Saturday, March 30, 2013

Back In The Harbor Again

I took my bike to run some errands today.  Riding south on the Lake Front Trail the warmer spring air, mooring balls in the harbor, and nice breeze brought my thoughts to boating season.
It doesn't feel like boats will start appearing on the harbors in 2 weeks--the unofficial opening is April 15.  It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas, but here it is the day before Easter and the boats to support Chicago Yacht Club's spring frostbite sailing are in the water.  They've been sailing frostbite races several weeks already.

I'm sitting at my empty slip thinking about what a comfortable and happy space it really is.  I can't think of any bad times here.  Sure, there have been a aggravations and things that have upset me at the time (mostly boat related), but nothing specific that I can remember now.  All of my memories are of happy times with good friends and family.

Conor and Emmet will be 8 and 6 this summer.  They're reaching the age where they'll be able to really appreciate how special this place and owning a boat like Donnybrook really are.  They'll develop closer friendships with the other kids on the dock, I'm sure.

For Karen and me, some of our dock mates are earning the status of old friends as we've known some of them for as long as we've been boating, almost 15 years!  We have enough experience where our time on the water is less about the act of sailing and more about the pure enjoyment of it. What required thought or was a challenge is for the most part routine.  The enjoyment now stems from being with family and friends and doing something that strengthens a common bond.

I'm starting to lose the warmth from my bike ride so reality is returning.  It's only March.  I'm not sitting on Donnybrook, but am on the dock.  The location is the same.  The buildings I'm looking at are the same.  The sounds are the same (gulls, wind, flags snapping, traffic on Lake Shore Drive, halyards slapping).  The warm air and company of friends and family are missing for the immediate moment. 
Immediate family I'll see in less than an hour after I ride home.  Extended family I'll see tomorrow at Easter dinner. The rest of my family I'll see in a few days when we visit my parents and brother during spring break.  Friends I'll see as I'm able to see them.  I'll see Donnybrook in a couple of weekend when I start spring work.

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