Sideways Sally

2021 Refections and Thoughts

I was in a funk on New Year’s Eve.

I left work with sadness and sorrow for those who suffer, and it landed hard in my heart and mind. The last conversation I had was with a lovely lady who suffers from depression and anxiety. We have a team called “Hope Team” who go into people’s homes and help them sort their belongings. Sometimes people get hoarding for unknown reasons and lose the ability to sort or dispose of their things. This lady lives in a lovely condo but her environment has gotten to a point where she can no longer manage it. The project with the Hope Team had been going well until her brother died suddenly of a heart attack and the traumatic loss put her behind the “eight ball.”

I told her I didn’t feel right saying “Happy New Year” to her so I told her that I was thinking of her and planning to provide extra support in the new year. She appreciated that.

I went home with Hershey, and started debriefing as we often do. He’s such a good listener. He reminded me that the folks I look after have our amazing team to help them and that they may suffer even more without our support. He reminded me that I offer them a positive perspective when they may not be able to find one.

He reminded me of my awesome, cohesive team, that works and plays so well together.

We have been in each other’s bubble for the last two years, supporting each other, crying and laughing together. We are very lucky.

We have a special bond.

He reminded me of all the good things that have happened in this crazy time of the pandemic.

Hershey, the new you, for 2022, under a new hat.

He stayed out of the hospital all year. I got two surgeries while many elective surgeries were being cancelled due to the pandemic.

We didn’t get to sail much but he was able to repair a vital piece of equipment, the anchor winch. It broke down close to home, instead out in the middle of nowhere, where we usually are.

He reminded me that variety is the spice of life. He didn’t have to say anything to remind me about that, he is variety.

We were enjoying a “breakfast burrito bowl” provided by “Fresh Prep” and friends Suzanne and Oscar. We were enjoying their lovely condo over looking False Creek. We were enjoying the view of the city and the water where we have anchored many times.

We were enjoying the sweet dogs we were pet sitting, and having family for a day at Christmas.

In the middle of the breakfast bowl Hershey leans over and asks, “do you know…” haha, anyone who knows Hershey will be familiar with this opening phrase. “What the oldest English speaking university in Canada is?”

My question back was, “Is there other universities that are older that don’t speak English?” My inside thought is “Here’s another zig zag thought that comes from who knows where.” That’s how his brain works, it’s very entertaining, and educational!

The response was “good question.” Then he did more research. He found out the oldest university is French speaking and it began in 1663, The University of Laval. The oldest English speaking is University of New Brunswick, started in 1785.

There is no shortage of variety in my world. In my quest to wander further than the Canadian border on a sailboat so I can expand my stories, I have met a few characters. The sailing world is full of characters.

I met a merry, chubby, smart Santa Sailor, who keeps his boat in Lund, which is a favorite stop on our travels north. He talked non-stop on a one hour drive we took from Vancouver to Delta to pick up a compressor. When we returned I treated him to my new favorite cocktail, a Black Manhattan. This loosened his tongue even more.

He informed me he had Asperger’s Syndrome. That make perfect sense. He’s 75 and wants to take off sailing the south pacific. He’s also refitting his very old boat, and building a tiny home to live in while refitting his boat.

I asked him when he wanted to leave. He said, “In April.” Well, he was buying the compressor for his nail gun… I’m so curious. I will need to visit Lund to see his progress. He’s fixated on the steam ship routes that travelled up and down the coast, and he has been to many of them while commercial fishing. He’s extremely knowledgeable and well informed.

Unfortunately, due to Asperger’s he is socially awkward, and has trouble reading cues from other people. This has led to alot of rejection and he is desperate for company. It would take a special person to be on a sailboat with him for any length of time. But there is a lid for every pot, he just hasn’t found her yet.

I am also trying to find a boat to crew/journal/photograph in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. I met a man on the crew site who invited me to visit, but he only wanted to write back and forth about sex, and having sex in his cockpit (no pun intended), like I’m 21!!

At this age I can’t imagine starting that again. I’m so happy being comfortable with farting in bed. Along with the odd snort that startles us both awake…

The other skipper I met is a gentleman from Alberta. I admire him for starting life anew after his wife passed from cancer. He left his ranch to his daughter, bought a sailboat and will join a flotilla to Alaska this spring. His boat is at Shelter Island here on the mainland. I have told him all about Hershey and they will enjoy talking about so many things when they meet.

I plan to join him to crew, along with some of his family, in Prince Rupert and navigate the inside passage to Juneau. I’m so excited to document a “new to me” coast and tell his story.

Let me leave you now, with this beauty shared from a colleague and dear friend working in Iqaluit, along with music that enriches the soul.

Leave a light on in 2022…

4 replies on “2021 Refections and Thoughts”

I must say: a much more interesting New Year than the mistake I made trying to go out and having a steak, listen to the D.J. then go home. I was right: you don’t have a life – you have a ongoing continuous adventure…! The 75 year old is much more adventurous then I’ll get on my boat yet very motivating nonetheless. Makes me wonder if I have Asbergers? I’m not one for spirits much but a Black Manhattan is something to consider sometime.

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