Sep 21, 2007

Forfeit to The Slack

Many a workday when I lived in Orange Park, I'd find myself jockeying my old Corolla for the inside rail on U.S. Hwy 17, only to slow down the car and stay put just long enough to enjoy the sunrise over the St. Johns River. And maybe even snap a pic or two. The header picture is such a one, where I decided to turn at the marina and park for a pic or two.

The Slack was calling to me, even though I was living west of I-95 at that time.

But the heartbreaker there at the marina was all the beautiful boats sitting there, unused. The Jolly Roger and I frequently enjoyed strolling around those docks in the evening, wishfully thinking of sailing away, and verbally abusing the absent owners of such magnificent vessels.

"They should be forced to forfeit these things to folks who can appreciated them," was our somewhat envious proclamation.

The point here is that, this really is the only life you get. If you've been graced with the talents or reserves to buy big toys and never use them, well, bless your heart. Now get out there and enjoy them, dammit! Or move over and let me show you how to live!

Here in Florida there's a glut of such toys: beautiful cars that folks can't drive one mote over the speed limit lest that fiery red Ferrari attract negative attention. Cabriolets that roll around with the top UP because it's too hot, too cool, too humid, too breezy.

There's fleets of beautiful boats that sit in their slips, untouched for months and years. I know because I've walked past them many a fine evening. High-pressure atmosphere, sunny skies, fair winds and... parked sailboats. Sigh.

The owners are doing what, exactly, that is more important than enjoying the fruits of their labors?

I think those of us who scrimp and save and enjoy a little bit of wine on the narrow deck of a 24' sloop at midnight, anchored out in the St. Johns River, under the full moon and under the influence, are doing the right thing with our money.

Ruth Marie Miller Goff did the right thing with hers. Bless her heart.


Mizz E said...

A Toy Story -

xH2 and I use to fly with a couple in their single engine plane from Austin to Destin a couple of times a year to sail with them on their Ewing 55 footer. The last time we were invited was New Years Day 1994. We declined this trip because my mother was
close to death. Seconds before landing in Destin that day, our friend's plane crashed and they died.

Their two kids didn't appreciate their parents toys and sold them all off. We bought the 1992 silver XJS. xH2 still has that headache, but it sure is purdy.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Well, at least he can drive it on days when it isn't raining and the Lucas electrics function halfway decent.

pamibe said...

Good for Ruth! I understand the thrill.

I had a BMW convertible for two years... loved it, but it just wasn't big enough.
I used to drive around Houston with the top down all the time... hot, humid, dripping wet with sweat when I had to stop at a light... my friends would whine 'can't we put the top up?' and I'd laugh.
Geez, I must be mean. LOL!

GUYK said...

I had a 33' Silverton for several years..lots of fun but more boat than I had money to keep it up. I suspect that a lot of those expensive toys you see are like that..they look good topside but barnacles are so heavy on the bottom that it would take one hell of a gale to move them very fast

Joan of Argghh! said...

Perhaps they're just a reminder of how overextended on credit our American lifestyle really is.

That's why my second-hand fire-red Solara (the model year that kicks ass) is so much fun. Leather interior, great sound system, rag top, 6 cylinders, (so I can bark the tires on takeoff!) and it looks sooo boss that folks stop me and ask what kind of car it is.

Can't ask for much more than that. Second-hand dog, second-hand car, second-hand condo. It's all good!