Friday, March 02, 2007

Chattanooga, TN

Or Chattavegas, as we used to call it, back in the day. I must say, everyone, I'm floundering a bit. If I have any readers left. I'm wondering what to do with this blog o' mine. I feel a little bit lost about it, as I do about everything else. It doesn't seem possible that one tiny little loss should have changed my universe so drastically, but it really has. Without a place to journal, a place to record my thoughts that I feel is mine, I'm having a really hard time being motivated.

Why am I keeping a website anyway? To massage my own ego? To delude myself that my introspection is really extrospection? As a travelogue? I keep thinking that the computer situation will work itself out, we'll cast off from Daytona, and everything will go back to the way it was. But I don't know if it really can.

I've been home for a week now, and drove up to see my lovely sister in Chicago and her beautiful baby Sophia. It's been great to be with family again, to relax a little, and to even get to hang out with friends a couple of nights. It's crazy how much colder even Tennessee is than Florida, and it was bizarre, driving north, seeing the first drifts of snow. Somehow, skipping winter has made me believe that winter didn't exist anywhere, and the shock of hitting a serious winter was surprising. I didn't even bring a coat to Chicago.

It was great to be in a city again, too. To ride around on public transportation, to peruse the local listings of events, to take Sophia to the huge well-funded Shedd Aquarium, to eat Belgian food and drink Starbucks and listen to the burble of radiators. I miss the city. Not always, just sometimes. What's weird is that before the Appalachian Trail I even called myself a city person. Now, here I am, choosing about as rural of a life as possible. Or at least a life as far away from the city as possible. I still fantasize about cockroach-ridden, drafty, exposed-brick loft in New York City, where I could go to avant-garde plays and watch foreign films and eat Afghan food. But then again, I could never afford a loft in New York City. And I've barely even been there.

I suppose it's just another symptom of always wanting what you can't have. Right now, the main thing that I want and can't have is a replacement computer. Today I went so far as to go on Apple's website and contemplate shilling out $1100 for a brand spanking new one. Even though we got half our money back, the computer is no closer to repair now than it was two weeks ago, and I'm very, very afraid that I'll be in exactly the same situation when I get back that I was in when I left. What should we do? Fork over the bucks for another used computer? Try to repair the one we have? Buy a brand-new one? Or but a paper chart and just do without, head on down the coast, footloose, fancy-free, and blogless?

And then, I'm reminded of the horror of June, lurking full of hurricanes just around the corner. I don't know what to do, and I'm no closer to a decision now than I was a month ago. Maybe I should try an online poll and let you decide. In the meantime, I'll just try to enjoy the time with my family that I have. Everything will become clear eventually. I have faith.


Anonymous said...

I don't believe that your need to journal is your ego needing a massage... I think you journal to understand and remember what you see. I think that your journaling is your interaction with events, with life, enabling you to see and understand and digest. I get you:) My journal is not electronic, but I can imagine that it would be debilitating to not be able to write. Breathe, and I hope that you will find a place of greater clarity. Prayers, amiga. A-M

Anonymous said...

I don't get it, are you asking your readers for a computer?

Anonymous said...

I'm a fellow PCTer from 2005, but I don't believe we met on the trail. I know nothing about boats or sailing, but I've really enjoyed reading your blog. It's a lot of work to keep up an online journal, I'm sure, but know that there are those of us out there who love to read about other people's crazy adventures! It reminds me that it's time for me to plan my next one. Take care, Emily.

Anonymous said...

we are an older couple who met you on the pct 2005 a couple of times. our sea kayaks have just been stolen from outside our travel trailer on a beach in Baja due to our negligence. fix the computer or buy a new one--the money doesn't matter, keep going, keep journaling/blogging. what's important is that you are together and living.

Rob L. said...

Melissa: You will pick yourself up soon and rally forth. A problem that seems big today will shrink as you come up with solutions.
Remember people were cruising before computers. Figure out the best way to overcome the challenge and carry on.
I love your Blog. It has encouraged me to probably do one of my own when we leave this summer.

Melissa said...

Well, thanks for everyone's comments, the nice and the not-so-nice. I suppose if someone wanted to give me a computer, I wouldn't turn it down. But no, I'm not asking for one.

I'm glad that old friends and new think my adventures are worth reading about. And I'm vastly curious about you PCTers! What were your trail names? I'm so sorry about the kayaks--that's awful. I can say I know what you're going through.

I know that people were cruising before computers, too. I keep thinking that maybe we should just switch to a typewriter and paper charts... But that would, honestly, cost a lot more freedom chips.

Love to everyone. I'm seriously hopeful that we'll be back on the water within the week.

Anonymous said...

hey melissa dont give up .Make my brother spend some cash for a new without your computer is like me without the fishing poles .If you guys cant swing the cash tell him to quit the beer for a month or so or make him find a job for a little while might actually be good for him.Just make sure its second shift or maybe third you know him and mornings dont mix well.Any ways good luck with it all.And just realize that alot of us reading this its just that most of us are to lazy to write back well at least i am .catch a fish for me ST

Audra said...

This is Audra and Grandma Jenks. I've never been on a blog before. I hope this works. Grandma got your thank your note. She really appreciates it. She gave me your cell phone number and your blog address. I read her your March 2 entry over the phone. She really enjoyed it. She wanted me to write back to you as she told me things over the phone to write. She says she also wanted to let you know that she got your last thank you note and liked that too. Aaron and Kim had their baby girl this week. She is 9lbs 5oz and 22" long which is bigger than Ethan. They named her Anna Sue. I am still enjoying my job at the nursing home and am generally happy with my New Mexico life. We both love you!

Melissa said...

Thanks so much to Audra, Sammy, Grandma and everyone... It's so nice to know that people are still following along, despite my present hardships. I'm glad, ST, that you understand I need my computer as much as you need your fishing poles. That's the best metaphor I can think of. If everyone knew you, they'd understand why I need the computer so bad.

Oh well. It'll all work out eventually, right? Congratulations to Aaron and Kim, and all my love to Grandma!