Moose, Lobster, Blueberries and Schooners

What comes to mind when you think of the following items?

Moose

Moose

Lobster by tuppus via Flickr

Lobster (Lobster by tuppus via Flickr Lic CC by 2.0)

Blueberries by La Grande Farmers' Market via Flickr CC

Blueberries (Blueberries by La Grande Farmers’ Market via Flickr Lic CC by 2.0)

Schooner (Mopping up by Tassadara C via Flickr

Schooners (Mopping Up by Tassadara C via Flickr Lic CC by 2.0

Anyone? Anyone?

What if I make it multiple choice:

a)    The latest round of perfectly normal celebrity baby names

b)   Maine

c)    Liminality

d)   The story of a swashbuckling moose and his bumbling lobster sidekick who sail around the world on a schooner fueled by blueberries


If you answered b, you’re correct

If you answered c, you’re also correct

If you answered a, you’re probably psychic and will be correct in the very near future

If you answered d, you’re probably a writer

All right, so what the heck am I babbling on about?

  1. My husband and I are moving to Maine
  2. The concept of liminality

My husband has been a woodworker for some time and we have a full shop in the basement, filled with terrifyingly sharp things such as the bandsaw. See what happens when you don’t respect the bandsaw:

Band Saw Injury

Band Saw Injury

He spends his free time down there building furniture for our house (and trying to keep all his appendages fully intact):

Dining Room Table

Dining Room Table

Coffee Table

Coffee Table

Nightstand

Nightstand

And we finally decided it was time to take his love for woodworking to the next level. So, this August we’ll be heading to coastal Maine where Logan will begin a nine-month comprehensive program in fine furniture making at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.

This means leaving his job at the hospital where he’s worked for almost twelve years. It also means leaving behind a steady paycheck, a nice benefit package and the comfort of knowing I could buy as much tulle as I wanted at the fabric store. It also means traveling across the country with three cats, learning to live with humidity, and shopping for a much more substantial winter coat.

Ultimately, it’s a period of letting go of the past, and experiencing, processing and reconciling the unknown.

This leads me to my next point: Liminality.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, liminal is defined as:

-Of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process

-Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold

The term was originally used in the context of societal rituals and there is often a ceremony that accompanies the transition. A common example is the transition between childhood and adulthood, marked by the graduation of high school or college.

Over time, the term has been applied more loosely and I tend to identify big liminal events as being marked by some sort of party:

-The going away party

-The bridal shower

-The baby shower

-The housewarming party

(So, in case you weren’t sure if you were in the midst of a liminal event, if someone wants to throw you a party, you probably are)

It’s in these times of liminality, where we are neither here, nor there, that there is an unusual opportunity for growth, an opportunity to push ourselves, to try new things and discover something new about ourselves.

So, we’ll be packing up soon, fully embracing our liminality, ready to see what happens next!

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46 thoughts on “Moose, Lobster, Blueberries and Schooners

  1. bikerchick57 says:

    I wish you and Logan much happiness and success in Maine. Logan’s furniture is awesome and I can bet that his nine months at Craftmanship school will produce a profitable, tulle-buying future.

  2. Marcy says:

    I have wanted to move to Maine for over 20 years. Oh, oops, you forgot to mention something else you are leaving behind here…..ME!!!!!

    • jennifer Windram says:

      EEEK! I know. It will be so hard leaving you and everyone else. At least we have the Internet now, just think we would be hand writing letters and sending them via ship if we lived way back in the day 🙂

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I love Maine. My step-dad is originally from there, and we’ve made trips to Old Orchard Beach many times. Change is always scary, but it’s exiting too. I wish you both the best of luck!

  4. suzjones says:

    Oh. He has such wonderful talent. The furniture is just lovely.
    My man loves working with his hands as well. I wonder if I can find somewhere for him to learn more.

    • suzjones says:

      Oh. And thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. I did reply to you in a little bit of detail and wished you much luck and happiness in your journey.

      • jennifer Windram says:

        Thank you. I know I have become a little discouraged every now and then over the last year, wondering if I made the right decision, or what I could be doing differently with regard to my business. The feeling usually passed, especially after I tried to focus on the positives and the ways in which the experience has shaped me for the better (for example my getting over my public speaking phobia). Best of luck to you too!

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Thank you. It’s been something he’s wanted to do for so long, we figured it was time to just take the plunge. I’m sure there is somewhere nearby for GG to take classes. Denver had plenty of classes, but we chose this program because it encompassed everything from working with hand tools to veneer work to turning to finishing, and he could complete it all in one swoop.

