Almost like a mysterious prophesy, I composed a poem two decades ago, August 24, 1999. I was still in highschool, entering my junior year. Perhaps I cryptically wrote to my future me.
“‘Come to me.’ God quietly whispers. ‘My Light you can trust. The path ahead may not be straight or easy, or what you expect. The waves will be high and the cost may be great in your storm. My Light is sufficient for you to see. I will guide you unto Me. You can trust my Light for I have guided many this way. Don’t be afraid. Trust Me. I will guide you the entire way. Come unto me and find rest from your storm.'” ~Jacy Taisey 8-24-99
The last two decades have been a rollercoaster ride. When our rent unexpectedly skyrocketed two years ago, turning our straight path into a series of crests and troughs, we decided to trust the tiny flicker of Light in our hearts and follow its beacon. I can testify God’s Grace is Sufficient – adequate for the purpose; enough. Listening to the desire for adventure on the high seas alight in our hearts, we kindled the flame by the choices we made.
We chose to joyfully leave our suburban neighborhood and wholeheartedly embrace the “tiny house” lifestyle with our four children. We advantageously bought our Cruise-a-home and rebuilt it in a timely manner so we could move aboard April 26, 2017. Through a whole story all its own, God provided permanent moorage for us on G Dock 3 and live-aboard status precisely when we needed it. Strengthening us with courage and stamina to persevere with joy through our first cold winter aboard without hot water or working shower, bonded, not broke, our family.
The life skills and virtuous character traits our four children have learned these last two years of living like squished sardines aboard our tiny home on the water, are priceless…worth every claustrophobic moment! Sibling squabbles have focused our attention on respect, self-control, and the “Golden Rule”. Our children have learned to be self-reliant, innovative and imaginative, content and good stewards with what few toys and possessions we chose to keep. Thankfully, living small has effectively erased the normal lazy entitled attitudes plaguing many of today’s youth.
Since the beginning, our eyes had been looking for a catamaran to take us around the world. The chief reason being the heart of a family revolves around good food in the kitchen. I figure much time will be spent in the galley and was not thrilled being segregated below deck away from my family. The appeal of being in the galley with views of top deck and the horizon are very important to me. Not only would it be light and bright, but two sets of parental eyes can keep watch on four enthusiastic bodies anywhere they roam aboard. March 2018, God provided a 1967 27′ Santana Sailboat in decent working condition just a stone’s throw from our cruise-a-home. Sailing Sans Souci this past year has been a delight! Our gaze has since shifted from a catamaran to a sailboat when we finally found a length and layout that has all the qualities we’ve prayed for: open floor plan, sleeps 6+, two heads, pilot house, galley with big windows overlooking an uncluttered deck, wide gunnels, feels like “home”. If anyone is interested in “tiny house living” with the amazing ability to live and move on the water, email us! We are selling our Cruise-a-home to purchase a larger ocean crossing sailboat we currently have our eyes on! Lord, light the way!
A passenger ferry was originally located on our dock. Over the course of time, Ryan began working on it as a ‘on occasion’ deck-hand. Quickly, it turned into a part-time job with many responsibilities. Working on the ferry kindled a passion inside Ryan to switch careers and go to school to become a Mariner, obtaining his 100 Ton Captain’s license Spring 2019. I don’t know specifically how all this training and licensing will be useful in our future adventures, but until then, Ryan is learning a ton and loving every minute of his new life on the water.
Living on the water and through this blessed job we have met many wonderful people who have become life long friends!! Truly, our marina mates, Hat Island friends and yacht club community have become our eclectic family of whom we absolutely adore chilling with! Last year our family proudly raised our hands and pledged the following to join our Yacht Club:
“I, _________ Promise to support the Everett Yacht Club, to do my best to support good boating by conducting myself at all times in a courteous and seaman like manner, having due regard for the comfort and safety of other boaters, and when possible, render aid to boaters in distress, and thus be entitled to fly my flags and burgees proudly.”
Learning about the history of the Everett Yacht Club since its beginning in 1907 and being apart of its centennial traditions have been a wonderful experience! What could be better than camaraderie, community, amazing cuisine, cruising to memorable places and cold beers?! That is why we became members of a yacht club! 🙂
In the warm months of Autumn of 2018, a kind lady on Hat Island, Ms Jane, came up to Ryan with a key in her extended hand. “I’ve seen your family playing on the dock, and read about your story of your wife’s blog. I’m heading south for the winter and would be honored to have your family use my house as your own whenever you have need until I return the middle of Spring.” When Ryan called me that afternoon and told me, I was speechless! A true unexpected extraordinary blessing! I am throughly looking forward to giving Ms Jane an enormous hug of gratitude when I meet her for the first time!!
Through the shortest, coldest days of winter, my children and I cherished periodically staying in the bright, warm Hat House. Besides school’s normal studies, my educational goal through the winter was for my children and I to fall in love with the written word…with stories that captured our imaginations and pricked our intellect as we pondered plot-lines and character’s predicaments. While our kids delightedly spent hours building every Lego set we had ever owned, we tickled our ears listening to Classic unabridged stories via audiobook. Having not read many of them as a child, I determined it is never too late to hear a classic good story. In the evenings, we snuggled together on the floor in front of the heater while I read countless chapters of The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz and Epic Order of the Seven series by Jenny Cote. (I highly, highly recommend this series by the way!) Being used to sleeping in close quarters, often times the kids would sleep in my bedroom and I would continue reading the epic adventure until we finally drifted off to dreamland.
Washington winters are typically fairly mild, hosting only a week of freezing temperatures in the teens and twenties…not a consecutive month of them. When the prolonged forecast read below 32 degrees, our port/marina shut water off at the docks to keep pipes from freezing. Their precaution is understandable, but as a family of six, 150 gallons of fresh water lasts about 3 days with normal cooking, cleaning, consuming and showering. Thirty-one days of freezing temperatures…I’m so thankful God had mercy on me ahead of time and Ms Jane had so graciously provided us the use of her home on Hat Island! For the February freeze, from Feb 5th through March 8th, the kids and I became island dwellers and hunkered down in the Hat House. Though we missed not being with Ryan, who stayed on the boat to work, the kids and I cherished our time on the quiet sleepy island. After school we kept our hands busy coloring, sewing, crocheting or crafting while we continued listening to dozens of wonderful stories via audio books. To stretch our legs and breathe crisp fresh air, we meandered down quiet dirt or snow-covered roads. Listening to birds sweetly welcome spring we scanned the glistening water for signs of whales spouting. Hat Island is a quiet charming place, now close to my heart.
This has been a long winter, but a blessed one in hind sight. As the days now grow longer and warmer, my hope for the future stretches too. Looking back, I am in awe at how God has orchestrated events so perfectly to light our way, bringing us where we are today. His faithfulness fills my heart with hope to where we’re headed next.