When The Magic Ship Set Sail My Heart Went With It…


In the fall of 2009 while looking at houses my realtor found a curious ad. It said, “Have your friends over for a party on your very own ship.” Say what? The artist in me had to see it. It was greying and had a yellow plastic slide hanging off one side but I had stars in my eyes. I might be the only person in history to ever buy a house because there was a giant wooden ship in the back yard. I loved the little house too, a white brick ranch house that looked like a little cottage with the perfect large room for a studio with windows all the way down two walls looking out to what would become garden areas, woods, and the majestic ship itself. I bought the house.

After buying the house I turned the back yard into what people referred to as Dr. Seuss’s garden. I had two small picket fence gardens built in bright pink and lime green and the ship painted candy pink, orchid, and bright orange. The slide was removed and a staircase built. She was a dream of a ship with a mermaid on her bow. I called this corner of the yard Mermaid Cove and the area next to it with an 1800’s section of iron fence and a little woodsy area filled with pink plastic flamingos The Haunted Wood. Artful gardens sprung up everywhere, I planted bulbs by the hundreds, and all manner of creatures and unusual art elements were part of the garden. People fell in love with it.

On February 5, 2014, after an ice storm, the house burned down. I lost 4 beloved parrots in the fire and the 4 pugs and I barely made it out. It was the most terrifying night of my life. One week later, with the pugs and I holed up in an extended stay hotel another ice storm hit and a tree fell into the Magic Ship and crushed it. Not long before I moved back into the rebuilt house 8 months later the ship was demolished and carried off and that corner of the property was vacant. The ship had been the pride of the place and towered over everything, and then it was gone. And the rebuilt house has never felt like home. And my financial picture shrank to the size of a gumdrop meaning my only option in life would be to sell the house and buy something considerably smaller and half the price and use the rest of the money with the social security I will begin to draw in 3 years or so to live on. There simply was no other choice practically speaking but in reality my heart left the place when the ship went. It was the glory of the place and my pride and joy. The spirit of the little house was gone and so was The Magic Ship.

Yesterday I had my landscaper’s team come and clear everything out. All of the pots including pots filled with blooming daffodils, all of the garden art, everything was removed. He asked me what I wanted him to do. I said I wanted it to look like I never lived here. Of course the picket fences are still here and the sheds that were painted the color of the Magic Ship but everything else is gone. I watched, numb and a bit in shock, as my garden disappeared, and then I sank down in relief. It was over. A year and a half after the ship was taken down the garden went too, and the house is going on the market, and I look toward building a new life once this house sells and I find another.

My realtor wonders why I don’t stay here, and financially speaking that just isn’t an option for me. It is a newly rebuilt house from the ground up so worth a lot more than the 1970 house that I bought which should enable me to buy a nice little place, albeit considerably smaller, and have a life moving forward, but it is so much more than that. In September of 2014 the Magic Ship set sail into the sunset and my heart went with it. Now the rest of me will follow, I know not where, but I trust it will be a perfect place for the pugs and I, a place that I can write my books and publish Pastiche and enjoy the wild birds and maybe some hanging baskets of flowers along with my windchimes all around the little cottage I imagine. This was the last garden I will have made, I can’t imagine making another one save perhaps a tiny patch of ground to spread seeds on for a little seed garden to grow flowers for the house and for the birds and bees and other insects, but even that is something I cannot yet fathom.

I am older now, and quieter. I bought this house when I was 55 years old. I will turn 62 next month. It doesn’t seem like many years but I lived a lifetime in those years here, and the wheel of life keeps turning, and I, like the Magic Ship, am ready to set sail…



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  1. I remember the conflict you felt a year and a half ago when you moved back in, about whether or not to stay.

    You made the best choice then and you’re making the best choice now.

    Time to dream your new abode into the Now. 🙂

    • Sweet Victoria,

      You are so right. In many ways I wish I had never moved back in, but to everything there is a season, and there was so much uncertainty in so many areas then I didn’t know which way to turn. Now, it is time. And I am dreaming of a new life. Hold us in your prayers as we set sail in a new direction.

