Here we are anchored just beyond the Verranzano Narrows Bridge, which is no more than 40 minutes from home (on a good traffic day) yet it took us four hours by boat and, lolling at anchor with not a single bridge or barge in sight, we already feel very far away. We're planning on not budging for several days, just relaxing, reading and enjoying a rainy weekend. Figures...the last three weeks were replete with gorgeous, sunny sailing days, but NOOOO we couldn't leave then, could we?
Actually, no we couldn’t. Not only because LULU wasn’t quite finished being painted and because the rigger discovered a five-inch long crack in our backstay that, more than just expensive, could have been inconvenient, not to say dangerous out in the big, empty ocean. But also because, lobbying my daughter, Suey, for a bit of religious heritage in my grandchildren’s lives, I’d volunteered to take Ryan to Larchmont Temple's children's Rosh Hashanah service. Suey, decided to join us.
It was an informal and quite adorable ceremony, with singing, guitar-playing, storytelling rabbis who wielded not merely the Torah but also colorful chicken puppets. Although Suey categorized herself as feeling like an outsider, maybe even an imposter, she did consider it moving and valuable to have been there. Who knows what might come next in this process? She's definitely giving it more thought.
What actually did come next was the walk back to the car. Unfamiliar as we were with the temple's exact location, we'd thought we'd nailed an excellent parking place on the Boston Post Road. We wondered why there were so many spaces not 10 minutes before the service was due to start. Easy...we were nowhere near.
Thus, on the trek back to the car, through the dappled, still leafy streets of Larchmont, Ryan got tired of walking. Suey, wearing one of those updated prairie skirts—newly interpreted in crushed brown velvet—offered to piggyback him. Hoisting him up over her back, she suddenly remembered the full skirt behind and prayed (as any newly blessed religious celebrant might) "Boy I hope my butt doesn't show, I'm only wearing a thong." That was already more than evident, especially to the passing trucker who loudly admired the goods.
How she came to be wearing that thong, instead of the underwear one (even one of hers, the thong generation) might more likely be wearing under a skirt, is also revealing—more than just of her butt but of the differences between my daughter and me. When I picked her up 30 minutes before the service, she was decked out in a tight pair of white capris—hence the choice of thong underneath—topped by a tight peplum beribboned in a rainbow of sherbetty grosgrain, all quite luscious to look at but bringing to mind lawn party for sure and temple event not at all.
When I looked askance, she said in defense, "Well, there's more to the outfit. And popped on a white linen jacket.
"I know, I look like the Good Humor man, but it's all I have," she said. "You, of course, have just the right thing," she added, without a hint of malice. (She was always a kid who'd do anything rather than shop.)
I voiced my doubts and up we went to her room. She spoke true. In the next frenzied minutes, when we should have been practicing our Shana Tovahs, composing ourselves for the piety to come, preparing Ryan for his first temple ceremony, we tore apart her closets. Casey, 2 years old but already more fashion sensitive than her mom, was only too delighted to help. We found the new velvet skirt, awaiting a future (and unlikely) shopping foray for a workable top and a pair of brown cowboy boots I recognized from college. These were in miraculously good condition and clearly au courant. But a shirt seemed hopeless— everything was too dark, too sheer, too sporty or too summery. With moments to spare I unearthed a winter white and quite passable V-neck sweater. We vetoed a big-buckled new suede belt as "not something one wears to temple."
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Turns out anything goes in temple these days—from sporty shorts to frilly mini-skirts, from almost peignoirs to serious suits. All this brought to mind my generation's end-of-summer ritual: the foray to Loehmann's, the annual hunt for the tailored worsted suit (plus matching pocketbook and pumps) the outfit we wore despite the (always) 90-degree spike in temperature. But we never lacked for what to wear on Rosh Hashanah.
For Suey and her friends, white, and even clearly summery white, would hardly have been noticed. Ditto the brassy Western belt.
And Gary adds, "Ryan will have something for Show and Tell."
As it happens, starting a voyage with a rainy weekend has its merits, not only because you can curl up, read and pursue other sedentary and/or prone activities, but also because you get to find out what old leaks have returned, as if merely hibernating for the summer, and what new leaks you have been recently been blessed with. So far it's the master cabin head, the new watermaker and the enormous port side deckhouse window, through which a rambunctious dolphin could easily leap, so how to find a gasket pinhole that's most likely smaller than a strand of blenny DNA? Like the camel passing through the eye of a needle, it's always shocking how much water can drizzle, drop, seep, gush, surge or flood via some miniscule gap, passing insouciantly from the wild, salty outside to the dry, cozy inside
So Gary has a few more projects to keep him from his beloved boating magazines.
On this, our first real traveling day, we're also amazed how fast the fickle summer turned into blustery fall behind our backs and timed so perfectly with our departure. Still no matter how chilly or raw it is on the bow at 6AM hauling anchor it seems paradise compared to a cluttered desk in a warm office. Or even a morning at the mall. I'm enjoying this cloudy, drizzly daybreak at sea in my hooded sweatshirt, windbreaker and borrowed drysuit watching the sooty gray rollers toy with the boat while I sit in the cockpit trying to master typing with gloves. It goes without saying that the perky 21 knot wind on our beam at dawn has not only dropped to 6 and 8 but is playing leapfrog over the back of the boom.
We'll be in Atlantic City for dinner. Though we hate to miss a gourmet experience, if the dismal weather persists we may stay aboard and make scrambled eggs.