As the time for departure nears, I’d like to say a few words about how incredibly supportive the school and community have been. The Roxbury Central School administration and teachers and staff to a one have been excited and encouraging. From the beginning, superintendent Tom O’Brien and principal Eric Windover gave a resounding “Yes!” when we first brought up the possibility of this trip. The girls’ teachers--Miss Sullivan, Mrs. Rappleyea, Mrs. Kellerhouse, Mr. Muehl, Mrs. Sluiter, and, especially, Miss Fiske--have been unconditionally supportive and joyous and creative in readying the girls’ assignments for their adventure in home schooling on a boat. Even Isabel and Rose’s preschool teacher, Bonnie, gave them a parting gift—a momento from long ago. The girls’ classmates threw them going-away parties, complete with cupcakes topped with little umbrellas (Thank you Sue!) The third graders donned sunglasses and each wrote Rose a letter, expressing good wishes and asking such excellent questions. Rose has already read these notes several times will bring them with her. We are so lucky to have such loving teachers and such a cohesive, nurturing school.
This trip could not have happened without the support of our parents and friends and family members who have taken in animals (and even a car). To Andrew and Jill for welcoming Joe-the-dog into their home, Pat and Heather for taking in Pickle-the- wonderpony as early as a month ago to avoid trailering her on treacherous winter roads, to Terry for taking the cats, to Sharene and Matt for keeping our car while we’re gone, and to neighbor Jeff, who will tend to the stay-at-home-animals--two remaining horses and chickens—we cannot thank you all enough. Animal care was our biggest hurdle in figuring out how to make this trip happen. You have all made this possible.
Sea Fever is taking far more passengers aboard than the four of us. She’s taking a whole community with her in spirit. Our community of family, the school, friends from nearby and far away have already been such a big part of our journey, and we haven’t even left yet. Your encouragement truly gives us courage. We feel wrapped in the warm embrace of the community we live in. It makes it all the harder to leave, but all the sweeter to come home to.