      With much love to a dear sister,


  2. Beautiful Maitri… sending ❤ always to you… you will find a new home for yourself and for your pugs! I just know it!!!

  3. Paula Brown says:

    Sweet Maitri, as you know when one door closes, another opens and what’s sometimes scarey is the one doesn’t open til the other is firmly closed. Not much of a safety net. But when we trust, the universe handles the details. I know somewhere there is a perfect place for you and the pugs. You will find it exactly when you need to. It will be just as perfect as the original cottage was. and someone will come to your house and fall in love and start another chapter of their life there. And all will be well. And your angel orbs will follow and you will create the perfect home you need in this chapter of the life of Maitri and the Pugs. I look forward to enjoying the adventure with you. You are braver than you think you are. Holding your hand in spirit. xo

    • Oh Paula honey thank you so much,

      I do believe that when one door closes another opens. Believing that all of that will happen smoothly is what I must do, having faith and trust along the way. Thank you so much for these beautiful words, they have lifted me up more than you could know. I love you Paula honey…



  4. Maitre Dear, your words are always so heartfelt and real… You are such a beautiful soul and I am honoured that our paths have crossed for many reasons but today it is because you give me hope. Trust the Universe to carry you down this new path and I will trust for my new doors to open too… You are inspiring and I love you ❤️

    • Dear Deana,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and I surely hope for all of the best for you too. I will hold you close in my heart and prayers. You really are such a beautiful soul and I see a light filled solution coming your way.



  5. Goodbye to the past
    hello to what’s yet to be
    the wheel is turning

    Anywhere you go
    beauty will spring up and out
    we can count on that

    So hooray to you, maitri! can’t wait to see you find then settle into your new digs, which will become charming as you put your magic to work and play


    • Thank you so much darling Katya, hold a good thought that all goes smoothly and buying the new place dovetails with selling this place so we don’t have to try to find interim housing. I have such faith that all will go well. Let’s pray it into being, shall we?

      Love you darling sister-friend,


  6. Susan Phelps says:

    Just today, I read a couple of quotes that seem to belong together, and are so important to keep in our minds and hearts as we sail through life. The first is, “Always look forward, never back” and the second is “Let go of the past, but remember the lesson.” We must always look ahead, because if we don’t, we may run aground on the anxieties and self-doubt that the past can churn up. What we need from the past is the lessons that help us to grow and move forward. All my love to you, dear Maitri, as you move forward to your next haven.

    • Dear Susan, thank you so much for thinking of me. Those quotes are spot on for me right now and wisdom especially appropriate for this time. I am sending you love as well and many blessings on your journey…


  7. Dear Maitri,
    Thank you for sharing the photo of the Magic Ship again. It was so delightful, as was your colorful garden yard.
    I completely understand having to ‘neutralize’ your property for selling purposes, as I went through the sale of our last house five years ago. Although it is difficult in a way to take away what made it ‘yours’, in a way it helps with the transition. We gradually detach from the place we are in now and become more willing to allow aspects of ourselves to go out in search of a new place to settle.
    When will the house go on the market? I do hope it is a smooth process for you.

    • Sweet Joan,

      Thank you so much for your kind comments about the ship and the garden. It was a one of a kind to be sure. I just wrote to a dear friend that I wonder why things come into our lives only to be lost such a short time later, but I wouldn’t have missed my few brief years with the ship for anything.

      And you’re right re neutralizing. I already feel very different walking out there with the dogs. The landscape is plain, barren in a way compared to what it was, but somehow it’s easier than seeing all of the things out there, especially the garden art and all of the daffodils in pots starting to bloom everywhere. To look at what I had created and know that it was going was harder than having it gone.

      The house will go on the market as soon as I can get it ready. I am getting there in bits and my realtor Susan is helping me which is huge. It’s just so hard to pare down and get things cleaned up especially keeping the white tile floor in the kitchen clean with the 4 pugs. Oy! Hold a good thought for me, will you?

