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End of Summer Sailing

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Here in the US, it's the Labor Day weekend, the last holiday of the summer that opened with Memorial Day, was intersected by the Fourth of July, and closed by Labor Day. There is no laboring going on. There was, however, sailing. Today was nearly perfect sailing weather: Sunshine with brilliant blue skies, with a just a few wispy white clouds very high up, as if staged to make the blue of the sky and the turquoise water even more brilliant. The wind was a bit lighter that perfect sailing requires, but enough to get a good, long race in. 

This time was a W, upwind, downwind, upwind, downwind, upwind so that we finished close to the mouth of the harbor. The course was a mile long, so only one race today. Partly because we'll race Sunday and Monday, but also so people can spend time with visiting family.

We blew the start - crossed over two seconds too early, so we had to tack around and re-start, which put us behind the rest of the fleet. Still, with good skippering on Tom's part and excellent crewing on my part, we managed to pull ourselves up, sail fast, and finish 3rd in the race. Super end to a great day of racing with two more to go. 

And then, on Friday, I get on my first flight in 19 months and will get off the plane in Dublin. This is all assuming Ireland doesn't close the door on tourists. Life, where I live at least, is starting to feel normal. We have about 70% vaccination, but still Delta is spiking and I wear my mask when in grocery stores or inside areas with heavy traffic flow. Just in case. 

When I return from Ireland, the second year of my OU course in Creative Writing, A803, will begin in earnest, but that's okay because sailing season will be over, dark will fall at 4:30 PM, and I won't be yearning to be outside - or at least not as much. Although I do already have my first winter snowshoeing, cross country skiing trip planned...

But that's another blog post.


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Living in Lowell

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Edited by Barbara Clough, Thursday, 26 Aug 2021, 02:29

I am almost unpacked. I am leaving on vacation on 10 Sept., so I need to be fully unpacked before I go. That's the deal I made with myself because I don't want to come back and still have cardboard boxes to unpack and bags of clothes waiting to be donated. I want to come back to clean, clear spaces because Year 2 starts officially the first week in October. I need to be fully present and undistracted for my coursework. 

Sailing season will be over when I come home from vacation because it's too cold, windy and dark in New England to sail the treacherous Atlantic. My weekends will be consumed with reading and writing and hiking and biking and CrossFit - mostly in that order. All good fun things. I often wonder would I love sailing as much as I do if I could do it year round? Or is it simply because summer and sailing have become synonymous in my mind. And yet, I don't like summer - the heat, the humidity, the bugs, the unrelenting sun. But for those few short months with long days, the sailing alleviates the heat, the humidity, the bugs, and the unrelenting sun; all those are muted when I'm out on the water. 

Autumn will give me time to teach a memoir class at the senior center, work on my own writing, ride my bike into the greenery surrounding this gritty city in which I live. I can find the other great Victorian buildings, explore neighborhoods that are all new to me, find myself in this new space and in this new city. I know my time here is limited, so I need to embrace it while I can. And I don't mean I'm dying! I'm mean my time here in Lowell is just a layover until I make my next connection. I'm starting to think that's all life really is - the layover until the final flight. 

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