      • suzjones says:

        I think we need to get him another job first. I tried to get him to make things to sell but he just ‘potters’. The other day he made the cat a perch to lay in the sun on. lol

  5. April says:

    oooo! I’m psychic. Not because I chose ‘a’, but it was something about the moose that made me think about Maine. Also, I was disappointed that the schooners were boats and not glasses of beer. Anyway, how wonderful for you two to take a chance and do something different! I’m a little jealous–I would love to go to a furniture making school. We’re moving to my father in laws, who has an entire woodworking shop in the basement. I can’t wait! However, all I’ve made is a box and a crooked stool. I have watched a lot of shows and read a bunch of books……….so, I will probably lose a couple of fingers.

    Happy trails to you!

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Hi April,

      I remember you writing a post about woodworking. I think you posted pictures of the stool too and I think I remember it looking really good.

      Logan has been dreaming of this for a long time so I’m glad he’s finally getting the chance to chase that dream!

  6. jmmcdowell says:

    Cross-country moves are a major life change, but they can also bring about wonderful new experiences. Based on the photos you posted, I suspect your husband will pass the program with flying colors (and all appendages intact). And, if you’re like me, you’ll find the new places and experiences to be an amazing source of creativity.

    Best wishes for all the work and planning to go smoothly!

    • jennifer Windram says:

      I’m very excited. This my first big move. The farthest away I’ve lived from Denver is Fort Collins about an hour away.

      Just being there for a couple weeks in July I could see where Steven Kings gets his inspiration. Hopefully I can tap into some of it 🙂

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Wow, only five minutes down the road. That seems like a lot of work for such a short move 🙂 I’d forgotten how much work moving was since we’ve lived in this place for about 8 years, but luckily Logan has a lot of energy and has done most of the packing.

  7. michellejoycebond says:

    Here’s another way to know I’m a writer–the concept of liminality makes me automatically jump to how that works in fiction. It seems a lot of great stories take place in that less defined, transitional period (because, I guess, it’s also one of the best times to watch characters develop). But this, of course, is your real life story. I wish you and your husband all the best in this new stage of your lives!

  8. mykulmitch says:

    Just in case you haven’t searched around Maine, it is a great place to be. I lived in New Hampshire for 19 years and many times Maine was the place to be for the family. 🙂

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Thank you. I’m hoping to get back into more regular posts and I should have plenty of topics to choose from now that we’re moving. I want to say it’s been really hard to keep up since we are trying to get everything together for the move, but I’ve been a slacker for awhile now!

  9. librarylady says:

    Hi Jennifer, long time no hear from. I still add a new post every now and then and check in with my blogging friends. Good luck with your move, sorry you have to leave your newly remodeled house though, actually maybe not s new anymore. I’ve moved too many times to count. You always love the next place if you decide to.
    Latest writer’s tip – Look into writersdomain.net A friend told me about it and am just checking it out now. ( It pays better than fiver).Good luck! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

  10. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    Good luck in your new adventure! It is terrifying to give up the security of a steady job and benefits, but true happiness is often achieved by taking risks. You guys just inspired me to quit my job and do something different. Tomorrow I will march into work and tell everyone to go [stream of expletives deleted] themselves. There is no way this can go wrong.

    Also, good luck in taking 3 cats cross-country. I drove my cat 2 hours once when he went to live with my mom and he is still traumatized and that was 10 years ago.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Hey Jeff,
      Everything went quite smoothly with the cats. I was surprised. They slept most of the way and then hid under the bed at the hotels.

      I need to catch up on your posts. I know there are quite a few I’ve missed. I just hope they don’t make me as jealous as the aurora borealis one. I thought for sure we were going to see it!

  11. fudgeandpoppy says:

    Oh wow – how exciting! I’m just catching up with my blogs after being so busy since I went back to my old job! I’ve had a couple of days off sick so just working my way through! Maine will be wonderful – my Dad has been a few times and I’d love to go one day. What a change from Colorado though! The fall (or autumn as us Brits call it) will be so spectacular there! Wrap up warm and enjoy it! Logan’s furniture is amazing – it’s great that he is going to carry on doing something he enjoys and is quite clearly brilliant at! By now you will have moved in and hopefully settling in OK?

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Yes, we’re all settled in and really love it. It’s already cooling off and the trees are starting to turn, which I’m very excited about. Winter will be another story. I’ve been strategizing on how to keep warm.

      Logan is on his second week at school and really enjoying it. It’s really bringing out his creative side!

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