by BD, Forum/Chat Participant
For a long time I have wanted to share more of my world. I have also been encouraged by others at The Pain Community (TPC) to do so. One of the hurdles is the way I view myself. I’m just a Painiac (the name we former American Pain Foundation PainAid members have coined for each other and wear with pride) who is trying to get through the day like everybody else. I even feel that the title to this blog and its corresponding discussion forum is misleading. Sure living on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico sounds great. Admittedly, I’m glad to have made it this far. You see, I no longer have to cut wood to keep warm in the winter; I don’t have to work in the garden to stock up on food to feed myself when the growing season has ended AND I never have to mow the lawn again. I do miss those things, it’s the “not having to” that’s important. When I think back on the things I had to do to make it day to day when I lived in my house in North Carolina, I’m glad I’m here. I feel that I got “lucky” with the boat, the place, and the people here in Florida as well as in Alabama. And I’m thankful every day especially when I think back just a few months ago:
March 6, 2015: It’s Friday morning and Ms. Kitty and I have settled in at the motel in Panama City Florida. It’s been a crazy week but things are progressing. The number of things to keep track of is daunting. Thank god for lists!
I’ve found a boat that I shall call Lonoh and set the survey (similar to a home inspection) and sea trials for tomorrow. If all goes well she’ll be mine by the end of the day. Then while she’s out of the water the yard will clean and paint the bottom. While they’re doing that I’ll take a few days to drive to Alabama and register her there. With luck Ms. Kitty and I will be living aboard by Wednesday.
Today I’ll spend time finding my way around town. I’ve found the post office and arranged to have my mail forwarded. Next I’ll find the yard that will do the hauling and painting, then the marina I hope to use while I’m in Florida. In my “spare” time I need to research and find insurance. Did I mention that it was a long list? Good thing Ms. Kitty is in charge of the list!
Thanks for all the support from my pain community family.
March 10: The Lonoh is mine. She has been hauled and is awaiting bottom paint and a few repairs but should be back in the water next week. In the meantime, there is a lot to do. Hope all is well with my TPC family.
March 17: Ms. Kitty and I have settled aboard the Lonoh. Ms. Kitty’s list is as long as ever. I am very happy with the boat I found and the community has been very supportive. Through mutual agreement, the boat yard is taking their time. We will probably be on stands for a few weeks but that time lets me settle aboard. I have been busy emptying the boat of everything movable to clean and learn how she is put together. I miss the TPC chat and will return as soon as I can. In the meantime, I have found this hot spot so I can keep in touch but it’s a 5-mile drive from the boat.
April 9: Lonoh is in the water and we’re at our new home temporary though it may be. After a minor adjustment the water stays on its own side of the hull. Ms. Kitty was not impressed with water over her floorboards. It was a true adventure as in “captain your boat is filling with water” moment. All is well and dry and the folks at the marina are friendly and few. I now have internet access.
The misleading part of the title is that it’s a dream come true. The reality is that I’m trying to make the best of a nightmare. If my dream was to REALLY come true—POOF: I’d be healthy, pain-free and working again! Lonoh is just the next step in my pain journey just as the house in North Carolina was a different step. My North Carolina home was a magical place that taught me a lot. I had time to stop and really look at the changes that were happening to me. It would have been nice to be able to stay there yet the work keeping the house up was becoming too much for one person who lives with pain. This time last year, I was busy renovating for sale and planning the move.
I have been a Painiac for over thirty years. There is a laundry list of issues many of which contribute to a slow degeneration. I know that as time goes on I will be able to do less and less. There’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t have energy to waste being mad or depressed about it. The only way, for me, is to move forward. It’s been an incredible journey; one that I’m not through with yet. I’ve got a morbid curiosity. What could possibly go wrong next? Seriously though, it’s by accepting the course of things and trying to find a path that keeps the magic of my personal journey alive.
When I told my son that I wanted to move aboard a boat two years ago, he asked, “What if it doesn’t work?” To me, the real question is, what happens when it no longer works?” I have no illusions; I’m only here for a while with no idea of the timeframe. You see, I had no idea that I’d only live in North Carolina for six years. So, if I manage to stay aboard for six years that would be great. I intend to enjoy myself as much as I can. I also hope that when living on Lonoh no longer works, I’ll be able to plan the next step down and have it be just as or even more magical.
I wrote this blog and keep posting on the discussion forum for one simple reason. I want to find a way to share more of my world, my thoughts, and my pain journey. I need input from you and want to hear about your world, your thoughts and your pain journey. What do you want to know or see? More pictures of Ms. Kitty? More adventures? Less thoughts? Comment back to me on this blog and join the discussion forum: General Discussions on Pain > The Log Book of Lonoh—A Dream Come True.
I would like to thank my sister, Noki, for helping me get this conversation started, for her ongoing encouragement and for taking the time to post the pictures in the forum on my behalf. Have a gentle day and take care of each other; “Quack, Quack”.
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