Woman Enough


Posted in Uncategorized by womanenough on December 8, 2011

“I want a huge kitchen! With drawers and cabinets and shiny appliances!”

I am whining. Every once in a while, I give way to the urge to pout about the space constraints of living aboard.

Right now, the table is littered with the ingredients for the meal I’m about the cook. There is a wet camp stove on the sole of the galley. Clothing is piled everywhere in th cabin, and I am starving. I cannot imagine pulling things together enough to cook the extremely simple meal I’ve planned for the evening. I feel like a Cathy cartoon abandoned in a Popeye scene (“I yam what I yam, ACK!”

Last week, our Origo alcohol stove ignited its third and final invisible and odorless fire inside the stove compartment. It scared us both a good bit, and we decided we were safer without it.

So out went the Origo and in came the Coleman dual fuel camp stove that came with the boat. It’s not perfect, but we can see and smell the flame and the ways that it seems dangerous are new, which right now seems better. It is, however, too large for the space in our galley, so it lives on deck. We bring it in for meal preparation, setting it up on the only available counter space.

Today, it is raining, and we are not yet covered under the shrink wrap canopy that will keep us warm and dry this winter, so the stove is wet, and, I have just realized, out of fuel.

It takes a while to get started setting things right. First, Elias and I decide to argue about politics, which we do about once a year and then agree not to do ever again.

We grow tired of arguing before we can change each other’s minds, and Elias refills the fuel canister on the stove while I half heartedly chop some vegetables, dig the beans out of a locker underneath a bunch buried in outerwear, and wash our one pot, still dirty from lunch, for its next tour of duty.

We don’t eat until after eight pm, after all the whining, politics, and cooking are done. There isn’t room to set my plate on the table because I have stubbornly refused to clean up anything as I’ve cooked. We eat, Elias does the dishes, and everything is better. The camp stove is back outside, the table is cleared and the galley is tidy.

I have the restless discontent feeling of someone who has completed all the tasks of her day but none of them as well as she would like. I decide that writing in the present tense is interesting, but still not right for me, and with heavy eyelids, I deem it the end of a day afloat.