem.

I am stepping away (Again? Yes, again.) from the blog until Wednesday. We are heading back to Rhode Island, this time in a car that I trust, given the odds, will get us there. God bless you and keep you. Go out and have an adventure. See you Wednesday.

What does it mean, to “come together?”

No less an outsider than Michael Bloomberg said we are strongest when we do precisely that, at last night’s Democratic National Convention in Philly.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few days. I’ve already said Bernie Sanders was my candidate, and now I’m with her. I understand the BernieOrBust folks, but I’ve noticed some pretty barbed conversations between people who I know to be friends, at least on the social media outlets I troll. I am all for vigorous debate, but this feels like something more serious than in-family carping.

So I’ll make a deal, to anyone who’s interested: We all have the right to figure out our own politics, and where to cast our own vote. I cannot emphasize how little I care for Donald Trump, but I refuse to hate any one for their political choices. That’s as close to “come together” as I can get.

(But I’m probably going to continue being nasty about Donald. It’s in my genetic code, I fear.)


Just a reminder for those on Facebook


No more charges on the murder of Freddie Gray


All remaining charges have been dropped in the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year old African American who died in the hands of police in April 2015.

He was picked up healthy. He was removed from the van with a broken neck.

What more is there to say about this? That no one is responsible for the death of this man? That stuff happens? Oopsie? Jaysus. Even with the whole world watching, this is the best our courts can do?








I wish I’d written this:

imagesBill Clinton wore a fetching pantsuit…”

What do we know about the two major party’s presidential candidates’ religion?

5602666514_64b59ec5c1_zHere’s information on Hillary Clinton’s Methodist Church.

Here’s information on Donald Trump’s Presbyterian Church.

“Give me two moments to tell you how good God is”

10885473_829476913757944_5560199592469823474_n-e1437590702647Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, started her speech at the Democratic National Convention with that.

I do not know how these Mothers of the Movement do this, mothers who’ve lost children to violence. I do not know how they can show such class and grace and I aspire one day to be like them. You can read more about them here.

I saw this on Twitter, and it hit me hard. Once again — a black woman — or, in this case, black women — speaking as the conscience of our racist nation. When will we take on that role ourselves? Lord.