The biggest event of 2013 for us is that Coquette, Jeffrey’s 32′ wooden sloop, is ready for relaunching after a lengthy and extensive rennovation. We celebrate that Jeffrey has obtained this long-awaited goal. Reaching it is giving him great pleasure. Coquette was designed (by John Alden) and built in the early 50’s. She was owned by Jeffrey’s brother’s family since the 70’s and owned by Jeffrey since the late 80’s.
There were times when Jeff thought perhaps he should chop her up for firewood. After his shop burned (see Our Fire, December 18, 2009, posted below) not only did he have no place to work nor any tools. He lost Coquette‘s patterns and forms, all of her (new) sails, her spinnaker pole, bronze hardware, and many many small but difficult-to-replace parts Her rennovation was already under way and these had been stored for safely in his office.
At that time Jeffrey was building a guest cottage on the island. He needed to complete the cottage before he could work on either the shop or the boat.
After getting the cottage to the point it could receive summer guests, he took a long — and wonderful — break helping his brother’s family sail a boat to Norway. He was also part of the group sailing back across the Atlantic and Carribean a year later (see numerous posts below).
In the year between the sailing trips he was able to get the new shop well underway– milling every board for the building himself with fir and maple from the island. By this past spring the shop was far enough along that he was able to work there building new hatch covers and other labor-intensive parts for the boat.
Most of the summer he took the hour long trip to Deer Harbor Boatworks to work onCoquette with Michael Durland whose help and expertise were invaluable. In the fall our grandson Parker helped him for two different 3-week session – at the end of whichCoquette emerged from her tent-cocoon. Her mast was stepped and Carol Hasse of Port Townsend measured her for sails – December 7.
Coming out of the tent
Measuring for sails, mast up
Today (Dec. 31) a new buoy was installed in front of our place. Shortly Coquette will be bobbing down below.
People ask if we are going cruising. We answer that we live in some of the best sailing waters of the globe. We are hoping that what we do is say, “Hey, honey, the wind is up. Let’s go sailing!” Put some sandwiches together, a thermos of coffee and head out. Why not?! Sleep in our own bed; cook in the kitchen.
Other posts this year have told of the fire at the Artworks and my son’s James’ broken hip. We continue to slowly recover from both. The Artworks, my main gallery, is operating in Eastsound and is struggling to create a space and a following while plans for rebuilding the Olga facility drag through permits and other red tape.
James is doing extremely well and yet I worry. The break was more severe that I realized at the time and although he is soldiering on, I worry about the long-term effects of so serious an injury. In the meantime his family flourishes. I can’t begin to list the many ways these granddaughters 12 & 14 delight, impress, succeed. Superlatives were made for such young ladies!!
On the right is James listening as his daughter, Pali, plays a composition on the piano that she wrote. The next day they hosted a Thanksgiving for 15.
Kathleen, James’ wife, has started Be Well.comShe is teaching yoga and coaching in health and nutrition using her extensive knowledge and skills in these areas.
Catherine, my daughter and middle child, is enjoying the library, the school and exploring Korea in her adventure there with her youngest, Cole (see earlier posts below). Her oldest daughter Meli, now a sophmore at U. of Washington, spent the summer in Korea studying and traveling with her Mom while Cole was playing basketball with his buddies in Friday Harbor. He is now playing at Chadwick International, exhibiting excellent form.
My oldest son, Bill, has been keeping his extensive project on the South Oregon Coast alive during the recession. As financing opportunities improve, he is looking forward to finally moving ahead with the development. Anyone interested in knowing more can contact me for a PDF description. Pretty exciting prospect!!
My children asked me for some childhood pictures which resulted in uploading to Shutterfly almost 1000 photographs. It has been a pleasure to remember those years as I sorted and labeled. Time consuming but well worth it. What fun we had as they were growning up!
I mentioned that our grandsonParker had been with us for two different 3-week sessions this fall. I don’t have a photo that shows how tall he is. You might get an idea in the photo where they are measuring for sails – he is on the ladder.
Jae Parker is turning into a fine young man. We were happy to have the time to spend with him and see how well he is doing. Here, below, he is with a 2nd cousin in Portland: He is still unsure of his future but there has been an amazing amount of growth. We are pleased to see the thoughtful young man he has become at eighteen.
Update: March 2014 — When Jae Parker returned to Portland about the time I posted the year-end message — he enrolled himself in a community college, is taking a full load. In addition he has found a part-time job that is paying expenses.
His passion is writing lyrics, making music. He and a friend have started a a recording studio which is also getting off the ground. After three months, he is doing well at all of them – a very busy young man.
Jeffrey and I are still content to call this island our home. We love the pace of a life where decisions are dictated by the speed and direction of the wind, the rising and setting of the sun, a pace set by universal rhythms.
We are truly spoiled. Not only do we have the far-flung views of islands in the sunset, or wrapped in a cocoon of mist in the morning, of the light on the water, of air fresh with a hint of cedar and fir, we have the crossings on the water enjoying the sun, the clouds, the moon. We have our birds including a raven pair, and an owl that as hooting as I write, flowers on our decks and in our small garden. We also have a warm and comfortable home with excellent power and water on our remote rock. I have my fabulous studio and Jeffrey his shop. We have health, family, friend. I still am enjoying teaching and painting, playing a little piano, and reading. I am blessed with the quality of students I have. The line between student, aritst, and friend is completely blurred.
To end on books:
I thoroughly enjoyed Vivian Swift’s,When Wanders Cease to Roam, and based two fall classes on the idea of defining our sense of place in the seemingly inconsequential unique images of our life – like the boots in your front hall closet or the clutter on the sill behind the kitchen sink. Fantastic things happened in these classes as people looked in and close.
The most memorable books to report this year were ones of mothers and daughters. First to mention is Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. This book resonated for me on many levels but I believe it would speak to most women, no matter their age or whether they had daughters. I savored my way through Terry Tempest Williams recent When Women Were Birds and her earlier Refuge. She makes writing and meaningful thought appear so easy. You want to copy out phrases and entire paragraphs again and again. And vow to reread the books again soon.
These women show the way.
We are all on the journey.
Happy New Year,