      Sending lots of love your way…


      • Of course Maitri, I will continue holding very positive intention for you around the whole process of preparing, selling and then finding and moving.

        When I was getting our house ready for staging to sell, I thought of renting a storage space short term just to speed up the process. Then, a next door neighbor offered to let us put our excess items in her basement. That was wonderful. It allowed us to get the house on the market sooner. Then, closer to moving time when we knew the space we were going into, we were able to do a lot more purging of those stored items so we didn’t bring them all with us. So you might want to consider something like that for whatever is the biggest challenge, maybe books?

        Sending you a Big Hug,
        Joan xo

        • Thank you so much Joan. The house is going on the market on Monday and I am so nervous but you have to jump in somewhere. I appreciate your suggestions and ideas, and will keep them in mind.

          Hugs back to you,


  8. Daisy Winifred says:

    So my dear,
    Another adventure?…I think not, this is just a continuation of the one grand and great adventure we are all upon, life and its living. I do however think this part of the quest, the pilgrim path you find yourself on will be very much about that – finding your self being present in the moment no matter how bloody awful or bloody marvellous it may be, it will and can only be the moment you can live in and become in.

    Each day will I am sure bring you much to smile about be that a sunbeam illuminating your coffee froth like a halo above the kick to the system you are about to imbibe, to the insistent rhythm of the S.S.P. Choir. Yes each day may well bring darker times to but the sun will still rise and the Earth will continue to turn and in good time that dark will dissipate and you will take deep breaths as you move on gently.

    You really did need to go back to the cottage even though it has been tough and painful it has given you reason to be honest with your daughter who probably breathed a sigh of relief that at last you were able to let her help and support you in ways she could can and shall do. It has given you the space to realise that it isn’t the amount of space but the intent within a space that makes a home for you. That you have worked so very hard to face and make peace with much that has been on the quiet recurring nightmare and though you will always have mental health differences they are a part of a whole not the whole and it will be in wholeness that you will live with not be in battle against.

    A place shall arrive that you will call and make home, it will present you with lots of new possibilities and not a few challenges no doubt but each day will and be only about moments, moment by moment you will build the life you need in a new place but the heart is the same heart and the imagination the same imagination, hold true to the you who is recognised by that heart and imagination and I know the intent you put out in to the universe will be heard and energy and answers will come.

    And as far as not making another garden, well I can only say is HA! Yes we are all getting older but once a planter always a planter:0) and I can see you mixing up seed bombs and wandering around your new neighbourhood after dark taking a pug or two for walkies and setting explosions off that will find people wondering where that spring colour has come from or maybe you’ll be able to plant some berry bushes in large plastic pots and share the harvest with birds and neighbours. No limits save for those we place between our ears:0) The pace may well be slower but that just means things enjoyed will spread in to days or weeks, what’s not to love about that.

    Whatever happens or doesn’t the adventure will continue my dear, so put your pith helmet and wellies on and go forth.

    I leave you with a quote, which you may well recognise, “In the middle of the night, things well up from the past that are not always cause for rejoicing–the unsolved, the painful encounters, the mistakes, the reasons for shame or woe. But all, good or bad, give me food for thought, food to grow on.”
    ― May Sarton, At Seventy: A Journal

    Love D-W

    • Oh Dear Darling Daisy…

      I nearly cried reading this, your deep deep wisdom that I cherish, and you made me smile and you made me think and I will read and reread this post. And I smiled at you smiling at me over my proclamations about not having another garden. I know I will find myself puttering, no doubt about that. I was thinking more of the big elaborate gardens that I have created with lots of garden art, etc. These are quieter more contemplative years and the type of gardening will follow. Gardening for gardening’s sake, a few herbs and flowers for the new cottage to be sure, but seeing so much go now my heart just isn’t ready to go there yet.

      Thank you so much for writing in. Every comment you leave is like a gift wrapped up in beautiful wrappings, many layered, meant to unravel slowly and take in over time. Thank you so much, dearest, for the gift.

