It has been incredibly restorative to be here, on the water, away from all the self-imposed expectations, endless chores, and goals I set for myself. It has been nice to have space to try new things, see new sights and get to know Willi’s folks. Who are fantastic. Truly fun people to be around, enthusiastically welcoming and hospitable. We have had crab pots down 24/7 and I have gotten to eat more Dungeness crab this week than I have in an entire lifetime. The towels were set out with little clothes pins labeled with our names. I’ve been included in discussions, teasing, games, family stories, encouraged to rest and encouraged to jump in and play.
Last nights dinner consisted of Ginger-Garlic steamed clams, fried Oysters and fresh crab on a huge salad. We had a small container of already picked crab leftover from breakfast (Smoked Salmon-Crab Benedicts. I mean…RIGHT?!?) and Willi’s mom, Patti, said that I should take it for my portion, thinking to spare me the cracking and picking because the shells make me itch a little bit. Rick, Willi’s dad, gave me all sorts of crap about the special treatment… made me feel like part of the family and not someone that they needed to treat differently or carefully. The teasing blossomed into calling my crab “Princess Crab”. It was pretty funny. After 4 or 5 days (I’ve lost count) of the four of us living in VERY close quarters, it feels good to just part of the gang, not someone to be “polite” to.
There is a particular set of fears that come up for me because of our age differences. Things that are all about my worries about external judgement and NOTHING to do with how we are together. It’s about worrying that his folks might think that he should want (or someday may want) kids, or about the potential awkwardness of having more in common with his parents’ life experiences than with his. The fear that I am too old and too set in my patterns and habitual responses that I won’t be able to work with him to find ways to compromise and figure out how to help each other through the rough patches. I carry all the normal society bullshit about physical appearances linked to human value, especially when I am feeling low because of some altercation between us. When I feel despair and frustration and all-around grumpy and then pile on the “I-am-too-fat-and-I-look-like-shit-when-I-am-crying-and-I-seem-to-do-nothing-but-cry-right-now-and-if-I-am-old-and-fat-and-crying-why-would-he-even-want-to-try-to-keep-working-on-this”. When an altercation between us takes the wind so thoroughly out of my sails that I feel like I have no energy to even try to figure it out. When he dreams out loud about switching up our life and becoming sailing nomads that cook pizza and sell it off our sailboat, and I love the idea but am also super aware of the things in my life that hold me down to earth, and things that I love with all my soul but are not now available to be a part of my life because of this new world, and the people I would miss and the lovely little home I have built. These are some of the ways that the worries about our age pop up for me.
In reality, the potential awkwardness with his folks has been mostly bonding instead. Explaining to Willi what a mimeograph machine was and reminiscing about the smell of the fresh copies. Talking about food and about the state of the inequity in the world. Getting to learn a bit more about Willi and his relationships with his family members. Feeling the compassion and kindness towards me as I feel my way through this time… fires and evacuations, the loss of good friends and the worries about other friends, my kids and my parents.
So my job, I think, is to try my best to ignore all those fears. Which some days is way easier said than done. Yesterday we had a couple hours of hard stuff… which makes me exhausted… but he is steadfast in working to bring us back into alignment, and today is much lighter. We started the day by taking the dingy and the dog to shore. To let the dog, Flash, get his morning constitutional and to dig clams for bait in the crab pots. Found a bunch of little flat clams and a huge horse clam that took literal wrangling to get it out of the sand before it dug its way deeper. Good laughter at the sight of Willi elbow deep in the mucky sand wrestling with the huge thing. A little moment of play playing tag with the silly little dog. Motoring back to the boat to exchange dog for crab bucket and heading out to pull the crab pots. I got to drive the little outboard engine, which I hadn’t done since I was a kid. Lots of sun and wind and water. Just the prescription for a weary heart.
We decided to stay one extra day and make our trip home more direct. We will be back in time to do our regular Wednesday orders and prep for this week’s Meals on Heels, (now available both Thursday September 3rd and Friday September 4th) which will be our Caribbean menu…. Jerk Chicken with Black Beans, Coconut Rice and Caramelized Plantains, Grilled Shrimp with Black Beans, Coconut Rice, Caramelized Plantains and Mango Salsa, Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad, Coconut Trés Leche Cake and Dark Rich Chocolate Cake with Espresso-Mocha Icing. You can order directly from the Oasis Meals on Heels site: www.toasttab.com/oasis/v3 for either Thursday or Friday night.
Our regular menu is available for delivery again starting Wednesday September 2nd. Orders for that Wednesday should be placed by Monday night/Tuesday morning, for SF and East Bay Delivery.
I am reveling in this last day on the water. And I will be glad to see you when I return. Grateful for a comfy bed and the cats and getting to see my kids. Grateful for our customers who were willing to stock up or wait a week so that we could have this getaway. Grateful that the fire has spared my mom’s house so far. Grateful to have had a chance to rest my system. I hope that all of you have had a moment or two to take care of yourself, to contemplate where your patterns no longer serve you, and appreciate all the good things in your life. No matter what, we all have moments of joy available… we just have to allow them in.
Hug yourself for me xoxox