Friday, March 14, 2014

Fundraising and Neighbors

A few weeks ago, friends of ours had their home disappear under water.  We all felt helpless, and wanted to do anything we could to get them back on their feet.  So we came up with the idea of an open fund where people could donate money to help replace their belongings.  Because I had some experience with this, and personally know someone who's used the site, I volunteered to manage the process.

 
Within a week we raised over $10K.  Money just poured in from friends, family and even strangers.  It was amazing and I have to say that it has resorted my faith in the kindness of others.  Of course, much of this support is a direct correlation to what wonderful people our friends are.  They're just great, and it shows in the support they've received.

I am so thrilled that I was able to help them raise so much money, to replace their belongings.  Through Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest and Linked In, we got the word out to thousands of people.  Even the local .com paper mentioned our fund on their site!  My friends asked me to stop promoting the fund because they've received outside help from others (a brunch where they received hundreds of dollars in gift cards and pools of money collected by office workers) so they've actually reached the $20K goal, unofficially.  Officially though, even without promotion, we reached $17K.

My heart is exploding with pride.  And gratitude.  And excitement...because our friends are 99% sure they will be buying a new floating home!  In fact, a little birdy told me that they'll in the process of narrowing down finalists.  And that means that by summer, we'll probably be sitting on their new boat with drinks in hand and happiness in our hearts.

Sometimes boat life is hard.  Things break, the small spaces seem too small, and we can't have "stuff" like we used to.  But all I have to do is remember our friends and I realize that we made the right decision.  And the spaces seem bigger, and the stuff isn't important.  (Stuff still breaks. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Got Lipstick Stamps On My Passport

When I met B1 4 years ago (3/26!) he had just celebrated a birthday so mine was the first that we celebrated together as a couple.  (Mine's in July.)  I was delighted to learn that he believes in celebrating a birthday for a whole week.  Every day I was given little presents like small bag of Doritos for a snack (which I love) or a tube of Chapstick (which I am addicted to).  And then on my actual birthday I was given my big birthday present (that year it was my Nook).  While I DO love (LOVE) presents, I love being thought of even more.  Getting the Doritos for a lunch snack showed me that he really knew me and having him think of me ahead of time really made me feel special.  So naturally when his birthday came around that next year, I had a blast.  It's become quite fun every year finding little gifts to give my B1 to show him that I love him, and to celebrate his birthday.

The year we were married I purchased a huge bagful of candy from around the world for his birthday week.  I put each candy bar in a small gift bag and let him choose one every day.  On the last day, his birthday, I gave him a card with a picture of the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben on it, and included a poem from Max Ehrmann which talked about traveling.  His big present was a passport-something he never had before, and something he'd need for our many adventures that were surly to come, including our honeymoon.

Where, it turned out, we didn't actually need our passports (because we weren't flying into the country, we were arriving by boat).  So no stamp.  Which isn't a big deal to most people, but to us, it was a little bit of a let down.

Enter this year's birthday week for B1.  I gave him this card on Thursday of last week:

 


Inside it said, "One year I gave you a passport for your birthday...this year I'm giving you a stamp."  He didn't know where we were going until we were on the T, on the way to the airport.  I have him a packing list, which included things like a bathing suit, sunglasses, raincoat, wool socks, sweaters and clothes for a night of dancing.  He knew that we weren't going somewhere warm, mainly because he joked about it the week before saying he didn't think I'd choose a cold destination, considering it's been the coldest winter we've had in years and, "why would you do that?".

Crickets.  And laughter.  And more laughter...

"Oh.  We're not going to Greenland, are we?"

Well, no...we weren't.  But it wasn't going to be warm.  I was taking him to Niagara Falls, in Ontario.  Mainly because the flight to Buffalo from Boston was only $150, and all other flights to anywhere international were well over $700 each.  And, well, B1 and I have fun no matter where we go, so I thought he'd be cool with it.  And he was.

While both of us would probably have been WAY more excited had we been going somewhere with deep blue water and white sand, I think I can speak for both of when I say we had a lovely time exploring the Niagara Falls area.  We played air hockey (I won) and arcade games, had delicious local food, explored their wine country and went on wine tours, ate an expensive dinner at the tower above the falls and just enjoyed being with each other.  It was a lovely weekend away, and actually, we accomplished what I set out to do:

 

We finally have stamps on our passports!!  (I had some on my old passport already, but they took them when I renewed.)  We had to specifically ASK for stamps, and we had to pull over and go inside to get them...but it's done!  We are officially stamped. :)

Here are some photos of our lovely international trip:

 

















 










Monday, March 10, 2014

Home Is Where Our Boat Is

We've been busy...I've been slacking...therefore, no posts. Coming soon though! In the meantime, I'll show you a picture of my 'hood. Our boat looks tiny from this angle (We're 36'!!), but we're there. This was from a recent article a local newspaper did on our marina/home.




Home sweet home...and soon, we'll be farther out on the very last dock when the weather gets warmer.  Dreaming of those days...