Every pastime seems to have it’s own lingo and slang and certainly we have discovered cruising is no exception. We “drop the hook” when we anchor, “dink around” when we explore in the dingy, “cross our wake” when we complete the loop. One of my favorites is the way live-aboards and cruisers refer to real estate on dry land: “dirt”.
Most of the folks we have met out there have none of it. We have too much! Many have sold everything and chosen life on the water with all of its challenges and adventures over life on land with its taxes and yard work! Not us. We just locked the door and left. Several times people have said to us in surprise, “You still have dirt?!” Well Yea! We weren’t sure we would make it as far as Appalachicola so we surely weren’t going to let go of our terra firma. Turns out, we could have. And maybe, we should have.
Two weeks ago Mac dropped me off at the very land-locked Atlanta Apparel Mart where I connected with Katie and Dana for a couple of days at market. He headed south to Gautier to check on things at the house. Our oldest piece of dirt where we raised our kids and still cherish our land based friendships. Two full days of weeding and trimming bushes and he had things looking presentable again on Bayou Castelle.
I arrived home just about the time the yard work was completed! We stayed the weekend, connecting with friends at a pool party, throwing an impromptu dinner party around the big table on our deck, visiting our store and a sick friend, enjoying a meal and some hugs with Mississippi family (on their beautiful dirt), touching base with our CPA, and then heading east. Our Florida world awaits.
Destin and Pensacola hold plenty of our dirt. The store in Pensacola looks great and we had a delightful afternoon catching up with customers and the family at Lee Tracy and Intracoastal. Dinner at the Dannreuther house on the Bay (some of our favorite Panhandle dirt) gave us a chance to catch some more hugs, hear the school news and pull some boys toes!
A ride down Via DeLuna on Pensacola Beach past Portofino reminded us that we made the right decision when we sold that piece of dirt! Our Pelican adventure would never have been possible if I were still running the rentals at that condo. Still it feels odd to drive by. It represents a major part of our lives and we enjoyed many fun times within its gates.
Our Destin dirt is undergoing a big renovation project, the main reason we wanted to return this month. The common areas on the first floor and outer deck are being converted from old restaurant space to owners amenity space. Spending a few nights enabled us to catch up with the neighbors, get a tour of the progress, relax on the pool deck, and sip on the balcony. It’s always tough to leave 704!
It’s interesting to note that all of our dirt touches the water. Maybe that’s why we can’t decide when or if we will part with any of it. The bayou in Mississippi skirts the Sandhill Crane refuge where wildlife and birds are our constant companions. Our Mamma Gator has been in her digs as long as we have been in that house, probably much longer to be honest. Her croak is always a welcome sound on a summer night. Watch a storm from our back porch and relax to the sound of the thunder and rain and you will know the hold that bayou has on our souls.
If you have ever watched a sunset over Destin Harbor ( particularly our dirt at 704) you will concur that few places can boast that view. It is magical. The panorama includes the beach, jetty, pass, fishing fleet, boardwalk, Destin bridge, and crab island. Some days the water is so clear and turquoise it takes your breath away.
So while other cruisers shake the dirt from their deck shoes in search of all things water we still have our feet on solid ground part of the time. Nothing like long hot showers, space and storage, the smell of the bayou and fresh cut grass to keep us coming back home. That’s why we feel so amazingly blessed to be enjoying this year on Pelican. Being in Hilton Head enjoying all it has to offer and still being able to hop on I 95 to go home when the bug bites is such a gift from God…And from Mom! Her dirt is also a joy to behold and both places she owns are touching water. It must run in the family genes. At HarborTown and on her Fairfax lagoon we can get off the boat and enjoy time with her.
That’s pretty much what this journey is all about. “The year of no decisions” we call it. What to do about our holdings on land and where to plant our feet for the long haul remains a decision for another time. Until then, we pour ourselves a drink, gaze out onto the water from either dirt or dock and embrace the here and now.