“So how can you afford to go cruising?”
We’ve heard this question, in one form or another, several times since we started out on this little adventure. Actually we started hearing it before we started out, back when we were still planning and dreaming.
And the truth of the matter is that we can’t.
Not that we haven’t managed to make it happen, but it isn’t like we’re just blithely rolling along, never a worry or care about money. We’re scrimping and saving and giving up things like a permanent land-home (sold the house and gave up the lease on our rental), and we’ve not been able to do many of the restaurants, museums, tours and sights we’d once hoped to enjoy. Those things all cost money, and with all my medical B.S. this last year, money is scarce. Read about The Eye Thing Here.
The good news is that Nicki and I are not without saleable skills. We once owned a business called “Handy-Hands Home Maintenance & Repair”, which we closed in order to go cruising, but we still have the skills…
So when we got an email a couple weeks ago from a friend back in Maine, asking if we were interested in picking up a little extra cash, it didn’t take too long for Nicki to say “Well yeah!”, and for me (who lives in a constant state of financial denial) to be convinced that we should take the opportunity presented.
So with Sionna safely tied to a mooring in Marathon and watched over by friends and fellow cruisers, we rented a car and drove the 7 hours from the Keys to St. Petersburg Florida. There, a friend we’d worked for back in Rockland had just purchased a condo that desperately needed some sprucing up – and we became her helpers.
Repair and paint three rooms, replace all the switch plates and outlet covers, replace both bathroom light fixtures, adjust numerous closet doors, install kitchen cabinet knobs, replace the fridge water filter, repair the ice maker…. The list gets longer as you work, much as it does for a boat. Unlike boats, however, in a house you do reach a point where you can say you’re “done”.
So that’s been our last week. But not constantly working, no. We also fit in some family visits (Nicki’s brother and family were down for several days from Vermont), as well as a get-together with Lisa & Tim, a Facebook-friend couple we’d not seen in person before. Turns out they’re neat people, and she makes very decent homemade wine – and shares it too! Plus they have two aging but very sweet bulldogs, so we got a little “doggy-time”, too.
AND we made almost enough cash on this job to put the boat in storage for the summer!
Now, if I can just avoid the medical industry…