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Seasons of Our Lives

May 17, 2014

With hurricane season quickly approaching, I thought I'd share one of my favorite "season" stories. Written in 2010.

My son's education is lacking. Now in his 9th year of homeschooling, he is earning an A in physics, Spanish IV, and algebra II, yet he doesn't know the seasons.

For the last 8 years we have been sailing around, mostly in the Caribbean, on our 34' Creekmore Eurisko. So, it's not that his life doesn't consist of different seasons--it does. Most importantly, there are hurricane and non-hurricane seasons. He can recite the official dates that these begin. He knows Florida was hit with 4 hurricanes in 2004 and that Emily devastated Grenada 9 months after Ivan surprised that island nation and all the boaters who were there because it was south of the hurricane belt. He even has his own story of losing his first boat, a 14' Catalina that was his Christmas present, in a Cat 3 Hurricane named Omar on St. Croix in 2008.


Summer in St. Croix the winds go south.

His life is also dictated by tourist season, closely related to hurricane season and coinciding with work season. When the hurricanes are gone, the tourists come and it's time for us to work a few months to make the money to live on while we hide during hurricane/non-tourist/non-work season.

Other seasons in his life are also weather related. To him, winter means not snowmen and skiing, but rather Christmas winds and surfing. In summer on St. Croix the winds go south; Fall in Trinidad means we haul out. But now that we are in Panama, ask him what season August is in and he will tell you, "Rainy season."

I have tried the teaching technique of using words put to music to help him, using the old James Taylor tune, "Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall." Instead he recites, "Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall, right, Mom?"


August in Panama is "rainy season."

As his mother and teacher I feel doubly responsible for his lack of knowledge. Where did I go wrong? How could my 17 year old not know that Spring follows Winter, that leaves turn beautiful colors in the Fall, that Summer (not all year) is warm?


Fall is haul out time in Trinidad.

My husband just laughs at my concerns, "I certainly am not going to apologize for not exposing him to seasons." I suppose what he has experienced during his childhood more than makes up for this one lapse in his education. He knows which trees sloths like to hang out in and can identify an oro pendula by its call. He has smelled land before we could see it after 10 days at sea and heard dolphins breathing on moonless nights when the only way to locate them was by the bioluminescence they sparked as they danced along beside us.


Spring is traveling time.

Besides, I have to agree with him when he says, "How am I supposed to remember that?" After all, his memory is so bad, he still thinks he likes snow.

Previously published in Good Old Boat Magazine.

We have some rather bizarre homemade gadgets. MONDAY we'll share another "Hey, watch this" moment brought to you by Dave.

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