The Plan that Wasn’t a Plan

What a difference time makes! Two years ago, I sat on this same ferry and typed out a post about the ferry that wasn’t a ferry and how much I’d wanted to drink that day. While that trip turned out amazing, and I didn’t drink despite that misadventure, it wasn’t an easy time. So much has changed for the better in the last two years.

Our trip to Martha’s Vineyard just wouldn’t be complete without some sort of mishap with the ferry. When we made the decision to return to the island last spring, we eagerly booked our hotel without confirming the ferry for the day we’d arrive in advance. A rookie mistake, despite not being rookies. We found that there were no slots available on the actual day we’d planned to check in — so we booked for a day earlier and requested to be waitlisted for Saturday.

Now, I’m a nervous guy and despite being a fairly seasoned traveler, I get uncomfortable when the plan is not a plan. Winging it is not in my nature. So I stressed. I worried about what we would do if that Saturday reservation didn’t come through.

And then we got a call a few weeks before with a message of good news. There was a better ferry available. My heart leapt and then I heard that it was a better time but still on Friday. We’d never been waitlisted for Saturday. So we requested that again. But I knew that the chances were slim.

Luckily, we were able to make arrangements to arrive a day early with the hotel, and so that meant that all we needed to do was get 454 miles from home to Woods Hole by 11:00AM on a Friday. Clearly we’d need to leave on Thursday or get up around 1:00AM for a 9 hour drive. We opted for leaving after work with a goal of getting to Providence, RI.

Mrs. TKD gets home around 3:00 and I was able to arrange my meeting schedule so that we could leave as soon as she got home. Now leaving the greater Annapolis area around 3:00 is not without risk. Leaving at that time and heading up I 95 means that you risk traffic in Baltimore, around Newark, DE, any place along the he’ll known as the NJ Turnpike, NYC and the mess that is caused by everyone leaving big for Connecticut. That’s roughly five places where you can get seriously hung up and have a trip get delayed by an hour or more.

We lucked out. Probably because it was Thursday, we didn’t hit any serious traffic until we got to NYC and even that want too bad. We got across the George Washington bridge and decided to stop for dinner in Larchmont, figuring that the CT mess would clear up by the time we got back in the road. All this time we didn’t have a hotel reservation. We had a loose plan that wasn’t a plan. At dinner I made a reservation in Providence.

And then we got back on the road to find that there seemed to be construction every two miles throughout Connecticut. We arrived in Providence around midnight and I struggled to fall to sleep knowing that we needed to leave by 9:00 to make our 11:00 ferry.

If this had been my adventure two years ago, I’d have been in knots. I’d have certainly been thinking about a drink. But today, that thought barely registers. What I really want is some lunch, a good cup of coffee, and a nap.

And then maybe I’ll go for a run after the nap.

Yes, we do recover. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, the promises will always materialize if we work for them.

The whisper of the skunk

It’s another great day to be alive, healthy, and sober. The sunset last night was so spectacular here in Menemsha. It was a true reminder of how beautiful this world and this life really are.

As I sit here on the porch of the cottage we are renting this morning the sky is clear, the birds are singing, and the harbor bell is ringing in the distance.

Driving back from a 12 Step meeting in Vineyard Haven this morning, listening to my favorite radio station in the world on FM instead of over the Internet, I was reminded of my friend Mark’s blog title, the Miracle of the Mundane.

There truly is something miraculous about these little every day occurrences. As I’ve become more present and aware in my sobriety, I’m starting to notice the small things that make this world so amazing. I am finding beauty in everything. 

The first day on the island, as we drove from Vineyard Haven, I noticed this faint sweet smell that was at once pleasant and also noxious. I couldn’t describe it if I tried. I thought perhaps it was a flower or plant native to the island.

After being here a few days, I’ve discovered that the faint smell is not a flower or plant. It’s the whisper of the scent of a skunk in the air. And there is actually something beautiful about it.