      Sending you love and good wishes for your own journey. I have had dreams about your long boat…


  9. Oh, Maitri, reading this just now, and the comments.

    You express the challenge and magic of moving toward a new space (and way to live in that space) so well, and the pragmatism in which you write about your past garden. Hmm.

    You will create a new garden, you told me, bringing with you what you love, as I was preparing to leave a beloved one, and an wonderful old house, too.

    I think you will create a new garden, a different one, undoubtedly a smaller one, but your garden, again, nonetheless.

    Daisy’s words are wonderful, as are the other comments. My thoughts and good wishes for energy and love are with you as you make this transition.

    • Darling Lisa,

      I remember so well when you were selling your house and getting ready to move and all the work and fears and just, everything. My heart went out to you and now here I am, going through the same thing. And I will survive and make my new house my own as you are making yours your own. And as I said to Daisy, I know in my heart I will garden again, it’s just that the kind of garden will be very different, small and simple and sweet and it will be perfect for me at my age.

      Thank you so much for the good energy and love and good wishes, I wish you all the same in return and send you blessings in abundance.



  10. Teresa Myszka says:

    Four years ago Maitri I found myself in a much similar situation. I had to move. I sorted, boxed, sold,donated and gave away almost everything, a life time of treasure hunting, garage sales. Flea markets, thrift stores, and of course gifts, furniture decorations it took me forever to decide upon. These things never belong to us, we are merely caretakers, then the things, the stuff of our lives goes on to live elsewhere with those who will love it just as well if not more. We change as the chapters of our lives change. Life becomes lighter, we feel more free. You will find the perfect cottage, you will make it your own with pink twinkle lights and all. You will have a garden, the size of which doesn’t matter, only the joy it brings counts. Don’t be too quick to throw things out, unless you’re absolutely sure. Box things up and put them away for now, later when you’re settle in your new cottage you can decide if you want to keep it or not. It’s difficult to say adieu to a place where you hung your hat for so many years. Our needs change, we change, we all downsize at some time in our lives. Life is a wonderful adventure, and oh what wonderful stories lay ahead for you to write and for us to read. Your life continues to blossom in so many wonderful ways. I send you much love dearest Maitri and huge hugs!

    • Oh Teresa honey thank you so much for your kind words. With all you have to deal with in your life — and I hold you close and dear — to think of me at this time means the world to me, and all that you say is so wise. It helps to hear from others who have been through it and come out on the other side. Bless you honey, I am sending you a warm gentle hug and so much love…


  11. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. You are not settled atm but hopefully you will find your little dream home soon and get back to being you again with your animals.

    • Thank you Caroline. I appreciate your kind thoughts. Hold them for me and keep me in your prayers…

      Blessings and Love,


  12. I wish for you to find a sweet cottage where you will love to be and smooth transitioning.
    Sending you love and energy for your next big step,

    • Thank you so much Corinna honey, I appreciate that more than I can say. Sending you love in return and hoping that your days are light and gentle and that you are at peace…



  13. Maitri, I can imagine what a time of horror that night was for you…so sorry. I am 62 and so I know what you mean. I was 51 when I started into a very difficult time in my life (losing all my family to deaths and many friends and fur babies) and the last 11 years have been hell, to be honest, and are still going on due to my horrible anxiety/ panic and depression. I think you are so wise to have the attitude you have and I feel a new place will be the calm, peaceful sanctuary that you need. Best of luck with all of it and much love sent your way. Give your pugs a kiss from me.

    • Dear Sheila,

      Oh honey I am so sorry for all of the losses you have experienced, and I know the anxiety, panic and depression so well. May we both find peace this day in the midst of whatever life brings. And thank you for your gentle words about what a new place will bring. I hope, pray and believe that it may be so.

      Blessings and Love to you,


  14. Fine writing in this entry, Maitri, and your heart is certainly showing. May the next place give you another loving home.

    • Thank you so much dear Kate, I appreciate the kind words and good wishes for our new home. Much love and goodness to you honey…


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