Self-Sufficiently Grateful

I pay almost all my own bills, buy my own boats and cars. I even put out the trash this morning. And that makes it easy to forget one basic fact of life: there are many people who make my joy possible.

So this year, I’m giving thanks and naming names. I’m sure I’ll forget someone, so if you’ve helped me in the past year, thank you! (Carole at BankNewport—who cleared up a pesky lost check with grace and thoroughness—this means you.)

Here goes, in no particular order: a list of the people who make it possible for me to live an offbeat and truly wonderful life.

Paul Cronin, out getting some air

Paul Cronin
If this were the acknowledgement section of a book, the husband would be mentioned last. But since I thought of you first, here’s a public shoutout: thanks for making my life more enjoyable by being so supportive of your non-traditional wife! I look forward to more joint projects (and maybe even a vacation?) in 2011.

For some reason this great group of people thinks I’m worth the money they pay me, even when I disappear to a regatta during what should be a regular work week. Thanks for allowing me a very flexible schedule—and for staying solvent in a tough economy, so I can continue to thumb my nose at the unemployment figures.

Writing and publishing books can seem like a thankless and lonely job… until some random email comes in from an unknown reader who picked up one of my books at a library or bookstore and wrote to say “Keep Writing!” Thanks to readers known and otherwise who have shared their enjoyment of Oliver’s Surprise and Cape Cod Surprise this year.

For the past few years, I’ve done a lot of competitive sailing with a group of women who not only give up leisure time to freeze and boil with me, but who also make me laugh. Thanks also to the ever-widening circle of sailing friends who help make the regatta parking lot such a nice place to hang out.

Kim Couranz

In particular for 2010 I want to call out Kim Couranz, one of the top Snipe crews in the world, who crossed the line before me in every single race of our 8 regattas this year. Our fifth place finish at Nationals qualified us for the 2011 Snipe Worlds, and I’m really looking forward to more sailing together next year.

I’ve lived in Jamestown, RI for almost fifteen years, longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, and a large part of my contentment is the people I see around town. I may not know your last name, but the friendly familiarity of our interactions comforts me. Whether I run into you at dinner downtown or in the post office, or if you’re one of those from whom we borrow tools and expertise, thank you for your positive outlook on life. And a very special thanks to all the great folks at Jamestown Hardware, who never laugh at the projects I take on.

Fellow Authors
A new circle of friends was added to my life in 2010 when we gathered together a gaggle of Boston-area authors to talk about how best to market our novels. Since then this loose-knit group has helped launch five books, including Cape Cod Surprise. Best of all, there’s more to come, beginning with Juliette Fay’s launch in January 2011. I can’t wait to share in the future successes of such a smart and supportive group!

Lots of people make my racing possible by running regattas, providing housing and airport pickups, storing cars and boats (that means you, Peter and Connie Commette), and generally supporting my addiction to one-design sailing around the country. I try to thank you whenever I think of it, but it can’t ever be often enough.

Nameless Small Favor Doers
Sometimes those unexpected good deeds from someone I don’t even know can take on a special significance. Locally we call them “Jamestown moments,” but they happen in many different places. So to all the unknown folks who have done me a favor in 2010, especially the nice woman I met yesterday at the grocery store checkout—thank you.

Scattered and diverse as we all are, there’s a strong bond that holds us all together. Best wishes to both Newmans and Cronins for a great Thanksgiving, and Paul and I look forward to sharing it with many of you!