In the Moment

“Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. This is why we are here.”

–Jon J. Muth, The Three Questions

Her name is the Caddis, and I can promise you it was certainly not love at first sight. My experiences with sailing up to that point had been tainted with memories of my husband and brother-in-law spending my birthday in the ER for hypothermia. Not to mention the $300 bill from the hospital a month later (Maiden Spring Voyage). “But this one will be safer,” my husband promised. “2,000 pounds of lead. There’s no way this one will ever topple over. Besides, it will be so great for the boys. Think of the experiences they will have!” I finally gave in. The boat was shipped from Michigan a few weeks later.

It took a bit of coaxing, but soon I was spending one evening a week on a sailboat with an instructor and three others taking classes. I never really got the hang of it, nor did I catch the “sailing bug” while under those majestic, white sails. Although it was admittedly enjoyable to feel the cool breeze against my face and watch the sunset reflect on the water.

Every week as a family we took our new boat out at least once. We spent many nights tied up to the mooring watching the millions of stars, many mornings sipping hot cocoa and reading books inside our sleeping bags. On the fourth of July the boys joined in the annual parade and strung lights across the bow and up the mast and silently motored around the lake.

IMG_0649It may not have been love at first sight, but eventually I did fall in love. It wasn’t the sails unfurled under the deep blue sky. It wasn’t even the boat heeling into the water, splashing our feet as we dangled them over the edge. To be honest, it really wasn’t the sailing at all.

It was us.

It was no phones to answer. No texts to respond to. No emails, no TV, no worries of laundry or grass to mow, no dirty floors or prior engagements. No worries of tomorrow.

IMG_0664When we’re on the boat, it’s just those other bodies occupying that small space. Nothing else, simply breathing each other–our real selves–in. We laugh, we tussle, we sing, we read. We play Go Fish, we swim, we grill hot dogs and dangle our poles over the water. We admire God’s creations around us. We count the stars and wake up to the morning sun. We wave at the other sailors as they tack and jibe around our very own little world.

IMG_0672A few days ago as we sailed for the last time this season I was reading to my boys from our “sailing library” and found The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth. When we first put the books on the boat, we tried to keep the theme of boats and all things water. Somehow this one got in the mix. As I silently lamented the end of another wonderful sailing season and wished for more magical moments on the water with my family, this book hit me hard. It seemed so fitting. The Caddis has become a refuge for us, where nothing else matters but the people we are with. Time stands still and we can finally truly enjoy each other, pure and undiluted. Its a unique feeling in this fast-paced technology-run world.

IMG_0663“When is the best time to do things?”

“Who is the most important one?”

“What is the right thing to do?”

Somehow the Caddis puts it in perspective for me. It suddenly all makes sense. I love sailing not because of the thrill or the water, the adventure or the skill, but because of all that it represents for our family. This time, these relationships, this is why we are here.


All pictures my boys draw have a sailboat. They have fallen hook, line and sinker for every bit of sailing.
All pictures my boys draw have a sailboat. They have fallen hook, line and sinker for every bit of sailing.

What is your refuge from the crazy hustle and bustle of life, where you can give your everything to those you love?

7 Comments on “In the Moment

  1. Beautiful post! Someday we would love to buy a boat. For all of the reasons you mention. What a beautiful way to spend some quality time with the family. My refuge is probably when we are out and about, hiking or fishing. I just absolutely love it!


    • Hiking and fishing–I completely agree! Some of my best memories growing up are of hiking with my family. A boat really is a great family activity! I had my doubts at first, but it has been so good for our boys. They love it. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I finished your post, I realized you had taken me away on a daydream! Your writing is just beautiful, and I can only imagine your boat is filled with wonderful memories. I am trying to think of my refuge, and right now, it is probably walking. It is a time without the technology and just our family. You are so right though, we need those times when we can really just focus on those dear ones we love. They really are so important. Family is what it is all about. Thank you! 🙂


    • Marla, thank you! I wish I had pictures of the night sky from our boat and a recording of the sounds of the ropes hitting the masts around the dock. It’s funny how noises can even become endearing. And the stars are incredible! I think now with all of the ways to use technology it’s even more important to have those moments away from it with our families. I agree, walks are a great escape from everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is wonderful! You are living my dream! My husband and I are doing everything today in the hopes of one day being able to do what you are doing! We talk about “our life on the boat” almost every day. I love that you did this despite the fact that you weren’t crazy about sailing. My husband and I took two 10-day sailing trips (pre-children) and we both agree that the time we spent on the boat were unbeatable. We forgot everything… All the things that worry us and give us heartburn… All of it gone! I remember there was one moment when I stopped and had to make a significant effort to remember what I did for a living. That was me on the boat. The real me. I hope we can do this with the boys very soon, and you are doing with yours.


    • My husband would be so envious of your 10-day trips! All of us (but especially him) would love to go for a real ocean trip for a good chunk of time. To get away like that must have been amazing! We are landlocked and have only gone to lakes around us, so our dream would be to one day take a trip along the coast. I’m sure there in Singapore sailing would be incredible. Your boys would absolutely love it! Ours are a bit obsessed, it’s all they ever talk about. And I feel like it’s taught them a lot as well. They know all the terms and how important it is to follow directions right away. I can’t wait to hear your sailing stories soon!!


      • Aw amazing! Well you know what then, you really should do it! Singapore is not a great place to sail because you’d be surrounded by the hundreds of thousands of container ships coming in. It’s all you can see from the beaches here and I don’t like it. Our sailing trips were wonderful because the coast was incredibly beautiful! The first time we started in Marmaris (turkey) and the second time in Fethye (also turkey). It’s heaven there. It took my breath away everyday during both trips. If you are interested, there a guy who organizes these trips, and he’s been taking both his kids along ever since they were newborn babies! No joke! So he knows what he’s doing when it comes to kids on a boat. I can email you his details if you’d like. He does trips in the Caribbean and recently Thailand.


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