In the 20 years that Rob and I have been married, we have called many places “home.”
Our first home was a 1968 Fawn Springbrook mobile home that we purchased with a money order for $1000. We had it towed to an RV lot in Pleasant Beach Mobile Home Resort on what was then Wixom Lake (and is now just the Tittabawassee River, after a series of earth dams broke in 2020) in Albright Shores, Michigan. We celebrated Christmas there in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
In 2005, we closed on a 4-bedroom house in Harrison, Michigan on Christmas eve. We had no decorations that year, but we went on to celebrate seven more Christmases in that house. In 2007, Iliana was born, and Santa became busy making her presents!
And of course there were lots of memories with grandparents!
In August 2013, we moved to Texas and celebrated Christmas at Lakeshire Place apartments, unit 501, in Clear Lake City/Webster. We were unable to bring any of our decorations, so we found a used tree and made our own ornaments! My parents moved to Texas in November, which was an early Christmas gift! We flew to Michigan to celebrate with the rest of our family.
In August 2014, we moved to our second home in Texas, the S/V Breaking Tradition, an Ericson 35 sailboat on East Pier in Legend Point Marina, Clear Lake Shores. This had 100 square feet of living space, which made for a creative, cozy Christmas!
In August 2015, we upgraded and moved to the S/V Morning Mist, an Irwin 37 center cockpit. We lived in the same slip in Legend Point for the next two Christmases.
Starting a new tradition, Iliana put reindeer feed on the bow…
We visited my parents Christmas eve and rented a hotel room for our Christmas relaxation!
In 2016, we also celebrated on Morning Mist.
2017 was the year it all hit the fan, although it wasn’t finished hitting the fan until mid-2018. At Christmas time, things were relatively calm. I had tried to give my notice (about resigning at the end of the year) before break, but I wasn’t able to get a meeting with the principal until right afterward.
We moved to our fourth home in Texas, the M/V Loco Lobo, which was a gigantic 47 foot Chris Craft Commander that everyone in Legend Point knew. It was very fitting, since Rob was the harbor master at Legend Point at the time. We had intended to fix up the boat before moving on, but in August, Morning Mist’s a/c quit working, so we moved in to Loco’s slip on the Island Pier sooner, right before Harvey hit. But it was a lovely Christmas, nonetheless.
Iliana enjoyed meeting the Grinch and having pancakes with Santa (and Miss Kemah!).
We enjoyed two more Christmases on Loco, which had to be relocated to West Pier after a piling (which had survived Harvey) failed in our slip on the island.
In 2019, we managed to catch Santa on film!
2020 brought the pandemic, but we kept busy during the shutdown…by moving into our new apartment! We celebrated two Christmases in the most beautiful place I have ever lived, a spacious apartment hidden above Boaters’ Resale of Texas, the store Rob manages.
While 2020 was a stressful year, it also marked a number of changes for our family, including my return to teaching. Santa was very generous that year!
After Thanksgiving this year, we excitedly decorated our apartment, ready to enjoy another Christmas in this home…
…What I didn’t say was that shortly after Thanksgiving, we learned that, due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, we would have about a year to find a new place to live. This came as a surprise, since we expected to be renting the apartment for a number of years.
We considered renting a house or fixing up Loco Lobo. My time on land has spoiled me, and I really wanted our next home to be at least as nice and clean as the apartment. It could be done with Loco, but it would take a lot of time and money (and most of the year to do it).
Then, unexpectedly, a customer wanted Rob to look at his Morgan Outisland 51 foot sailboat. We were leery, because we knew we couldn’t pay what the boat is worth, if it is in good shape. Still, Rob looked at it, and it was beautiful! It was in Waterford Harbor, the marina where we went for my work Christmas party. Before we knew it, the boat was ours!
So today, we closed on our sixth home in Texas and our eighth home since getting married, the S/V Cruise Forever in Waterford Harbor, Kemah, Texas!
And a special thank you to Joe, the boat’s previous owner! We are definitely going to have invite you over for a happy hour or two!
There is some work to do before we move in–it needs new heads, the refrigerator and freezer need to be repaired, and I would like to replace the carpet with linoleum. We need to work with Iliana to set up her room the way she would like it. We are aiming to be moved in (or at least moved out of our apartment) by the end of January.
I hope your Christmas is every bit as amazing as ours has already been!