Soon after the turn of the millennium, we took a sailing vacation on the boat my wife’s friends had built. I once lived on a 25 foot boat for a couple of years, but this one was over 50 feet long, with several rooms, electricity and an array of instruments and computer-assisted navigation aids. It was built to sail anywhere. I had not expected we would sail into a time portal.
After two days sail, we docked in Port Townsend on the morning of July 4th. My wife had been recovering from flu and wanted to sleep. I was full of energy and curiosity, so I got up with the sun and began walking into town. I went with an open heart and no particular expectations, to see what there was to see. As I strolled along the main street I saw a great number of buildings with dates from the 1880s and 90s. No one was up yet. I was a lone seaman, adrift on dry land, gazing at a ghost town from a viewpoint 120 years in the future. Or was I the ghost?
Spirit animals acted as guides to beckon me through the streets. I followed a group of ducks who knew better than I where to go. After a couple of blocks, they turned in an alley. A bakery was there, and the early loaves were being loaded onto a delivery truck. As the town awoke, I walked up a long street inclined along the coast. I saw homes from another era. I walked into the neighborhoods and saw deer grazing near the yards. They looked at me casually, and returned to their breakfast.
I felt that I recognized where I was going. The sun came out and embraced me as I followed my instinct into a park. I entered a fortified area with long, white barracks. People were gathered. Fiddle tunes were playing, reels and jigs from long before my birth. The Celtic side of me sang along inside. I decided I wanted this place to be my home one day. I dared to hope for it.
The experience of that unplanned adventure has sustained me in the years since. I changed professions and endured separation from those I hold dear. When I moved to this region in February, I did not know where I would be able to obtain work. I applied all over, in more than 20 different towns. Two of the three jobs I was offered were in the very town I had sailed into years ago. They were ten minutes apart from each other. The icing on the cake was that Mrs. Invisible found us the perfect house ten minutes from the jobs. People use the word “coincidence” because the trip is just too heavy.
There have been some delays. The house purchase paperwork struggle isn’t over. They are still paving the road outside the urgent care. Business is down there because it’s hard for patients to get in. However, tourists are beginning to pour into town for the summer festivals. The road will be open soon. We will be getting our house soon. We won’t have to live at Motel 2 ½ for much longer. Our belongings from California will be coming soon. We will soon be living in the town I first entered by boat, and walked about in as if I were a character in a dream.
I was disconnected. I’ve been re-connecting. I’m getting a new phone number for home and wireless. We bought new phones. We’ll have satellite TV, and DSL for internet. I need to change email addresses and reconfigure this blog for it. We’ve selected new beds. The church and senior center are having big sales in a few weeks. We’ll be giving away lots of clothes, appliances and furniture we won’t have room for at Casa DeLuxe.
I thought about all these things today while watching my wife sleep. She likes to sleep late. Perhaps I’ll be more like that when I retire. The cats have taken it all in stride. It’s only miraculous to me.
18 responses to “Turn of the Wheel”
It seems as though, given all the hardships, you’ve never lost sight of how things have come full circle in your favor. I only hope to be as blessed as you someday.
I hope you will be too, Tim. I do think you have done your part. You’ve moved out of your former comfort zone in order to make more of your own dreams real. I believe the more you put your energy “out there”, the easier it becomes for it to come back and sustain you. It’s my wheel metaphor, and the symbolism of circuitry – input/output closes the circle and makes it hum.
This is a lovely piece of writing, Mikey. I read it through twice.
Hope everything is sorted soon for you and Mrs I.x
Thank you, Deborah. I’ve learned great tips from you about writing in a more essential style. Less can be more.
Despite all your setbacks you always have such a strong and positive spirit and I can relate to that side of you.
Your wife looks so peaceful and so does the cat.
I wish you much love, joy, peace and happiness.
Thank you, mariposa. Like you and others who are friends and readers, it comes from getting a track record of overcoming those setbacks. Everyone gets them. The choice is in how to deal with them.
(The summer flowers are in bloom and Tracy’s fallen in love! If you like inspiring love stories, go read hers.
I agree with Deborah. This is a lovely piece or writing and like her I read it twice. I trust the paper work for your new home will be sorted out for you two in the very near future. All my best to Mikey,
I’m gratified to have your approval, TT. I know you read a gazillion (bazillion) blogs & articles. More will be coming soon, but it’s difficult to upload here in the “NoNetveld”. Plus we MIGHT actually get keys and be moving in within a few days.
What a lovely story and tour of your new hometown. I feel a sense of excitement as the possibility of actually getting the keys draws close. You deserve such wonder.
Thank you, Sandra. I know you’ll agree with me in saying that everyone deserves wonder.
Beautiful post, but I really want the pink house. That is like a girl’s ultimate dream.
It apparently was just that. It’s called the Ann Starrett Mansion.
Wow, what an encouragement this is to me Mikey. I have dreams I have lately dared not hope for, despite the fact that a major one just came true for my wife and me. But this post of yours wakes me up. Thanks for helping me reframe and continue my daring. I’m sitting here daring to hope right now. Hope hope hope.
The truth of the story’s conclusion encourages me as well. I’m glad it affected you that way.
Great post! Very well-written! I especially loved this part: “I was a lone seaman, adrift on dry land, gazing at a ghost town from a viewpoint 120 years in the future. Or was I the ghost?”
I’m always gratified when someone enjoys my old articles, so thanks for your response. I wrote this one 2 1/2 years ago! It is a cool experience whenever you come to a place and get the feeling that you already belong there, or perhaps WERE there before. With the sentence you noted, I was trying to think of a different way to say “deja vu”.
I have a story very much like yours about Port Townsend….I was up there quite by chance in October…and it hit me while I was there, “I am going to move here.” Now we are doing everything we can to make that happen. And we are trying to buy the Ann Starrett Mansion!
Well, that’s certainly a gutsy move. The hospitality trade here is quite competitive. However, the Starrett manse is a lovely place, and if you are good marketers and managers I expect you could make a go of it.
I’m constantly impressed that people in PT are able to make a living at all, since nearly every business here has fewer than 10 employees. There must be a kind of magic at work.