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Wednesday, April 7, 2010


One of our daughter's patients is apparently reading our blog. Their request was to hear something about Lulu. So here's a little something about my sweet wife. And to whoever asked Cody to request this, keep doing whatever exercises Cody's assigned to you. I know they're a pain but you won't get better unless you do them.

Lulu is 5 years younger than me and so, not exactly eligible for retirement. However, she told me that if I got to retire, she got to quit working, too. And, since I couldn't really see spending the first 5 years of my retirement all by myself on some sun-washed atoll, this seemed like a good idea to me as well.
So, after nearly 2 decades providing the kids at Silver Crest school with superb breakfasts and lunches, now she has only me and herself to feed. She's adapted to cooking on board quite well. In the picture above she is cutting butter to put into a batch of croissants she's making. The little oven on the boat hasn't slowed her down a bit, nor has the loss of 2 burners. The hardest part of cooking on the boat is the lack of counter space but she's adapted to that uncomplainingly as well. Probably the hardest adjustment has been her outlook on bargain shopping. She has always tried to stretch our food budget as far as possible by buying stuff on sale, buying larger size boxes/jars/bottles, buying in bulk, etc. Well, on the boat there is precious little room to store mass quantities of stuff. Also, two small bottles of spices, for example, keep better than one large on since one of the bottles remains sealed until you need it. Besides that, every item we consume on the boat is carried on our backs so buying a case of canned green beans would make for a rather tough trip back to the boat. She is slowly becoming accustomed to having to buy in smaller units and getting screwed on the price because of it. But she doesn't like it!
In this picture Lulu is stepping aboard with her half of today's beer run. Her pack contains a 30-pack of 12 oz. cans of fine American lager. Including the pack, that's about a 25 lb. load. I also carried one. Then we went back again in the afternoon for another load. Now, we took the bus to the store and back so we only actually had to schlepp the beer 3 or 4 hundred yards at each end of the bus ride but believe me, that was plenty.

All in all, I feel pretty darn lucky to have gotten the wife that I did. Not many would be willing to toss off 32 years of accumulations to join their hubby on a tiny little boat to sail off to faraway places with no particular return strategy in mind.
Right now, as I sit at the Newport library writing this, she's back home on the boat with her sewing machine a-whirring, making canvas covers for our propane bottles to protect them from the sun. She recently re-covered a whole boat's worth of cushions on a friend's boat earning enough in the process to buy us 200' of new anchor chain.

So there you have it: she cooks, she sews, she carries a load, she's adventurous, she's willing to put up with me and even thinks I'm funny from time to time and to top it all off, she's cute as a bug's ear. No wonder that when we leave in July we will have been married for 33 years. So far.


Shelly and Randy said...

Great to hear about your 1st Mate. We think she is pretty spectacular too. She's a good sport and full of adventure. If it doesn't work out with the two of you on the open sea, she is welcome back in Id-e-ho with the two of us any ol' time!

Bethany said...

Aw, I love my Aunt Lulu! And my Uncle Stephen, of course. You're both pretty amazing.

Mark said...

Steve and Lulu,
Congratulations on 33 years of marriage! You only have us beat by a few years (we'll celebrate 29 in October). You seem like a very compatible couple and I know you will do fine as cruisers. One thing I have found curious is that there are not that many long-term married couples out here.
You guys must be getting excited to leave! July will be here pretty soon! Yahoo!

LittleCunningPlan.com said...

Oh shucks! I thought it was you who unburdened yourself of 30 years of possessions and joined Lulu on the boat, not the other way around! I hear a pedestal cracking somewhere in the distance...
Know what you mean about buying in quantity vs having to buy small. Irritating it is. But think of all the money you both saved by using Lulu's skills at the sewing machine. It's mighty expensive to have cushions recovered.