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September 16, 2011 / annakpf11

Scotty Odyssey—Loch Lomond Marina

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome

Excerpted from “Love after Love”
by Derek Walcott

Due to a change of plans, we spend the night in a parking lot. But not just any parking lot. A place we used to live, on our boat, not so long ago.

After snugging the trailer into an empty corner facing open fields and wetlands, we walk the harbor with Basil. To our delight, we see our old friend and neighbor Walt is in residence on his hand-built sloop Mariah, and after much waving and hallooing back and forth between dock and shore, we climb aboard for a catch up chat. Before we part company, we make plans to meet him and his wife Harlea in about a week’s time, at their house on the Oregon coast.


By now it’s dusk. A line of ducks ripples across the harbor surface, trailing rivulets of silver into the reeds along the shore. We walk Basil on the levee trail and he scampers ahead, the white banner of his tail weaving through stalks of dried fennel. All three of us seem entirely pleased to rediscover this place. Did we make the right decision to move away? Could we live here on a boat again? Like Odysseus, we seem to roam far and wide in a protracted quest for home.

Dinner is simple and satisfying: pasta and homemade spaghetti sauce accompanied by arugula and romaine dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. Then it’s time to do the dishes: a careful operation involving an old plastic shower curtain spread across the bed—so we don’t drench comforter or mattress—and careful rationing of water so we neither deplete our fresh water supply nor allow the grey water holding tank to overflow.

Before going to sleep, we watch “The Thomas Crown Affair” on our laptops. Between our two computers, we have just enough battery power left to finish the movie.

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