Yesterday was his 44th birthday. Since he’s devoured every other sailing book he owns, I decided to buy Alex a few more good books… specifically on the subject of cruising. After pouring through reviews I chose these two books:
- How to Inexpensively and Safely Buy, Outfit & Sail a Small Vessel Around the World, by Cap’n Fatty Goodlander
- The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing, by Scott & Wendy Bannerot
The first one is very appropriate because we are in the initial stages of looking at boats and trying to decide what we need, what we like and, most importantly, what we can afford. After all, the less we spend on our sailboat, the more we will have for the sailing kitty and the sooner we can live our dream.
Speaking of living dreams, the other birthday gift arrived from Alex’s Mom, Mary, who lives in West Virginia. As soon as Alex opened the package I spotted a familiar print on the neatly folded but well-worn Hawaiian shirt. Tears began to fall before he could finish reading the card. Our friend, Gene, who passed away last year, had left his collection of Hawaiian shirts to be auctioned at “Augusta” , a folk music festival in Elkins, West Virginia (where Alex and I met). Seeing Gene’s trademark Hawaiian shirt, I could suddenly see his sparkling eyes and recall how he lived his life – he lived his dream, playing folk music in the mountains. He wasn’t rich. In fact, he was a teacher but he lived in the mountains every summer (and later full time) doing what he loved most. As poetic and moving as it was, it also made me shiver at the cold reality that Gene left us before his time, and that there are no guarantees in life, EVER!
So, a few sailing books, a dear friend’s Hawaiian shirt and another birthday. Its time to go sailing sooner rather than later! I’m sure Gene would agree!