It seems the passed five years living on a sailboat have left some deep markings in my subconscious. Obviously I am no longer the person I used to be, but I never thought that just by living in a smaller home (a sailboat), a green home, for so many years would have me acting all strange. We are only off of our boat temporarily. Taking a breather, visiting a new country, and will return home shortly, but it seems that even on vacation I have brought the “boat mentality” with me.
I don’t stray far from the kids. Here we are in this massive-to-us 3 bedroom house with more space than we could possibly need and we seem to gravitate between only two of the rooms. The kitchen and the living room, and the backyard. Remember that beautiful shot of the rooftop sunset, yeah I haven’t been up there in 10 days! It’s up there, in all its glorious beauty, but for some reason I can’t stand the thought of being up there and having the girls running around in the back yard (where they are safe) but I can’t see them. Since their infancy we have lived in 40ft of space, where no matter where they went in our boat I could always see or hear them. I thought with this huge backyard full of kid-entertainment (pool, trampoline, sandbox, and big grassy spaces) that I would just kick the girls out and say “GO PLAY”, while I went to the roof and enjoyed a drink. But I can’t bring myself to do it, even if I want to deep down, I feel like it would be totally irresponsible of me. If I can’t see them or hear them they could be in danger!!!! Where has my carefree-ness gone?
|Our main living area on the boat.|
|Mama is always nearby, or within earshot, to “TRY” and prevent injuries. Especially on this bouncy contraption of hurt!|
|The rooftop oasis I barely use. So sad.|
I can’t stand using more power than we need to. When the housekeeper is around (she works here full time, but only comes once a week while we are house sitting) she giggles at me (she is too polite, she is actually thinking that I am bat-shit crazy) as I walk around shutting light switches off, turning fans off in rooms we aren’t in, and only turning the AC on at night when we need it to fall asleep. On the boat we are always conscious of how much power we are consuming, not that we are paying for it, the sun is providing it (yay for awesome solar panels!!), but the consumption level is always floating around in our brains. So even though we ARE paying for the power here, and I could be using as much as I want because I don’t have to worry that if I use too much our batteries might die, I still don’t feel the need for it. With this humid and hot Zanzibari weather I could have every A/C in the house working, leaving us feeling like you all are back in Canada, but its much more fun to walk around in my undies, sweating like a wildebeest, and running for cover whenever one of the house staff show up!
|Eben finding shade under our 3 solar power. That is all we need for our living needs.|
One of the things that I sometimes miss on the boat are long hot showers. Ones where you don’t have to worry about how much water you are wasting, where you can just stand and stare into nothing while letting the hot water run down your body. So I thought, “I’m in a house, this is my chance.” But thanks to the girls only allowing me 5 minute showers, and thanks to my boat training in “Navy showers“, instead of long, luxurious, wasteful showers, I find myself doing the: wet, shut off shower, soap up, rinse off, done. There is nothing relaxing about this. Actually just writing those words made me feel stressed for time. My brain won’t allow me to turn the water on and just leave it running. The girls get about 4 inches of water in the bathtubs (but they are still happy as heck because that is 4 inches more than what they get on the boat!), and dishes are still done as though we only have 80 gallons of water in this house.
|I let the girls “consume” enough water for a bath tub, because it gives me some quiet time too.|
But at least I am not the only one that has lost their footing and is acting like a fish out of water. Our family is ridiculous together. (Great! We have turned in to those weird boat people. Wait till you meet them, they are out there!, they look like us!) Arias is the only one who seems to be coming out of the boat life unscathed.
Eben cannot be still. With the blog I got us a one week all-inclusive stay on the east coast of Zanzibar. He COULD NOT sit still and enjoy the calm. He was craving a project, something to do to keep him busy. The word RELAX was not resting nicely with him. The years of boat projects have him in the Go-Mode, and even on a “holiday” that most people pay to enjoy, he told me “I hate it here”. Not because of the hotel, or the free food, the beautiful beach, or the swimming pool; no it was because he didn’t have anything to tinker with.
|Sudoku was his only sitting time at the resort.|
Ellia, well she does not seem to come with a pair of landlegs. This drunken sailor has been hurting herself 80% more since we have been on land. It seems to be one bloody injury after the next with her. (See why I can’t enjoy a rooftop drink!) She has always been accident prone, bumps and bruises, but land seems to have brought out a whole new level of “ouch” for her. The falls are no longer cushioned by sand. It seems that solid ground sneaks up on her and causes her to trip, whereas a rolling boat she knew how to handle.
|Head wounds look so awful, but the cut was just tiny.|
The space is also an issue for Ellia. She is not dealing well with this big house. Every time I am out of sight she fears that I have abandoned her for good. I spend an insane amount of time daily listening to her yell from different parts of the house, “Mama where are you?” I think she asks me that at least 20 times a day. Often back to back, with only a two minute break between questions, where I have not move positions in the slightest, I will hear those words again. They are driving me slightly crazy. I feel I need to be wearing a GPS tracker and she can be watching me from some device at all times. That would be the only way I could get peace and quiet from that question! I do feel for her, because this place is pretty big, and to her tiny three year old self it must be palatial, but common, if I was on the toilet a minute ago, bets are I am still there.
So it seems that if we are ever going to move to land it is going to take us more than a few months to be “normal” again. Or we can stick with our “boat quirks” and continue being an eco-friendly, consumption-conscious, busy, tight knit family. But if we do ever make the move to solid ground I have to make sure to buy shares in princess bandaids beforehand, thanks Ellia!