Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Nov/Dec 2020

Pooh would have perhaps called it “blustery”, but I would be more inclined to refer to our November weather as “maddening”. It is not abnormal to have high winds from time to time in any season, but the non-stop winds, 20 plus knots with considerable gusts, were not normal. At times, the wind ushered in powerful rains. While this was good for helping us find weak areas in old window and door seals, it was bad for moral as we spent a tad bit of time trouble shooting small trickles from previously undiscovered breaches in our seals. Eventually the crazy “Fall Squalls” mercifully stopped.

We were busy. There were more boat projects, meeting new boat neighbors, visiting with old friends, paddle boarding, going on run/walks, catching up with our online church services, enjoying my first fresh grapefruit of the year, wrapping gifts and of course…napping.

Before we knew, it was time to head back up North for Thanksgiving.

For the last few years, we have tried to be with our son and the family for Thanksgiving and what we call “faux Christmas”. Since we are not usually close enough to spend Christmas with them, we try and have a little early Christmas with them in November. This year, because of Covid, things were a little different. While any travel is risky, we were careful to quarantine prior and opted for driving straight from Florida to Virginia in hope of reducing risk. Our daughter in Austin TX had planned to come, but covid concerns meant she would not be able. While this made me sad, I was thankful for her desire to err on the side of caution for herself and others. I am also thankful for technology. We were able to Facetime with her throughout the visit, keeping her close by on the ipad as mush as possible. She was even able to join us at the Thanksgiving meal…she prepared her meal to coincide with our meal time and we propped her up at the end of our table and we were able to eat together virtually. The days were filled with memory making with our precious granddaughters.

Once back aboard Miller Time it was full on Christmas mode. It felt good to break out the seasonal decor, pour the egg nog and start the Christmas tunes! (well, for me at least. Scott just sort of tolerates my zealous endeavors)

This will not be our first Christmas aboard Miller Time, but it is our first Christmas aboard her as full timers, without a land home. That means that my beloved Christmas Tree Angel has joined our Christmas crew. Some of you may recognize her if you follow my devotional blog each year( She is a tree topper that has been a part of my Christmases forever. Because she is old and fragile, she was kept at our land home…this year she transitioned to the boat. It was not an easy transition for her. Did I mention she was fragile? Her tiny torso, hands, candle and head are made of wax…wax that has been melted and reshaped more than a few times over the years in effort to sustain her existence. While her head has been slightly sagging more each year, this year in typical 2020 fashion, it gave way and we had a complete beheading. But take courage dear reader! Life on a boat means an endless supply of every kind of adhesive/glue/goop known to man…we were able to once again restore her to her place of honor. She’s a bit out of place, her classical elegance unfit for the stark lifeless crab pot Christmas tree, but that is why I love her. She lost her ability to fit any tree or décor years ago…but she will never lose her ability to remind me of what Christmas means.

This year I am missing Christmas prepping with our boat friends, but we were thrilled to still be able to enjoy the local boat parade with several of them. Everyone kept to their own dingy to allow “social distance”, donned our light up antlers(Charlie too) and headed over to our favorite boat parade watching spot!

Last year my friend Lisa(Tapestry) taught me how to paint oyster shells as Santas to make ornaments as gifts. This year, due to covid and boat schedules, she has left me to my own devices…inspired to continue the crafty seeds she has sewed into my life, I decided to make more ornaments. This time, I am using my newly acquired skill of making monkey fists( a sort of knot). They are knot fancy(see what I did there?), but I enjoyed thinking of friends and family as I made them.

Before I knew it, we were looking for the next weather window for heading to our next destination, Key West. Our winter plans are to spend Dec-Feb in a marina at Stock Island(near Key West). The list of things to do to get ready was made…finish wrapping/mailing gifts, make peanut brittle(my annual gift for marina staff), stow/brace Christmas décor for off shore running conditions, restock pantry and plan meals for our 3 day cruise.

Dec. 9th, Wednesday afternoon, we headed out for our last overnight off shore run of the year. It was wonderful. It was a bit chilly, but the sky was bright and the water a beautiful green. We arrived at an anchorage in Marathon by Thursday afternoon. Friday morning we made the remainder of our journey to Oceanside Marina by noon. I am excited to be here. Covid carefulness seems like it will be manageable and we hope to enjoy the outdoor opportunities. It is time to put the décor back out, relight our flameless candles, que up the Christmas movies and look forward to our daughter arriving in a few days to celebrate the season with us! It is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

2 thoughts on “Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas”

    1. Teri, thank you for making the early morning in the desert and my coffee even better. As I watch the first sliver of light peek out from the Tortolita Mountains I also feel the hope that this accursed COVID-19’s days may be numbered. Your uncanny way with words is enviable – you are like the weaver at the loom spinning threads that warm the soul.
      Kathy and I will spend Christmas without the family for the first time in I can’t remember when. We will miss Chad, Tomi their kids and Conor for Christmas. The former will cocoon in Austin and Conor in Littleton, Colorado working Christmas Day at his new job. Thank you for the reminder of my/our good fortune to still be on the journey. It reminded me of some lyrics from very old songs by two of my favorite song writers: Harry Chapin and Jessi Colter. Harry wrote (and sang):

      “ Stepping off this dirty bus first time I understood
      It’s got to be the going not the getting there that’s good
      That’s a thought for keeping if I could.
      It’s got to be the going not the getting there that’s good.”
      H. Chapin “Greyhound”

      Jessi wrote (and many have covered it):
      “Storms never last do they baby
      Bad times all pass with the wind
      Your hand in mine stills the thunder
      You make the sun want to shine”
      J. Colter, “Storms Never Last”

      Teri, keep making the sun want to shine – we all feel the warmth when you do!
      Merry Christmas to you Scott, Stephen and Ashley,
      Kathy and Ed


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: