(September 2004, just before leaving on this
Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, Lane and Lynn came together under
unlikely circumstances and managed, after a fair amount of drama, to get
married and look like a conventional couple. Behind the scenes it's a "Beauty
and the Beast" sort of story, except when he turns into a prince at the end,
he's still not handsome.
Lane saw a lot to like in Lynn, of course -- intelligent, educated, witty,
thin, beautiful, and actively trying to look good -- but Lynn's view of
Lane differed: intelligent, educated, witty, fat, revolting, and definitely
not trying hard enough to look good. She loved talking to him on the
phone, but his physical presence physically nauseated her. Yes sir, it was
a classic romance.
Just like Belle in the movie, Lynn got over her nausea, found someone
to love inside Lane, and the rest is history. He cleaned up pretty good for
All kidding aside, they love each other deeply and can't imagine being
with anyone else. They've been married 23 years this month, and they'll
be together " 'til death do us part", just like they said at the start.
They've done a lot of things they'd never have even considered had they
not been together and been the particular people they are. It's been a
great ride, and it's far from over.
That was then. This is now. Lane turned 55 in July 04. AARP is now sending
him solicitations. If he had any money, he'd retire. Lane views work as
a necessary evil. He's never found a reason other than money to go to an
office. He still thinks that life should be like it was when we were four,
when the horizon beckoned each morning and every day was an adventure. His
dad taught him to sail at an early age, but sailing did not take hold of him until his dad bought an eight foot dinghy
as a tender to his "big boat", and Lane found out that being alone on the
water in your own boat made the world your own.
You see, when your life occurs in the matrix of other people's expectations,
you have "responsibilities" and so it is possible to be "irresponsible".
On the ocean, irresponsibility is not possible. You can live or die
out there, you can thrive or fail, it is totally up to you, because Mother
Nature does not care. You are responsible, and what you think
about it doesn't matter even a little. The freedom in that is astounding.
Lane's education was
in physics, which he chose as a college major because it was the easiest
subject he could think of to keep him in school and avoid the draft during
the Viet Nam war. When
he's earning the money necessary to support living as if he were still four,
Lane helps design and build space telescope systems. Since the year 2000
he's been working on the next generation of US weather satellites. Among
his favorite photographs are those of the Earth's coastlines taken from space, a few of which appear in this web site.
Lynn grew up in a family where space exploration was "in the space",
shall we say. Her father designed the Pioneer space vehicles that explored
the outer planets and eventually left the solar system, but science and technology
did not call to her. She trained in psychology (BA) and business (MBA), and
pursued a career in human resources and management training. Then Tania was born, and during the
six postpartum weeks that Lynn stayed home, Roxanne, who was two and a half, emerged
out of some shell she'd created for herself in child care. And it wasn't
subtle. So Lynn quit her job and became a housewife and mother.
Since the girls have now mostly grown up she's taken on a new career as
a model. She's always been a high class girl after all, and this way she
gets paid for it. That's one of her advertising photos at left. She does
television and print ads and catalog modeling.
She has always maintained that a person can do anything they decide to
do and be anyone they choose to be. Her modeling is clearly an expression
of that, and while cruising has always been Lane's idea -- she'd never have
done it in his absence -- she has applied a great deal of the motive force
to make it happen.
When she's not raising children, modeling, or sailing the world's oceans
with Lane, she enjoys yoga, tai chi, and playing the harp.
Roxanne, who just graduated from high school, took her first sail at
the tender age of two weeks. She got in one year of public school education
(kindergarten) before chucking it all and leaving to go cruising with her parents for two years when she was six, which
among other things introduced her to home (boat) schooling. Aboard our previous
cruising boat Daybreak, Roxanne typically completed three days' worth
of lessons in a morning, so she was somewhat surprised when, upon returning
to land, it seemed to be the norm that school days were six hours long and
occurred more frequently than every third day. It makes you wonder what the
other 4.5 hours or more
are supposed to be for in
a standard school day. Day care, mostly.
She survived this shock and did well, supported in part by the two years
on Daybreak where huge chunks of each day were spent either reading
or being read to, because that was the available entertainment. This had
a profound impact. To this day she reads about twice as fast as either of
her parents, which is a good thing because she's decided to attend St John's
College in Annapolis, MD, where all you do is readreadread and then writewritewrite.
St John's has a "set curriculum" -- everyone takes the same classes, no electives
-- based on the seminal literature of western civilization, starting with
Homer, Aeschylus, and Sophocles and ending with Heisenberg, Millikan, and
Conrad. Literally in that order. Check it out on their website.
When she isn't reading, Roxanne trains in Kyokushin karate, plays the
harp, and reads and draws anime, a form of Japanese animation. She also
volunteers as crew on the sail-training brigantines of the Los Angeles Maritime
Institute, an organization dedicated to rescuing at-risk youth from virtually
certain self-destruction and showing them possibilities for their lives
they could never have imagined. One side effect of this work has been a
growing affection for wooden sailing vessels, about which her dad has mixed
feelings, since there are close parallels between a love of wooden boats
and a bad drug habit. But hey, where boats are concerned, dad's not in much
of a position to criticize.
Tania was only four when Daybreak took in her dock lines and left
the US, and she does not remember what happened very clearly. That's not
to say she has no memory of it, just that it is a jumble of images, atmospheres,
moods, and sensations. She'll be a junior in high school during our sojourn
in the Bahamas, and will conduct her classes "remotely" under the auspices
of her local high school. This says a lot for the staff there, because direct
electronic connectivity, which has been the basis for communications when
the school has done this before, will not be possible for us. (Can
you say "snail mail?) It also says a lot for Tania, who enjoys comfort and
being with her friends, and is leaving both to spend the school year in close
proximity to her parents and sister in exchange for the opportunity to see tropical paradise
close up. She'll get to spend her senior year back home.
Tania also picked up the "reading gene" on Daybreak, and goes through
books by the dozens each week. We're not sure how this is going to work on
Wind Song, which has precious little storage capacity. Maybe Tania
will just finish her year of school work in the first two months, who knows?
Even with AP calculus and AP physics, she probably could do it. Roxanne
has volunteered to teach Tania the calculus, since she took the course last
year from the same teacher and has all the notes.
This summer Tania walked out of her last day at school and, on her way
home, stopped in every storefront on Main St between the high school and
home and asked for a summer job. She got several offers and accepted one
at a travel agency/Internet cafe -- which is how we found out about the cheap
airfares to Tampa, FL. It also means she is well prepared financially for
this cruise. She'll be out shopping while the rest of the family watches!